Finally! Proposals for a gigantic Islamic ‘mosquetrosity’ that was to be located near the Olympic Stadium in East London were tonight refused planning approval amid fierce local opposition from the Muslim community.
UK Telegraph (h/t Sharon H) Planners rejected the “mega-mosque” in West Ham, east London, which would have been three times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral with a capacity for almost 10,000 worshippers. Newham councillors tonight rejected the plans, from Muslim group Tablighi Jamaat, after planning officials recommending permission be refused.
As thousands waited outside the council offices for the result, officials ruled the proposal, first mooted in 2007, was too large, would generate too much traffic and was poor in its planning and design. The Abbey Mills Mosque, also known as the Riverine Centre, would have become the biggest Islamic centre in Britain and one of the largest in western Europe had it been given the green light.
Located in the shadow of the 2012 Olympic Park, in Stratford, it was to include a prayer hall for almost 7,500 men and a separate facility for about 2,000 women.
In comparison, Britain’s largest cathedral, in Liverpool, can hold up to 3,000 worshippers. “Councillors have considered this application at length and with great care before deciding to reject it,” a council spokesman said last night. “There are … concerns about the size of the proposed buildings and impact on parking and traffic in the local area.”
In the lead up to tonight’s vote, there had been fierce local opposition and concern about an expansion of the former industrial land. Opponents had claimed the mosque, about the same size as Battersea Power Station, will become Britain’s first Sharia-controlled zone where up to a third of the local population are said to be of Muslim descent.
Tablighi Jamaat currently uses part of the 17-acre Abbey Mills site to house the London Markaz, also referred to as Masjid-e-Ilyas, as a temporary hub for up to 2,500 people. The Islamic sect, which started in India in the late 1920s, has been accused in the past of radicalising young Muslims.
Daily Star The sect, which has been linked to shoe bomber Richard Reid and 7/7 terrorists Mohammed Siddique Khan and Shehzad Tanweer, owns the Abbey Mills site near the Olympic Park in West Ham. In a YouTube video, extremist cleric Sheikh Haitham al-Haddad urged Muslims to come together to support what should be a “big Islamic symbol in the heart of London.”