Friday, 13 July 2007

What Mega Mosque? (Abbey Mills)

Emails are circulating drumming up last minute support for a petition to the UK government against a mega mosque to be built near the 2012 London Olympic site with public funding.

It is curious that I have only heard of the petition and nothing at all about the actual plans for this building so I started googling. Pages and pages of venom and anger on forums and noticeboards and blogs. It has taken me quite a while to find anything about any plans so I am logging my findings here. Of note are two articles.

One is from The Times Online dated 27 November 2005:

Giant mosque for 40,000 may be built at London Olympics

And the other is from This Is Local London dated a year later 7 November 2006:

Mega-mosque planning deadline missed

Just to clarify: what had been proposed was a new three storey building that included a mosque, school, library and community facilities. The artists impression from the link above does make it look quite a stunning bit of architecture. It would replace the existing undersized mosque facilities. These were not at any time going to be funded from tax payers money. What is not clear is IF any part of this project is going ahead.

However, if you read the email doing the rounds one would think think that what is being proposed is to be a landmark larger than the Wembley Stadium, being paid for out of our taxes by a Moslem-appeasing Red Ken (Mayor of London). Seems to me that this is an email and petition designed to simply stir things up and create more tension and hatred, especially towards those of the Moslem faith. But of course when put like the email below, it is understandable that there is anger at the thought of any public funds being used in this way when so much else needs fixing or doing.

Normally I just delete such online circulars. I remember I was taken in by one a few years ago and was concerned about whatever it was. Only after I had forwarded it did I then find out it was way out of date and not actually of any help anyway. It had sunk into an Urban Legend which I wonder if this one will as well.

Has the UK gone completely Mad ?

Subject: Vote to scrap the 'Mega Mosque' for which YOU will be paying.

We need to act NOW before it's too late

Don't know if you have heard about this but Ken Livingstone is apparently planning to use tax payer's money to build an enormous mosque costing an estimated £100M in the docklands.

Wouldn't it be better to spend the money on a new hospital or improved transport facilities? Anything but such a scheme as this:
The mosque will be BIGGER THAN ST PAUL'S!!!

The plan is for the mosque to be so big so that people flying in from all over the world for the 2012 Olympics will see it as the biggest landmark in London , bigger than St Pauls, Westminster Abbey or Wembley Stadium.

The vote so far is 56 % in favour. It looks like the Muslim community in the UK is casting its vote in droves, and as usual the British are burying their heads in the sand....
It is an undemocratic use of British Tax payer's money, especially when our Churches that are 100's of years old get no government funding to keep their structures standing, and we are supposedly a Christian Nation.

To vote to 'Scrap the 'Mega-Mosque' please sign the official Government petition in the link below.

After voting, please forward this to as many UK citizens as you can

Addendum: Oh lovely! In closing down my various browser windows I just did a websearch for the name of the person who started this petition. Jill Barham has a blog called English Rose with the tagline: Opposing the Labour Government and the Islamization of this Country. Says it all really.

The (almost) last word goes to Ken Livingstone from 5 April 2007:

Mayor Attacks Mosque Email Campaign

Finally, here is the name of the actual project "Abbey Mills Mosque" who have a website I have only been able to access so far through the Google cache:



GLA Spokesperson said...

It has been brought to the attention of the Greater London Authority that a number of untrue reports are being circulated suggesting that the Mayor of London or other public authorities are planning to spend up to £100 million of public money on a new mosque in East London.

The Mayor wishes to make it absolutely clear that these reports are entirely untrue. There are not now, and have never been, any plans by the Mayor or Greater London Authority spend any public money on such mosque. Indeed, it would be illegal for the Mayor of London to do so. Suggestions of a link between plans for a mosque and the 2012 Olympic Games are equally untrue, as are suggestions of the enormous size on any planned mosque.

Equally, there is no current planning permission or application for a mosque and Newham Council do not expect a planning application in the near future.

These facts have been in the public domain for a considerable period of time. The circulation of these manifestly untrue reports seems to be designed to bring influence to bear on a petition in relation to such a mosque on the No10 Downing Street website.

It is quite clear that the circulation of untrue information of this kind can damage good community relations.

All religious faiths have the equal right to construct places of worship, subject to the appropriate planning permissions. The particularly vicious nature of the campaign against a possible Muslim place of worship in East London should be condemned by all of those who support the long established right of freedom of religion in this country, and all the more so as it is based on information which has long been established to be factually untrue.

This is a statement from a Greater London Authority spokesperson.

Ally said...

Okay, a) yes, I agree with you - it looks like a storm in a tea-cup whipped up by the 'send them all back' brigade.

And, b) GLA spokesperson, do you have any references to any kind of official statement that you could link to?

Anonymous said...

Doris said...

I appreciate that the GLA spokesperson took the time to post a message and hope that has been repeated across the web. I just hope the web link (requested by Ally) has been posted too.

It is a pity that the official statement was not produced earlier and pasted across blogs and forums. Damage limitation and all that.

Ally said...

Great, thank you for the link - good to have an official statement!

Chandira said...

Great post Doris!! I loved this.
There is too much hate being stirred up in the world lately.

Good for you. And thank you. Blessed are the Peacemakers.


Doris said...

Thanks Chandira!

This must mean you are back. I hope you had a good trip and will come visit soon to find out :-)

jane said...

I thought this was about a mosque there that I saw a documentary on, but the picture is completely different.
Regardless, I absolutely agree with you. This is nothing more than blind hatred & prejudice.
I hope the people at the root of this don't claim to be affiliated with a church/religion of any sort.

English Rose said...

Just so you all know, I am not a part of the send them all back "brigade"
At the time when I created the mosque I didn't want to rock the boat. Basically that's my whole initiative on it. Since then however I have discovered how corrupt it is against you in this country if you are white English. My own son had been attacked by not 1 but 4 grown men! All Muslims.
I act on experience and not ignorance.
There is a battle to get the Mosque up it isn't made up, I have been to a meeting with Alan Craig, who argued against it and shortly afterwards he was subjected to death threats.