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UK: Tablighi Jamaat’s ‘Mega-Mosque’ Proposal Rejected By Council

Since Tablighi Jamaat moved to the Abbey Mills site in 1996, it has become embroiled in a series of application and enforcement disputes with Newham Council.

Image: SKY News website

Ahmadiyya Times | News Watch |
Source/Credit: Sky News | UK
By SKY News / Additions by Ahmadiyya Times | December 6, 2012

Standing in the shadow of the Olympic Park, it would have included a prayer hall for 7,440 men and a facility for 2,000 women.

A proposal to build one of the UK’s biggest mosques with a capacity for almost 10,000 worshippers has been rejected by planning chiefs in east London.

Just over six hectares in size, they said the proposed mosque building was “too big” and would have an impact on important historic buildings nearby.

Abbey Mills Mosque – also known as the Riverine Centre – would have become one of the biggest Islamic centres in Britain and western Europe.

According to reports, the new mosque would have taken up three times the floor space of St Paul’s Cathedral and matched the biggest Islamic building in Britain – Baitul Futuh in Morden, south London – for size.

The Tablighi Jamaat group, a missionary Islamic sect, was denied permission to erect the mosque by members of Newham Borough Council at a planning meeting on Wednesday night.

It was seeking the green light to build a new mosque, a library and a 2,000-capacity dining hall at the southern end of Canning Road in West Ham, Stratford, near to the Olympic Park.

Councillor Conor McAuley, the local authority’s executive member for regeneration and strategic planning, said the committee had considered the application “at length and with great care” before rejecting it.

He said the development of new homes and jobs was a priority on the Abbey Mills site, and there were also “concerns” about the size of the proposed buildings and impact on parking and traffic in the area.

“The council undertook a rigorous and extensive consultation about the proposals in the run-up to this decision,” said Mr McAuley.

“Our planning policies promote the development of the Abbey Mills site for a mix of residential, employment and community uses, to help create a new local centre near West Ham station and regenerate the area. The creation of new homes and jobs are a priority for Newham Council.

“It is not considered that this application is consistent with these policies. There are also concerns about the size of the proposed buildings and impact on parking and traffic in the local area.”

He added: “The applicant’s view that the site should only be used as a mosque was discussed at a public inquiry last year relating to the council’s planning policy (the Core Strategy). The inspector did not accept their case.”

Since Tablighi Jamaat moved to the Abbey Mills site in 1996, it has become embroiled in a series of application and enforcement disputes with Newham Council.

The group, which traces its origins to India in the late 1920s, has been accused in the past of radicalising young Muslims.

Tablighi Jamaat itself has said it “refrains from political or controversial activities and stands for democracy and freedom” and that it “promotes social and religious integration”.

Ahmadiyya Times Note: After the May 2010 terrorists attacks on two Ahmadiyya Mosques in Lahore Pakistan, the investigations revealed possible connection of the the attacking suicide-bombers with the Tabligh Jamaat headquarters in the nearby town of Raiwind. The police had disclosed, according to media reports at that time,  that the attackers were provided logging facilities at the Raiwind guest houses. [See here, here and here.]

For better perspective on Tabligh Jamaat’s possible links to terrorism, the following is asserted from results of a research about Tabligh Jamaat from notable sources on the Internet.

The Following is taken from Wikipedia:

Allegations of terrorism

Although Tabligh Jamaat has claimed a pacific stance since its inception, after the 9/11 attacks in the USA, concerns have risen about its role as a springboard to terrorist organizations. It was cited on the cases of John Walker Lindh,[46] and dozens of the captives the USA holds in extrajudicial detention in its Guantanamo Bay detention camps, in Cuba, had their continued detention justified in part through their alleged association with the Tabligh Jamaat.

Other sources:

After the 2008 terror suspects sweep in Barcelona. Spain, an intelligence write-up by Stratfor entitled “Tablighi Jamaat: An Indirect Line to Terrorism” reported: “A Muslim leader in Barcelona was quoted in some media reports as saying the 14 suspects — 12 Pakistanis, an Indian and a Bangladeshi — were members of a “Pakistani-based group called Tablighi Jamaat.”

The Stratfor article further stated:

The Tablighi Jamaat (TJ) name has come up before in connection with terrorism plots, including the October 2002 Portland Seven and the September 2002 Lackawanna Six cases in the United States, as well as the August 2006 plot to bomb airliners en route from London to the United States, the July 7, 2005, London Underground bombings and the July 2007 attempted bombings in London and Glasgow, Scotland.

Read original post here: UK: Tabligi Jama’at’s ‘Mega-Mosque’ Proposal Rejected By Council

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