‘Mega-mosque’ debate

Islamic Circles Presents


Date: Friday 7th September 2007
Time: 6.15pm–8.30pm
Venue: Ithaca House, 27 Romford Rd, Stratford, London E15 4LJ

A debate with Abdul Khaliq Mian (Newham Respect Coalition) and Councillor Alan Craig (Newham Christian People’s Alliance).

Far away from the oil fields of the Middle East, in the early 1990s, members of the Anjuman Welfare Trust (Tablighi Jamaat) through sheer sweat and hard work in the rag-tag factories of East London, managed to purchase a disused and contaminated area of land near Abbey Mills from Newham Council with an intention to serve the growing needs of the Muslim community in East London and beyond, by building a mosque and community centre.

If we now fast forward to 2007 – post 9/11, 7/7, Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and the announcement that the 2012 Olympic Games are to be held in London, we have a situation where this non-descript piece of land in East London has become the subject of intense controversy, capturing the attention of both local and international media.

Nearly 1 in 8 Londoners consider themselves to be Muslim. Up to half of those living near the area where the Olympic Games will be taking place are Muslim. Up to a third of the countries participating will be Muslim majority nations. So why is it that certain individuals supported by neo-con think tanks and Zionist inclined newspapers have decided to target this project, whose administrators are affiliated to Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide movement known for being apolitical? Why is this mosque project being labelled as a potential source of terrorist activities just because some of the individuals involved happen to share similar theological roots as the Taliban?

Is it not ironic that this is happening now despite all the talk of diversity and multiculturalism – one of the principal reasons why London won. Note the hijab wearing children on the TV screens when London’s victory was announced in contrast to the recent French experience of “Liberté, Egalité, Fraternité”. What is all the fuss about? Will the area become an “Islamic Emirate of Stratford” or perhaps something more akin to a Cordoba of the past – a shining example of genuine tolerance, diversity and civilisation?

To debate the issue we have Abdul Khaliq Mian who has been an active member of the community in Newham over the last 30 years. He has contributed significantly towards the development of the West Ham mosque project and is currently a member of the Respect Party. His counterpart will be Alan Craig, councillor for the Canning Town South ward in Newham. He is leader of the Christian People’s Alliance group and has actively campaigned against the mosque claiming that the Tablighi Jamaat are funded by the Saudis and have terrorist links, and that the project would damage community relations if it were to go ahead.

All welcome and free entrance – just turn up.

Rail/Tube: Stratford Station

Directions: 5 min walk from Stratford Station, close to Ibis Stratford Hotel.

Map: http://www.streetmap.co.uk/newmap.srf?x=539150&y=184519&z=0&sv=E15+4LJ&st=2&pc=E15+4LJ&mapp=newmap.srf&searchp=newsearch.srf

For more details and to attend please contact: Tel: 07956 983 609 E-mail: info@islamiccircles.org