Mosque proposals

PUBLISHED: 10:57 26 November 2009 | UPDATED: 14:41 06 May 2010

SIR –To paraphrase the anonymous letter writer from the Herts Advertiser of November 5, there should be far more concern about their views on Islam than the proposed London Colney mosque. To claim we are facing Islamisation on a grand scale would be h

SIR -To paraphrase the anonymous letter writer from the Herts Advertiser of November 5, "there should be far more concern" about their views on Islam than the proposed London Colney mosque.

To claim we are facing "Islamisation on a grand scale" would be hilarious if it were not part of the current culture of fear and hatred of Muslims in this country. If you are going to claim such views then show us the evidence, to claim such assertions without any basis in fact is the very same strategy Nick Griffin uses.

The writer claims this country has been Muslim free for 1,400 years, what does this mean? Muhammad (PBUH) was born in 570 AD and the first Muslim settled in the UK in 1641, so do the maths! The first Mosque opened in Cardiff in 1860, so to say "in the space of 30 years" shows the writer to be wholly ignorant of the facts and reality.

To then state that because other countries have religious strife is justification for not building any more mosques must be met with Archbishop Dr John Sentamu's famous quote: "Don't point a finger at anyone because you'll find three fingers pointing back at you."

Lastly why was the writer anonymous? Was it because the writer believes their own lies about Islam and is holed up in a bunker or is it because they are a member of the BNP and spread lies and hatred in this thoroughly underhand way? So come on tell us who you are and respond to my letter if you dare.

TONY HARRIS

Harpenden Road, St Albans

SIR - How about this for a novel idea? Let's reject the application for a mosque purely on planning grounds - the applicant has not provided anywhere near the detail in the application as is required, including times of use, vehicle data, highways plan, etc.

They have quoted 50 or so people to use the facility but have pledges from 100 families and require a further 200 families to pledge funds - £530,000 to buy it and £150,000 to convert it probably.

We assume they might like to use their investment. Doesn't sound like a small project to me.

LEN RODELL

Lowbell Lane, London Colney

SIR - I wish to put the record straight with respect to the planning application for the proposed additional mosque in London Colney.

There have been numerous letters printed recently providing various perspectives of history over the past 1,400 years. Many thanks for the lessons but I really fail to see the significance this has in relation to this planning application.

As a local resident and someone who will be directly affected by the proposed mosque I object to the planning application.

The scale of the proposed development is wholly inappropriate for the location. But my objection and that of other local residents should not be mistaken as an objection to an individual's right to worship.

Cultural, religious or ethnic concerns that certain individuals may have cannot be entertained within the planning process and the application must be decided on planning terms.

Mary Brosnan reported the main issues in her article "Traffic fears over new mosque plans" in the October 29 edition of the Herts Advertiser. These centred on the traffic and parking issues that such a development would obviously generate and the impact this would have on the local community and environment. These, added to noise and pollution are the main causes of concern.

London Colney has a strong Bangladeshi community who worship in the existing mosque in the centre of London Colney. This proposed additional mosque will serve the 40 to 50 strong congregation that currently use the Parish Council Meeting Rooms in White Horse Lane, of which a significant minority already travel from outside the local area. The size of Cemex House indicates that this site will attract significantly more worshippers from outside the local area and no-one has challenged the applicant over the potential and future usage of the site.

The roads around the site are already congested. The additional traffic and parking congestion that this site would cause would overwhelm the village.

It has not been widely publicised but this proposal will also create a youth centre and Koranic school. Cemex House was completely flooded in 2000. Would you be happy sending your child to a school located in an area that is known to flood? I wouldn't.

BRAD CRUICKSHANK

Colne Gardens, London Colney

SIR - The letter from Patricia Maziane (Herts Advertiser, November 12) was very informative but not quite complete.

It should be remembered the slave trade was carried out by white traders from the coast to overseas destination in vile, evil, sickening conditions totally wrong in all aspects.

It was however ended by a small band of Christians who fought for years to get it stopped.

The collections of natives was carried out by Muslim Arab traders and tribal chiefs. White men (of any nation) would not have servived in the interior of Africa for many reasons. Who is to blame? The supplier or traffickers across the sea? To come up to date, how many mosques have been opened in the UK with very little hindrance? Then think of the number of Christians murdered around the world by non-Christians.

How many churches have been burnt to the ground on occasions with the congregations still inside?

How many Muslin states would protect and shelter Christians? How many Islamic states or nations would permit the building of a new church or religious centre in their country? The persecutors in this country were no worse in their day than the oppressors in the Muslim states today. Let us have churches! You can have mosques.

JOHN NAILARD

Westfields, St Albans

SIR - I would like to comment on the letters concerning the building of a mosque in London Colney.

Thankfully, this country has been a haven of religious tolerance. As someone whose ancestors came to this country at the turn of the last century fleeing from religious and economic persecution, I more than most appreciate this.

However, the difference between other waves of immigration and an unfortunately increasingly large number of Muslim immigrants, is that the former wished to become British and to acculturate to the British way of life.

While asking for the freedom to express their own traditions and religious obervances, they did not seek to impose them on the host country and demand that their beliefs and traditions take precedence.

That many people today in Britain fear what is happening is understandable, they are unable to express their own religious beliefs and traditions without being accused of being xenophobic.

Part of living in a democracy is that they should be able to voice those fears freely and they should be allowed to do so without condemnation. As it is famously said, "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend to the death your right to say it".

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