London managed to kill plans to build a monster mosque that would have loomed ominously over the Olympic Stadium. But a Radical Wahabi Islamic group, funded by the Saudis, will this week relaunch its bid to build a high-capacity mega-mosque next to the Olympic site. The Tablighi Jamaat group, a radical Islamic movement, whose stated goal is to bring the UK under Islamic law, wants to build London’s largest hotbed of Islamic fundamentalism.
Evening Standard 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 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. 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.”
Dr Jenny Taylor, who runs charity Lapido Media which aims to create better understanding of religious affairs, said it was important for those opposed to the Tablighi Jamaat to understand its structure rather than simply brand it as a terrorist recruiting organisation.
She is behind the launch of a new series of books – Handy Books on Religion in World Affairs – the first of which tackles the complexities of the global missionary movement thought to be a key influence on Muslim terrorists targeting Britain. “To have harboured terrorists doesn’t guarantee that the Tablighi Jamaat mosque will be hotbed of terrorism, but it certainly suggests it will.
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, said: “The door is always open and we are happy to meet and discuss in depth our proposals.” (Oh, really? Watch video below)