A huge mosque is
being planned for
London, which will be so big that people flying in from all over the world
for the 2012 Olympics will it see it as the biggest landmark in London. It
will be, bigger than St Pauls Cathedral, Westminster Abbey, and Wembley
Stadium. It could hold up to 70,000 Muslims at any one time.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
established their mosques, the area has become Islamised, forcing local
residents out. It has become a parallel society.
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
Jamaat mosques normally promote cultural, theological and
territorial barriers between the TJ 'we' and the kufr
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.
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
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
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.