‘Battle to block massive mosque’

“A plan to build a ‘mega mosque’ in east London has become mired in controversy with allegations that it is being bankrolled by Islamist groups in Saudi Arabia. Opponents say it would promote a radical form of Islam. They accuse its backers of not consulting local people.”

Jamie Doward writes in the Observer, 24 September 2006

This piece is little more than a rewrite of Andrew Gilligan’s scare story that appeared in the Evening Standard back in July, complete with a quote from the discredited “expert” on Islam, Patrick Sookhdeo. You’d have thought that the Observer‘s home affairs editor might have done a bit of original research into the subject and maybe even challenged racist stereotypes about the threat from Muslim radicals, rather than just recycle second-hand Islamophobic fantasies. Or then again, perhaps not, given that one of Doward’s predecessors in that post was Martin Bright.