‘Don’t bother with the MPs, they will only refer you back to the council’.
Some articles go in great detail on describing the planning permission applications, the hearings and how to effectively present an Anti-Mosque case.
The local paper, Worcester News thinks that the Mosque organizers may have considered the anti-mosque campaign to be racist in nature.
When I read further, I read a disgruntled local woman resenting the fact that she has been branded a racist for only speaking her mind.
What were the remarks Dr. Muhammad Ashraf which may have insinuated racist motivations behind this organized campaign? A campaign supported by the local councilors, but mostly by UKIP's Stuart Henley.
Dr. Ashraf had only said that the locals misunderstood the religion of Islam and that may have caused their opposition to the Mosque.
If anything, Dr. Ashraf suggested that Islamophobia is a fuelling the campaign, not racism.
One of the petitions signed by dozens of residents states
‘Local residents will be very unhappy to be overlooked by the minarets’ and ‘the logical progression might be loudspeakers for calls to prayer…five times a day’
Having seen the proposed maps of the changes, it appears that both the dome and the minaret were only symbolic to identify the building as a mosque. No Muezzin was to go up the minaret five times a day for call to prayers, neither was there any plans to use loudspeakers on them.
Obviously the objectors had imagined their neighborhood turning into down-town Istanbul within days of the minarets going up.
Almost every petition against the Mosque stated that the change will not be in keeping with the local area.
‘It will be totally out of character for this part of Halesowen North’. Writes Councillor Hillary Bills.
‘Despite being progressive, are we to disregard our heritage for a welcome?’ Asks one gentleman
But, why can’t you accept a Mosque as a new addition to your heritage? There are Mosques in this country which can truly be called heritage buildings. Fazl Mosque in Southfields or Shah Jehan Mosque in Woking are two such examples.
‘Where would worshipers park?
Is there any on site parking?
How many will attend?
And at what times of the day?’