Christians express outrage over threats to mosque

Christians in west Oxfordshire have signed a letter expressing “shock and outrage” at discrimination against Muslims in Chipping Norton.

A planned mosque in the town fell through last month after landlord Georg Wissinter received a threat that it would be burnt to the ground. Applicant Tahirul Hasan, a town councillor, had received planning permission to convert the former shop in Hitchmans Mews into a mosque. The town’s 34-strong Muslim community had planned to open from sunrise until one hour after sunset for 10-minute prayers five times a day.

The letter says: “As Christians we know that Jesus called us to love God and our neighbour as we love ourselves. It is for us to welcome the stranger and to be hospitable to all. We affirm that all people have the right to be treated as human beings with the freedom to practice their faith without fear of persecution.”

The letter is signed by 38 Christians, including Witney Congregational Church minister the Rev Jason Boyd, High Street Methodist Church minister the Rev Richard Donoghue, and Chipping Norton team vicar David Salter.

Witney Gazette, 12 March 2013