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MEGA MOSQUE FOR 10,000 (4/11/12)

By James Murray in the Express

PLANS for a super mosque close to the Olympic stadium reveal that it could hold almost 10,000 people.
Architects’ drawings show that the vast mosque will be about the same size as Battersea Power Station.

By comparison, Britain’s largest cathedral, in Liverpool, can hold 3,000 worshippers.

Newham Council in east London is due to decide whether it will grant planning permission for the structure next month.

Former councillor Alan Craig has launched a campaign to stop the project. He has produced 100,000 leaflets, which were being distributed throughout the borough yesterday. Mr Craig said: “The mega-mosque is proposed and planned by a particularly disturbing Islamic sect called Tablighi Jamaat.”

He said that Tablighi Jamaat had been promoting itself as open and socially integrated. However, progressive Muslims who support the campaign against the mosque view its beliefs as “narrow and divisive”. He said: “In my view we would be mad, barking mad, if we let the project go ahead.”

Efforts by the Sunday Express to seek the views of those behind the project, known as the Riverine Centre, were unsuccessful.

The architects responsible for the plans are quoted as saying: “The ambition is to create an exceptional piece of architecture of national significance.

“A building that provides a destination not only for the Islamic community, but for the whole of Newham and beyond.”

A website set up to promote the mega-mosque says: “The community acquired this site in November 1996.

“In the first week, over 1,000 worshippers attended. The centre now attracts 2,500 worshippers on a weekly basis . The community has grown and now requires the redevelopment of its centre to cater for its requirements.”

First appeared in the express Nov 4th 2012

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