2:00pm in UTC
An Islamic group has relaunched its bid to build a 12,000-capacity “mega-mosque” next to the Olympic site.
The Tablighi Jamaat group, a Muslim missionary movement once described as an “ante-chamber of fundamentalism”, wants to build Britain’s biggest place of worship in West Ham.
It will have 40ft minarets, a library, a visitor centre and a 300-space car park at the Canning Road site. The scheme has aroused years of intense opposition since the group first submitted plans in 1999. In 2001, it agreed thatworship would only be on a temporary basis. Permission expired in 2006 but the group continued to use the site.
In 2010, the council issued an enforcement notice but it successfully appealed against it last year and more than 5,000 people a week now worship at the site which houses several pre-fab buildings.
A spokesman for Newham council’s planning department said: “We are expecting another application by the end of this week and will then start a formal consultation process.”
Opponents say Tablighi Jamaat is a “sect” that preaches “separation and segregation”. Two of the 7/7 bombers, Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan, are believed to have prayed at a Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and French intelligence officials said the group was an “antechamber of fundamentalism”.
Alan Craig, campaign director of MegaMosque No Thanks and a former Newham councillor, said: “The community is concerned about the harm this will have on Newham. It is inappropriately large, but we also have worries about the group behind it.”Posted by Infidels of Britain.