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Tablighi Jamaat challenged to publish masterplan for West Ham ‘Olympics mega-mosque’

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Group "have failed to meet key 31 October deadline" 


Irresponsible Tablighi Jamaat must come out of the shadows. We need democratic scrutiny and public debate,” says local Cllr Alan Craig

 

Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic group behind the plans for a massive mosque at West Ham less than a mile from the site of the 2012 Olympics, were today challenged to publish their mosque masterplan by Cllr Alan Craig, leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance group on Newham Council.


When complete the West Ham mosque is expected to be easily the biggest in Europe and is intended to be a national landmark. Speaking at a seminar at Westminster today organised by progressive centre-right think tank Policy Exchange, Cllr Craig said that Tablighi Jamaat had an agreement with Newham Council to produce their masterplan by 31 October at the latest – the date when the temporary planning permission on their current small temporary mosque at the site runs out.


 “With effect from midnight tonight they will not be able legally to conduct worship at their temporary mosque building. Furthermore they have not fulfilled their formal agreement with Newham Council to produce their masterplan for the big permanent mosque by the same deadline,” continued Cllr Craig, who lives a mile from the mosque site.


“Tablighi Jamaat is a large, powerful, well funded - if secretive - group that apparently has huge local and international ambitions. Yet they seem unable to stick to agreements or even keep to basic planning rules,” said Alan Craig.


Tablighi Jamaat has run foul of regulations before when, without planning permission or building control consent and despite warnings, they constructed an ablution block, kitchen extension, two outbuildings and a car park to the temporary mosque. Newham Council had to start legal enforcement action to get these removed – a decision that was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.


“Their behaviour is regrettable and irresponsible, but it tells us quite a lot about the organisation too,” said Alan Craig. “No wonder people are asking, Just who are Tablighi Jamaat? Why should they be allowed to construct a building that will have such enormous impact on the community and on the Olympics?


“Tablighi Jamaat must come out of the shadows,” he continued. “They must be open about who they are and what are their intentions. Then they should publish their mosque masterplan so we can subject it - and them - to democratic scrutiny and public discussion.”


Cllr Craig has twice called for a full public inquiry into the proposed mosque when plans are published, at a meeting of Newham Council on 18th September and at a meeting with MPs, peers and press at the House of Commons on 16th October.


Policy Exchange have organised today’s seminar about the mosque as they consider it “one of the most controversial topics in British politics today.” 


- Ends -


Editors’ notes:

(i)                 Check against delivery  

(ii)               Contact:    Cllr Alan Craig           07939 547198

.                                   Policy Exchange       020-7340 2650

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