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The Siasat Daily: UK Churches Oppose Mosque Plan


UK Churches Oppose Mosque Plan

Thursday, 11 March 2010

London, March 11: Churches and locals in Camberley town, South East England, are opposing a planned mosque, describing its minarets as supremacist statement for Islam.

“I think it fair to say that a mosque with two 100ft minarets and a large elevated dome is making not so much a spiritual, as a powerful cultural, or even political statement,” Rev Mark Chester, chairman of Churches Together coalition, told.

The coalition, which represents Camberley churches, firmly opposes the planned mosque’s design and site.

It threatened that the mosque plan would spark “antagonism between the Muslim community and the wider community in Camberley for years to come.”

The mosque, proposed by the Bengali Welfare Association, would be located near the Royal Military Academy.

The location was the site of a former Victorian school used by local Muslims as a mosque over the past 14 years.

Still, Rev Bob Peck of St Martin’s Church claims the mosque plan is not innocent.

“They seem to have a political agenda and they want to make a big statement,” he told.

“It’s a supremacist statement.”

Britain has a sizable Muslim minority of more than two millions, mostly of Asian backgrounds.

Security Threat

Tim Cross, a retired Major-General, describes the mosque as “a significant security threat.”

He claims the minarets could be used to attack senior members of the royal family and important military figures who visit the Royal Military Academy every year.

“Visitors self-evidently provide significant potential targets being openly on display around the college building and elsewhere,” he told.

The mosque planning application will be decided by Surrey Heath Borough Council at a meeting Wednesday.

But the fierce opposition is already shocking to local Muslims.

Abdul Wasay Chowdhury, a spokesman for the Bengali Welfare Association, dismissed security concerns as ungrounded.

He asserted that access within the minarets would not go beyond the height of a house as they would be filled in with concrete.

The Ministry of Defence, which initially had security concerns about the minaret, has reserved its position after these clarifications.

“Plans were revised so that access to the towers would be restricted to essential maintenance work,” it said in a statement.

The Muslim community leader also dismissed allegations that the mosque was a political statement.

“We do not know anything about politics,” Chowdhury told.

“We are simple people who want to do according to our faith.”

Source: The Siasat Daily

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