The mega mosque! Muslim place of worship with four
times the capacity of St Paul’s Cathedral planned for
PUBLISHED: 16:10, 7 October 2012 | UPDATED: 16:13, 7 October 2012
Plans for a 10,000-capacity mega-mosque the size of Battersea Power Station have led to fears it could create a hardline Islamic enclave in the capital.
The east London mosque, earmarked for West Ham, near the Olympic Park, will hold four times as many worshippers as St Paul’s Cathedral, have 40ft minarets, an Islamic library, sports facilities and eight flats for visiting clerics.
It has been described by the architects as a ‘contemporary Islamic sacred space’.
But critics point to the fact it has been submitted by Tablighi Jamaat, a Muslim missionary movement once described as an ‘ante-chamber of fundamentalism’.
They say the Islamic group preaches ‘separation and segregation’ and that 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.
Alan Craig, campaign director of MegaMosque-NoThanks, told the Daily Star: ‘Newham Council wants a mixed use of the site with homes, shops and business units.
‘The mosque trustees say they want to build a mosque the size of Battersea Power Station. Either way, it will be the UK’s first custombuilt Sharia-controlled zone.’
According to the Evening Standard, the scheme has aroused years of intense opposition since the group first submitted plans in 1999.
In 2001, it agreed that worship 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.
The plans had included retail units and 300 flats, but these were shelved after the Muslim community said they did not want their donations going to a commercial venture.
Critics of the development say that two of the 7/7 bombers, Shehzad Tanweer (left) and Mohammad Sidique Khan (right), are believed to have prayed at a mosque run by the Islamic group submitting the proposals
Revised designs have also been submitted by Cambridge-based architects NRAP since the last graphics produced in 2006.
The group maintains that its main objective is peaceful missionary work.
A spokesman for Anjuman-E-Islahul-Muslimeen of London UK Trust, Tablighi Jamaat’s charitable trust and the site’s owner, has previously said: ‘The door is always open and we are happy to meet and discuss in depth our proposals.’
A Newham Council spokesman said: ‘We can confirm we have received a planning application. As this is currently being processed it would be inappropriate to comment further at this stage.’
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