Opposing the mega-mosque … on the basis of bigotry and ignorance

Andy Armitage, former editor of Gay & Lesbian Humanist and the man responsible for its notorious “Sick face of Islam” issue (“redundant churches are sprouting onion domes and minarets. We are becoming strangers in our own land”), offers his insights into the dispute over the proposed Newham mosque:

“The ultra-orthodox Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat are behind the building. Among their adherents has been the Glasgow airport bomber, Kafeel Ahmed, the ‘shoe bomber’ Richard Reid and two of the 7/7 bombers…. And the fact that it could be stuck right in the middle of the British landscape is obviously worrying its opponents.”

Armitage warns that the building “could become Europe’s biggest mosque, with a capacity [of] 70,000 (according to last weeks Sunday Times), which is only 10,000 fewer than the proposed Olympic stadium only 500 yards away”. The Sunday Times article he links to is in fact from November 2005 – and the plans by architects Mangera Yvars to which the article refers have since been scrapped.

But don’t get the idea that the atheist Armitage is dogmatically opposed to all religions. Not at all. He’s happy to recommend the Christian Peoples Alliance website MegaMosqueNoThanks.com as “full of links and ideas for opposing the mosque”.

The Freethinker, 2 December 2007