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Update on London 'Mega Mosque' and global news update on Islam

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The proposed Mega Mosque continues to be a very important issue in Newham, East London but also nationally and internationally.

The most recent development has been that the Islamic Group Tablighi Jamaat have turned to a specialist public relations firm, Indigo Public Affairs, to promote the whole project. This is rather striking, especially for a group that claims to shun the tools of a modern Western secular society.


Following the appointment of Indigo, there have been recent reports that the government is now against the mosque, and this was covered well in the national press. But the reports were vague and unsubstantiated. It is likely that this has been a public relations strategy to diffuse debate around the issue.

There have also been media reports that, in recognition of the effective opposition to the mosque, it will be now downsized to a capacity of 12,000 – which is still huge. We will know more when the mosque master plan is published later this year – probably in September or October.


Cllr. Alan Craig of the Christian Peoples Alliance has been leading the campaign against the mosque in Newham. Most recently this has involved bringing the debate on to YouTube (www.YouTube.com), where 6 videos on the topic have been produced. The videos have focused on some of the key issues such as security, community impact, social inclusion, funding and the Olympics.


Although Tablighi Jamaat for a very long time have managed to stay out of media attention, claiming that they are apolitical and non-violent, recent research has shown that they certainly have been linked with militant Islam and terrorism. In the UK, shoe bomber Richard Reid, London 7/7 suicide bombers Mohammad Sidique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, and a number of suspects arrested and charged in connection with the August 2006 airline terror plot have all belonged to Tablighi Jamaat. The main point is that terror experts have found that the way in which Tablighi Jamaat is organised has helped terrorist cells use Tablighi members for their own devices. This means that Tablighi Jamaat has become – actively or passively - a gateway to terrorism, both in the UK, Europe and farther a field.

Tablighi Jamaat's current European headquarters mosque is in the Savile Town area of Dewsbury, west Yorkshire. The mosque was built over 25 years ago and as a result the area has become 95% Muslim according to local observers. This clearly shows that there are serious implications for the community. In many places where the Tablighi Jamaat have established their mosques, the area has become Islamised, forcing local residents out. It has become a parallel society.

Tablighi Jamaat spokemen have been using the language of social inclusion when promoting the mosque. They claim that the project's main intent is "to benefit the local community...to break down barriers...to bring the people of Newham together." According to the main architect of the mosque, the principle behind its construction is Dawa. This simply means invitation. A closer look at this shows that it is no ordinary invitation, but rather an invitation to convert to Islam, with the ultimate aim of the islamisation of society. There is a growing body of Muslim critics of the mosque saying that there is no other Tablighi Jamaat mosque in Britain that has this inclusive objective, and that Tablighi Jamaat mosques normally promote cultural, theological and territorial barriers between the TJ 'we' and the kufr (infidel) 'other'.

The Saudi royal family-supported Muslim World League paid for the Tablighi Jamaat headquarters mosque in Dewsbury in the late 70s and many observers believe the West Ham mosque will be also Saudi-financed. Even though the new mosque may not be funded directly by the Saudi government, there is nothing to stop donations coming in from Islamic organisation which have often been linked to the sponsoring of terrorism. If the mosque is to be Saudi-funded, there should be some formal/governmental level of reciprocity. Respect and dialogue require reciprocity in all spheres, especially in that which concerns basic freedoms, more particularly religious freedom. The imbalance between the basic freedom of Muslims in the West to worship as they choose versus a range of de jure and de facto restrictions on Christians and other groups in many Muslim nations is abundantly documented. Furthermore, by accepting Saudi funding, it would further indirect approval of the Saudi State’s record on human rights which is to be abhorred.

The mosque complex is a mile from the site of the main Olympic stadium and will be designed to create an 'Islamic quarter' for the Olympic Games in 2012, with dining and residential accommodation and an Islamic garden for relaxation. It is intended to be a hub for Muslim competitors and spectators. This is in direct opposition to the Olympic ideal, which encourages people of all faiths and backgrounds to come together and enjoy competitive sports. There has never been a need for different groups to segregate themselves.

There have been a number of Petitions issued on this subject. Because there are so many Petitions on so many issues at the moment it is difficult to assess their impact.



ACTION:

Pray that the Mega Mosque will not be built as planned. Pray for those in positions of authority to have wisdom and to make Godly and courageous decisions. Pray for protection, courage and favour on those who speak out against the mosque.


Be alert! Look out for coverage of this issue in the media and any developments that take place. Be prepared to join the debate, both nationally and in your local area.


Show the love of God. Love Muslims, demonstrating the love God has for them, and reach out to them with the wonderful truth of the gospel.


  1. Supermosque for 70,000 'will be blocked' Daily Telegraph 21.02.07.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  2. Government's proposed Olympic site is 'radioactive' ThisIsLondon.co.uk 27.01.07.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  3. Fears Over Backers of Huge East London ‘Mega-Mosque’ Proposals Christian Today 10.01.07.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  4. Ken’s mega-mosque will encourage extremism The Spectator 05.01.07.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  5. Muslims oppose vast mosque plan The Times 27.11.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  6. London Tabligh mosque to be 21st-century Alhambra Kuwait Times 13.11.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  7. Mega-mosque planning deadline missed Redhill and Reigate Life 7.11.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  8. Dome sweet dome Guardian 30.10.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  9. Unelected quango to decide on controversial mega-mosque for Olympic site Daily Mail 27.09.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)

  10. The shadow cast by a mega-mosque Daily Telegraph 25.09.06.pdf (application/pdf Object)



BRIDGE THE GAP
Christian Fellowship of Faith to pray for the Muslims

Round up of Today’s International News for information and analysis purposes 18/04/07


United Kingdom

Muslims condemn violence for 'noble cause'

Muslims in the UK are more likely to unequivocally condemn the use of violence to further a "noble cause" than the general public, according to findings of a poll published today.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/pages/live/articles/news/news.html?in_article_id= 449115&in_page_id=1770&ito=newsnow

Muslims question powers of Scottish parliament

In a groundbreaking move, Scotland's main parties held a meeting with a Muslim audience in Glasgow on Friday night during which leading political figures were challenged about the powers of the Edinburgh-based parliament.

http://www.arabicnews.com/ansub/Daily/Day/070416/2007041612.html


UK minister hosts summit on Islamic finance in London

Economic Secretary Ed Balls Tuesday hosted a summit of Islamic financial services experts and leading members of the Muslim community at Chancellor of the Exchequer's residence at 11 Downing Street.

http://www2.irna.ir/en/news/view/menu-234/0704173574184733.htm

Europe

Official Recognition of Islam in Germany?

A Muslim umbrella group formed in Germany last week aims to make Islam a "recognized" religion under federal law. That could mean Islamic instruction in public schools -- or even fundraising through the tax system.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/0,1518,477438,00.html

European conference celebrates Jewish-Muslim dialogue initiatives

While relations between Jewish and Muslim communities have been greatly affected by the volatile political situation of recent years, there are many successful Jewish-Muslim dialogue initiatives taking place in local communities

http://www.themuslimweekly.com/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=11409142C35170159E 47FD81&MENUID=INTNEWS&DESCRIPTION=International%20News

Middle East

Sunni and Shi’a: coexistence and conflict

The deep and enduring split between Islam's two great sects cannot be healed in a climate of Muslim and Arab denial, says Hazem Saghieh.

http://www.opendemocracy.net/debates/article.jsp?id=2&debateId=46&articleId=4534

Yes, there is a moderate Islam - let's support it

'What moderate Muslims?" is the near-inevitable retort to my stating that radical Islam is the problem and moderate Islam the solution.

http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1176152817752&pagename=JPost%2FJP Article%2FShowFull

Scholars For Iraq Muslim Peacekeepers

Sunni and Shiite scholars from eight major Muslim countries have wrapped up a two-day international conference with a call for sending non-Arab Muslim peacekeepers to Iraq to take over from the US-led military forces.

http://www.islamonline.net/servlet/Satellite?c=Article_C&cid=1175751840504&page name=Zone-English-News/NWELayout

Russia

Dwindling Muslims At Norilsk's Mosque

NORILSK -- Mukum Sidikov's grandfather left Norilsk after surviving Stalin's labor camps.

http://www.moscowtimes.ru/stories/2007/04/18/014.html


Russia: A growing Islamic presence

Mosques that were once all but empty now overflow with believers at Friday midday prayers, from Makhachkala to the courtyard of Moscow’s Central Mosque, where hundreds of men denied spaces inside kneel on prayer rugs and newspapers.

http://www.mmorning.com/ArticleC.asp?Article=4636&CategoryID=7


Canada and USA


Calling all Muslims

Controversial writer Irshad Manji's special asks for faithful to examine their religion using critical thinking

http://www.thestar.com/artsentertainment/article/203729

The Liberal/Islamist War Against America

When Americans arrive at the place where they are too overwhelmed to even express dismay at any one particular outrage being perpetrated by the Democrats, it is time to step back and examine the "bigger picture." In the wake of Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's trip to the Middle East, America clearly finds itself at just such a juncture.

http://www.postchronicle.com/commentary/article_21275433.shtml

Ramadan asserts coexistence of Islam, democracy

The 42-year-old professor, Tariq Ramadan, who wrote more than 20 Islamic books, gave the first of three lectures via satellite video to students of Georgetown University on April the 10th.

http://www.islamonline.com/cgi-bin/news_service/world_full_story.asp?service_id=2925


BRIDGE THE GAP
Fellowship of Faith for the Muslims
 
Where the Church in the West meets the Church from the East through a partnership of love and prayer through communication, news, and  analysis. 
 
This example was circulated by Christian Concern for our Nation.




Andrea Minichiello Williams

LCF Public Policy Officer

0771 2591164

http://www.lawcf.org

http://www.christianconcernforournation.co.uk


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