Plans for mega-mosque re-launched
An Islamic group has re-launched its proposals to build a 12,000 capacity mega-mosque at West Ham, close to the site of the Olympic Park.
The proposed development includes a large mosque with 40 ft high minarets, a library and a visitor centre.
Tablighi Jama'at, the Islamic sect behind the plans, continued to use the site after permission from Newham Council expired in 2006.
The council issued an enforcement notice in 2010 but this was successfully appealed by the group. 5,000 people a week currently use the site for worship.
A spokesman for Newham Council’s planning department said: “We are expecting another application by the end of this week and will then start a formal consultation process.”
But the plans have been opposed by campaigners who argue that Tablighi Jama’at is a “sect” which preaches “separation and segregation.”
Two of the London 7/7 suicide bombers, Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer,reportedly prayed at a Tablighi mosque in West Yorkshire.
French intelligence officials have described the group as an “antechamber of fundamentalism.”
Alan Craig, Campaign Director of MegaMosque No Thanks and a former Newham councillor, said:
“The community is concerned about the harm this will have on Newham. It is inappropriately large, but we also have worries about the group behind it.”
Andrea Minichiello Williams, CEO of Christian Concern, said:
“Widespread political correctness and fear has rendered us impotent in opposing Islamic fundamentalism.
“This has allowed extremist Islam to advance, since there have not been enough firm voices to oppose it without being branded as ‘scare-mongering.’
“Islam and Christianity create very different societies. It is Christianity which has brought us so many of our most precious rights and freedoms.
“What kind of society do we want? Unless we embrace a clear alternative to Islam, extremism will continue to fill the vacuum created by secularism.”