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Do we need really another mosque in East London?

Posted By Arif Ahmed On 2nd August, 2007 @ 4:05 pm In Religion, Organisations, Muslim | Comments Disabled

Two things floated into my inbox a few weeks ago, both of which profoundly disappointed me. First was a “Mosque Management Handbook”, the sort of thing that you would expect a staid management consultancy to produce.

Yup, it looks like after establishing and running British mosques since 1889 we finally need help defining a mosque’s “aims and objectives”, making mosques a “better educational experience”, and guidance on how to deal with a mosque’s “accountability and transparency”.

My second disappointment came from the Evening Standard’s revelation that a petition to block the construction of a futuristic East End mosque had fingerprints [1] of the BNP all over it. Whilst this came as no surprise after their long catalogued anti-Muslim efforts such [2] as harassing South Woodford’s Qurani Murkuz Trust, I did start to think about the bigger picture.

It was in London’s Victoria & Albert Museum that I first saw a model of this postmodernist building replete with shiny, impossible curves. It was summer 2005, and the sheer daring of the architecture challenging the norms of contemporary architectural blandness really struck me. Feeling a little peckish I sauntered off for a sandwich, not considering how the building would look in East London. Little did I think that two years later those splendid contours would haunt me.

Whilst the petition itself may have been manipulated, it is not entirely without justification that over quarter of a million people have decided to take a stand. Although some of the petition’s rhetoric such as “We, the Christian population of this great country England” reeks more of Arthurian fantasy than 21st century East London, a deeper malaise of modern Britain does strain to the surface.

What’s saddening, and more than a little disheartening, is that although many of the signatories may not actually be BNP supporters, they felt that no one else was listening to their concerns. They felt that the only group that they could turn to was the BNP.

Under its current leadership, the BNP is an altogether different beast to its ‘eighties and ‘nineties self. In its current form, the BNP is incredibly swift in reacting to minute shifts in public sentiment. By recognising and playing on these subtle scents they leave mainstream organisations for dust.

The proposed mosque construction really highlights the government’s inability to distinguish the cowboys from the Indians; its gross ineptitude when it comes to identifying the “radical” strands of Islam. It may come as a shock to some that Islam is not a homogenous monolithic entity, but very much like other faiths. It comes in various different “flavours”, some lenient, some strict, some liberal, some conservative.

Our government has decided to back one of the more questionable sects, the [3] Tablighi Jamaat, who have links to several extremist groups. In fact, so lax is our government’s handle on this situation that they have a Tablighi Jamaati, Mockbul Ali, working in the Foreign Office [4] who arranged for Jamaati aristocracy Delwar Hossain Sayeedi to visit London.

[Yes, [5] this paragon of community cohesion]

Without delving into the intricacies of different Islamic schools of thought, promoting such a brand of Islam will have worrying consequences for London. It’s admirable that the government is promoting an “other” religion, but it should not do so at the expense of stifling all other religions within the community.

This patch of London is well served by several other large mosques, catering to the needs of various denominations, ethnicities and preferences. Do we really need another mosque, especially one of such prominent proportions? Has anyone thought about the societal planning implications of this mosque, not just the building planning implications? I don’t have a crystal ball but whatever the outcome, pushing this strand of petro-Islam can’t be good for anyone.

Although I have always been committed to this interesting part of London which has defied Boden, Battersea and bonuses, through its shabby realness, this mosque may throw into question my loyalty. Promoting such a visible reminder on London’s landscape may promote too much of a divide within an already divisive community.

This drama has all the classic signs of Muslims getting their issues mixed up. If the planning application is rejected, it will give Muslims more to fuel their feelings of victimhood, instead of getting them to realise that the BNP are getting smarter.

If the mosque does get built, let’s hope that they get an early copy of their handbook.

—————-
thinkconsult@gmail.com
Arif is director of an IT consultancy. He likes writing and talking, annoyingly sometimes at the same time. He’s Bengali and hates fish.

This is a guest post for PP.


Comments Disabled To "Do we need really another mosque in East London?"

#1 Comment By Kismet Hardy On 2nd August, 2007 @ 4:16 pm

The problem is that mosques are very cliquey things and people outside the faith feel alienated by it. The residents in east London already have to endure street signs in Bengali, strange polish artists haircuts smoking french cigarettes and so on, but I digress.

Mosques need to sex up their image a little bit more. Perhaps have an annual ball, I’m thinking Mosque Balls, where people can cover up their faces to stick to both religious and burlesque trends. And when the police come to check it, the headline could be Moque Raid Ball, which will make me laugh, but I digress again.

And it wouldn’t harm the cause to bring in a designer, I’m thinking lawrence llewelyn-bowen to add some handpainted chinese wallpaper and Gok Wan to put some colour into the attire. It’s all white, white, white. Let’s move onto pastel shades people. It may not be the most glorious summer out there, but that doesn’t mean we can’t bring a little more jazz into east london

And a garden. It should have a garden, although the heaters will attract mosquitoes

#2 Comment By A N other On 2nd August, 2007 @ 4:26 pm

Really I dont think you have any clue… if you are saying that TJ is and extremist organisation……. what hope is there for society?…… Such a lack of understanding on the part of many in the media and people that jump on the bandwagon.

#3 Comment By sid On 2nd August, 2007 @ 4:37 pm

I think the writer means Jamaati Islam, political Islmist carreerists, backers of apolocalyptic Maududism and Quisling genocidal collaborators of the Bangladesh Independence, and not Tablighi Jamaati, who are simply quietists.

#4 Comment By sahil On 2nd August, 2007 @ 5:02 pm

I have to agree with the author. When I heard of the petition i was bemused but frankly I kind of agree(but not with the motivations). In the east end there are so many mosques catering to a variety of strands of Islam and general community centres. This super mosque is redundent. I also wonder who is funding it, and what preaching there will be in this monolith.

PS I also agree with the author about how despairing it is that many non-muslims in the east end feel the need to turn to the BNP because labour, conservatives and Liberals have ignored them. This is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

#5 Comment By Bleh On 2nd August, 2007 @ 5:35 pm

I also agree with the author about how despairing it is that many non-muslims in the east end feel the need to turn to the BNP because labour, conservatives and Liberals have ignored them.

Given I’m ensconced safely here in the leafy green shires, but I can’t imagine any reason whatsoever why anyone even semi-sane would turn to the BNP. I just can’t imagine it. There are *always* alternatives.

But again, I’m not in some urban hellhole…

#6 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 5:53 pm

In the town where I live there are numerous churches many recently built. One roundabout has 4 Churches next to it, which are hardly used. 2 of them are new. Yet no one complains about the building of churches.

This is the usual whipping up. If people have legally purchased land and are building a mosque so what?

I am not sure the writer knows the community well, but yes it does have large mosques but also increasingly large congregations.

Numerous churches are being built without complaint. The Hindu community is now starting to built more temples. Sikh Gurdwara’s are also being built. What’s the problem? People are simply spending money on projects for their communities.

As long as the law isn’t being broken then there shouldn’t be any hysteria.

Simply put this is systematic of a lrager problem namely that ethnics should be seen but not heard.

#7 Comment By Tanvir On 2nd August, 2007 @ 5:59 pm

I think confusing Tablighi Jamaat with Jamaati Islam kind of invalidates the underlying sentiment of the whole article. Its crazy how loosening of association is used to make questionable conclusions acceptable to westerners in this post 9/11 world.

Even if it were the Bangladesh Jamaat-E-Islam , who has actually done a balanced investigation into their work? That (1)one video-clip where Delwar Hussain ferociously said the American soldiers will all get whooped in Iraq and (2) presence of war criminals in Jamat (ignoring the fact there are criminals of the same war in Pakistan and the other political parties in Bangladesh)seems to be the basis of declaring Jamaat terrorists.

#8 Comment By sid On 2nd August, 2007 @ 6:03 pm

Just because you’ve only seen one clip of Sayeedi does not mean there is tons of information, formal, informal, anecdotal, first-person narrative, witnesses to attest members of JI as directly involved out there.

Start [6] here.

#9 Comment By sonia On 2nd August, 2007 @ 6:16 pm

“Mosques need to sex up their image a little bit more.”

heh good one kismet! very funny too. and i like the moque raid ball one as well..

granted mosques don’t care about 50% of their muslim congregation - i.e. the female half, they’re really going to give a toss about what non-muslims (or other muslims - for that matter - who may disagree with whichever head cheerleader) think..

#10 Comment By sid On 2nd August, 2007 @ 6:22 pm

Look on the bright side. By the time my kids are adults, this mosques will be turned into community centres (marriage halls) or a gay nightclub for Asian peeps. Islamists are nothing if not capitalists.

#11 Comment By Jai On 2nd August, 2007 @ 6:57 pm

On a semi-related note, did anyone see Saira Khan’s trip to Pakistan on BBC2 on Tuesday night ? Fascinating stuff. Quite an eye-opener, probably overturned some stereotypes many Brits have (especially these days), not many burkhas & niqabs visible, and Saira herself made some interesting observations about what she perceives to be widening differences between the interpretations of Islam practised by many British Pakistanis and large numbers of their counterparts back in Pakistan.

The show had some really beautiful music used as the backing soundtrack too. I recognised the theme tune from the Hindi film “Bombay” along with the late great Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan. Not sure who the other singers were, but it was definitely my kind of music.

#12 Comment By Arif Ahmed On 2nd August, 2007 @ 7:05 pm

I haven’t confused TJ with JI. It is TJ that I see as a growing problem as the boundary between what TJ stand for and what JI stand begin to blur. The TJ that everyone has in the mind of a nice, stable apolitical organisation is fast becoming a fantasy. To get a better understanding you can start here
[7] http://www.newstatesman.com/200609040026

Natty- I know the areas intimately. You’re right there are large congregations. There is also ethnic and political in-fighting which causes new mosques to spout all the time. Ostensibly the justification for mosque building is due to larger congregations. The reality is that one “sheikh” has fallen out with another. Now his “followers” can’t pray in the same mosque, so they found their own. Is this the spirit of Islam?

The truly awesome mosques have always served their community, regardless of religion. Witness the water foundations and other communal facilities placed on the outskirts of Turkish mosques serving the local community. This East End mosque has already caused so much animosity before it has been granted planning permission. How much grief will it cause when it’s finally built?

#13 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 7:34 pm

Arif - with respect that is what I said, and it happens in every religion that people fall out. However as long as the law is being obeyed then there shouldn’t be a problem.

Yes mosques need to serve the wider community and should open their doors more. But equally the wider community needs to serve religous buildings.

Why is it that Eastern religions have a much tougher time than Western religions?

#14 Comment By Don On 2nd August, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

But equally the wider community needs to serve religous buildings. ???????

#15 Comment By sid On 2nd August, 2007 @ 7:41 pm

The NewStatesman link is broke

#16 Comment By Sunny On 2nd August, 2007 @ 7:57 pm

The NewStatesman link is broke

Got rid of the dot at the end.

Why is it that Eastern religions have a much tougher time than Western religions?

Well, to a certain extent its understandable that people fear what they don’t know. The answer is surely to educate and enlighten them first rather than throwing around accusations of racism (although there is an element of that too of course).

If ‘Eastern religions’ were so enlightened, we wouldn’t have problems with the MCB condemning Ahmadiya mosques, or Sikhs having a fight over different Gurudwaras for different castes.

#17 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 8:28 pm

“Well, to a certain extent its understandable that people fear what they don’t know. The answer is surely to educate and enlighten them first rather than throwing around accusations of racism (although there is an element of that too of course).”
True and that is what is needed. But equally you have to also allow for the fact that many of these people were immigrants and are now begining to get settled, speak English etc. so only now are they in a position to reach out. So allowances have to be made but yes you are correct they do need to educate and elighten people.

“If ‘Eastern religions’ were so enlightened, we wouldn’t have problems with the MCB condemning Ahmadiya mosques, or Sikhs having a fight over different Gurudwaras for different castes.”
Actions of people which cannot be blamed on the faiths. In many towns religions co-operate very well.

“But equally the wider community needs to serve religous buildings. ???????”
By allowing building where legal instead of whipping up hysteria. Should the building of a mosque involve polls in the Evening Standard and Downing Street and accusations against the Mayor of London. Slightly over the top. For community integration every building project by immigrant communities should be used as tool to say they are taking away our culture!

That is how communities serve the religious buildings by avoiding hysteria.

#18 Comment By Arif Ahmed On 2nd August, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

Natty- hope you didn’t feel like I was taking your points out of turn. Point taken about behaviour within the bounds of law.

You’re right in that the Evening Standard should not be deciding the fate of communities, but they should be highlighting issues that affect us all. The V&A exhibition gave the impression that this mosque going to be built (i.e. it already had planning permission). Last year there was a stink about how the site was being used as an ad hoc mosque, in ahead of the construction work. Surely this is a little concerning?

My issue, if I have one, is us Muslims are missing the point. I grew up in a part of London where the local community lobbied the council to shut down the local mosque. Growing up we used a mixture of local community centres, youth clubs, indoor basketball courts, even churches (!!) for congregation prayers. Did this affect my practicing my religion? Did not having a selection of mosques to choose from affect me? Not at all.

What I fear is that if this mosque is built is that the wider, local community will be alienated against the Muslims. At the same time if the mosque is not built, the Muslims will cry foul and become further isolated from the wider community. In the meantime the BNP is having a field day.

If I had to choose one of the two options above, I’d go for the latter. Not building the mosque will have rectifiable consequences. Building the mosque will potentially have catastrophic consequences.

Promoting a version of Islam backed by Saudi financing is always my worry. This is one of many proponents in producing a generation of British Muslims who are proto-Arabs and have no affinity to Britain. Perhaps I am running the “doomsday scenario”, but I can see the writing on the wall. We, as Muslims, need to police our own community.

#19 Comment By Sunny On 2nd August, 2007 @ 9:14 pm

Actions of people which cannot be blamed on the faiths.

Of course we are talking about the actions of people. I’m not blaming the religions. I’m saying that people need to be educated slowly. I don’t disagree with your central thrust - that it should be allowed within law and what’s the big deal about a mosque. I’m not arguing against it.

The point is that people are setting themselves up for confrontation.

As it is, when someone points out that there are preachers spreading hatred in this country, the MCB calls it “continued demonisation” of Muslims.
[8] http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=235

Then another platform their spokesperson turns up accepting there might be issues.
[9] http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/2007/01/post_938.html

#20 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 10:27 pm

Sunny,

What we all have to remember is that immigrant comunities have only really been here since the 50’s and in that time they have all done well.

I agree with you that some people do set themselves up for confrontation and this must stop. The MCB that you highlight are not exactly liked in their own community. It is a power thing with an organisation trying to establish itself and frankly rank amateurs not really achieving much.

All I am saying is lets not forget the local advances across the country and recognise that in 50 years immigrants have done quite well to bring thier culture and religion to the fore.

I think it is great a Sikh can ride a motorbike without a helmet, a Jew can mark the boundaries for Sabbath, Muslims can build mosques and Hindu’s a big temple in Neasden with a clear direction etc. all showing that within communities people can help each other.

You have mosques, Gurdwaras, Temples, Synagogues and Churches all getting together to help Kashmiri Earthquake victims or Tsunami victims. That is a success story of religion.

As you say education is the key and what is shows is that Temples, Gurdwaras, Mosques, and Synagogues need to throw open their doors to visits. Remove the mystery of what goes on inside. I know I’d love to see inside.

#21 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 10:35 pm

“If I had to choose one of the two options above, I’d go for the latter. Not building the mosque will have rectifiable consequences. Building the mosque will potentially have catastrophic consequences.”
Then the BNP have won and they will continualy campaign against any Mosque, then Gurdwara’s and Temples and then Synagogues. So when will it stop?

I’d say now that not building will simply embolden the BNP even more.

“Promoting a version of Islam backed by Saudi financing is always my worry. This is one of many proponents in producing a generation of British Muslims who are proto-Arabs and have no affinity to Britain. Perhaps I am running the “doomsday scenario”, but I can see the writing on the wall. We, as Muslims, need to police our own community.”
This is a big myth. The Saudi’s are simply being targeted because of the media. Soon a new bogeyman such as Iran or Syria will appear and then Saudi will be a ally! The Middle East itself is going through changes.

Look immigrant comunities are always more conservative than their own homelands or areas. They hold on to values.

Muslims in Britian are likely to be more conservative than those in Pakistan, India and Bangladesh. Same for Hindus, Sikhs, Jews etc.

The minority communities need to do more to help each other. They need to work together for the greater good.

Why shouldn’t an Imam talk to a Rabbi, why shouldn’t a Temple Priest talk to a Vicar. Communities need to reach out and share what is best about them.

#22 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 10:38 pm

“If ‘Eastern religions’ were so enlightened, we wouldn’t have problems with the MCB condemning Ahmadiya mosques, or Sikhs having a fight over different Gurudwaras for different castes.”
Also let us not forget that the Catholic Church is the only true church. So infighting also occurs within religous communities that are well established.

The Ultra-Orthodox regard the Reform with suspicion.

Although fights are unsavoury we should also recognise that this isn’t an eastern phenominam (sp?)

Roman Catholics and Protestants fight about everything!

Asian just do it more publicly!!!

#23 Comment By Arif Ahmed On 2nd August, 2007 @ 10:44 pm

Natty, I really must stop commenting on my own article, but…

Saudi financing is not a myth. It has been a sustained effort over many decades. Petro-Islam is one of the biggest issues facing Islam. Iran and Syria, when they become the new bogeymen, will be for entirely different reasons. The media may blur the issues, but they are simply not the same thing.

I love your suggestion about an imam talking to a rabbi; a priest to a vicar and so on. The spirit of religion has been lost somewhere along the way.

#24 Comment By David Boothroyd On 2nd August, 2007 @ 10:53 pm

I work with the company engaged by the Mosque trustees to manage their community consultation and I can assure you there is no foreign funding for this Mosque.

There is no design for the mosque as yet. Allies and Morrison have only recently been appointed as architects.

#25 Comment By discom On 2nd August, 2007 @ 11:09 pm

Similar problem in Germany: how do you keep alert about islamism and racist sentiments apart? In any way, defending your own religion will be the worst approach conceivable.

#26 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 11:18 pm

“Saudi financing is not a myth. It has been a sustained effort over many decades. Petro-Islam is one of the biggest issues facing Islam.”
The financing isn’t a myth but the portrayal of the effects of this are a myth. The simple fact if you talk to young people is that they are not convinced by the superstition in their religion that comes from the Indian Subcontinent. This applies equally to Islam, Hindu’s and Sikhs. Hence in the case of Muslims thye are drawn more towards the orthodoxy of religion in Arabia than elsewhere.

Many of the examples and mosques people cite are not even fundeded by the Saudi’s but from Pakistan. Many Pakistani Mosques don’t allow women in. Many Pakistani Mosques don’t reach out to the community. So how can that be a Saudi problem?

“I love your suggestion about an imam talking to a rabbi; a priest to a vicar and so on. The spirit of religion has been lost somewhere along the way.”
This is the big tragedy that the leaders of religions barely talk to each other. It is starting to change but not quickly enough. The Abrahamic faiths are talking more and more which is a good sign.

#27 Comment By Natty On 2nd August, 2007 @ 11:21 pm

Germany is an example of a country which has no real integration and hence you have the problems they have.

Germany needs to look at itself and the cultural and religous identity of its immigrant community.

Has Germany truely learnt the lessons of Nazism? I don’t think so.

#28 Comment By Sunny On 2nd August, 2007 @ 11:57 pm

This is the big tragedy that the leaders of religions barely talk to each other.

Well, yes, I have pointed this out loads of times.

Incidentally, its not just others who are suspicious of Mosque funding. MCB people have made statements declaring that Hindu temples in the UK are funded by the RSS from India, which is rubbish. So this sort of paranoia is on all sides, not just one.

#29 Comment By Natty On 3rd August, 2007 @ 2:45 am

“Incidentally, its not just others who are suspicious of Mosque funding. MCB people have made statements declaring that Hindu temples in the UK are funded by the RSS from India, which is rubbish. So this sort of paranoia is on all sides, not just one.”

All the more reason that the grassroots need to start talking to each other and get away from these powermad morons on both sides.

Otherwise the only thing that happens is finger pointing.

In workplaces, University etc. Muslims, Sikh and Hindu get along well so the basis is there at the grassroots. It just needs to filter up and it won’t filter down.

If this doesn’t start now then the long term hopes for the communities are slim.

It is going to take grassroots efforts to shake the leaderships into shape and get them working for the common good and not self interest which only serves the right wing elements.

#30 Comment By Matt On 3rd August, 2007 @ 6:52 am

>David
>I work with the company engaged by the Mosque trustees to manage their community consultation and I can assure you there is no foreign funding for this Mosque.

David - I think that “is no foreign funding” will change into “will be foreign funding”. This is a multi-tens of millions development.

Can you confirm who paid to buy the site?

London is not a city of mega-religious buildings. Bear in mind that the largest cathedral in the country can only handle a few thousand people at capacity.

Istm that this project is almost designed to pander to those Islamic elements that value grandiosty over community.

As I understand it, when it all kicked off, there was a 2000 signature petition opposing the development from the local Muslim Community.

On the integration front - a project this large will not cause integration, it will cause ghetto-isation.

I am deeply concerned. This type of setup is just not needed.

#31 Comment By bikhair aka taqiyyah On 3rd August, 2007 @ 7:50 am

Do you guys have a separation between religious institutions and the state in Britian? It doesnt seem like it.

Sonia that isnt fair for you to accuse Mosques of not caring about their female congregation. I dont imagine that many of these mosques have huge female participants to begin with. In some parts of the Muslim world, there arent too many women that go to the mosque.

#32 Comment By Natty On 3rd August, 2007 @ 8:09 am

bikhair - the females not going to mosques is a Pakistani thing. Across North Africa, Arabia and SE Asia it is very common for women to go to mosques.

I know the mosque in Regents Park and also the one in Whitechapel have large women’s sections.

Also the UK doesn’t have seperation of Church and State but in reality it is seperated more so than in the USA.

#33 Comment By Rumbold On 3rd August, 2007 @ 9:42 am

Bikhair:

We do not have a seperation between the Church of England and the state. Every other religion is seperate (more or less). I also think that Sonia is right about women not being allowed into mosques. A number probably do not want to go but I am sure that there are many more who want to go but who are prevented.

#34 Comment By Azad On 3rd August, 2007 @ 11:20 am

Arif, I have to say am quite disappointed in your views and analysis; I am very critical of Tablighi Jamaat but I also recognise that their are good things about it (albeit probably more bad things to counter those good things); I wonder what experience of TJ you have, have you spent time in a TJ gathering, 3 days or more, or even at Dewsbury? The reason I say this is that I met some of the most impressive personalities during my experiences there, although I clearly wouldn’t agree with them on everything.

Your article seems to suggest that TJ is a vehicle for extremism, which it isn’t ; it’s mantra is ‘improvement of deen (faith)’ and it shuns publicity precisely for the fear of being tarred very bluntly and pejoratively - of course there would be individuals within TJ who are extremist, that’s not unusual given that TJ is the largest organised group of Muslims in the world and so some adherents, statistically speaking, would be on the extreme end of the spectrum; (btw, it also has the largest mosque in Europe I believe (in Dewsbury), with 10,000 capacity (very ugly and functional )). How is TJ a strand of ‘petro-Islam’? Why is it ‘questionable’ any more than any other strand of Islam is also subject to doubts about theological authenticity and so on?

There seems to be a complete dearth of supporting facts, evidence or even anecdotal experience here, and full of non sequiturs I am afraid. TJ is not evangelical, and it is not radical unless you think its emphasis on piety and observance of Muslim rituals warrants that description, in which case, all of orthodox Islamic thinking is evangelical and radical; perhaps that is the underlying unarticulated sentiment, that Islam is by its nature radical - if so, it is worth explicitly saying so and we can have a debate addressing that view, not cloaked by ephemeral concerns about societal ‘divisiveness’. What are the ‘worrying consequences’? How would other religions be ’stifled’? What are the ’societal planning implications’? The article warrants some ‘delving deeper’ if you are to come to these conclusions. (It may seem paradoxical, but I am also critical of ‘orthodox’ Islam but wish to confront it directly as opposed to focussing on side issues fronted by pseudo-sociological concern).

Also I don’t see how Muslims are getting there issues mixed up: it is ridiculous to suggest that the urge to have a mosque is to expolit the sensitivities that non-muslims may have about entrenching perceptions of Muslim ‘victimhood’. Yes, the inability to build a mosque may encourage this perception, but how is that the fault of Muslims? And why should Muslims feel the urge to fight on the BNP battlefield when they haven’t initiated any sort of battle (unless you think asking for permission for a mosque is asking for a battle).

Anyway it would be great to have a beautifully domed mosque in london. The ethnic mix and cultural technicolour of London is irreversible, so there ought to be no fear in being open and celebratory about it instead of retreating into defensive apologia. Muslims should not be part of the ‘other’ anymore in the UK, they ought to be part of the mainstream cultural narrative and there ought to be a promotion from the appreciation of Muslim architecture elsewhere on the nearby tourist trail (e.g. Istanbul, Andalucia) to truly welcoming Islamic architecture on these shores.

#35 Comment By Roger On 3rd August, 2007 @ 11:51 am

” In some parts of the Muslim world, there arent too many women that go to the mosque.”
Is that because they don’t want to or because they aren’t allowed to, Bikhair? Actually, i thought it was muslim belief that it was impossible to have too many people going to a mosque.

It’s tempting to think if the BNP don’t want it we’re for it, but it’s a temptation we should resist.
One problem which doesn’t seem to have been looked at is the logistics: how are worshippers going to get there for example? They’re likely to need a lot of car parking space or arrangements with TfL if everyone is going to turn up at about the same time.

#36 Comment By David Boothroyd On 3rd August, 2007 @ 12:05 pm

Matt, I can’t stop you thinking what you like about the project, but the fact is there is no need for foreign funding. The site itself was bought in 1996 using resources within Tablighi Jamaat. As a contaminated former chemical works site in a derelict area with no planning permission, the land costs were not excessive (the Olympics not being in prospect).

The petition you refer to is several years old and I understand the people who organised it now do not object to the project.

You may wish to go to [10] http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com for more information on what is actually proposed. I would caution everyone that media reports on this project are not invariably accurate.

#37 Comment By Rose On 3rd August, 2007 @ 12:24 pm

There is a precedent…

“The temple built in honour of Claudius was another cause of discontent. In the eye of the Britons it seemed the citadel of eternal slavery. The priests, appointed to officiate at the altars, with a pretended zeal for religion, devoured the whole substance of the country.”

We’d have been pretty cross about TJ too
(from their website):

“Daily Taalim (which means teaching and learning) is recommended to be done at home so that women and children can benefit from what the men have learnt. However there is separate Jamaat for women called a Masturat Jamat. Unlike the men, the women stay outside the mosque in the house of a well known tablighi worker following full sharia’h rules with pardah. During this period they learn from and teach the women of that locality who may come to join them.”

#38 Comment By RebelYell On 3rd August, 2007 @ 12:28 pm

Sunny, you’ve said:

“we wouldn’t have problems with the MCB condemning Ahmadiya mosques”

and

“MCB people have made statements declaring that Hindu temples in the UK are funded by the RSS from India”

Can we have some establshed fact on all of these please? And quoting from a BNP-sponsored site is not nessecarily fact.

Thanks

#39 Comment By DishDash On 3rd August, 2007 @ 12:40 pm

Ah, that old Delowar Hussain Sayedee chesnut. Those nice secular Bengalees who brought allegations about him are also responsible for a whole lot worse in Bingoland:

[11] http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2007/01/awami-league-in-cynical-pact-with.html

and

[12] http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2006/12/dynamiting-democracy-in-bangladesh.html

#40 Comment By Sunny On 3rd August, 2007 @ 1:16 pm

RebelYell:

[13] http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=52

[14] On funding of Hindu temples

#41 Comment By RebelYell On 3rd August, 2007 @ 1:28 pm

OK, good. We’re having facts now. On the Ahmadi thing, do tell me where the condemnation is.

“So, whilst we fully accept the right of Ahmadis to their own religion, it is clearly misleading to describe them as Muslims. They are not. ”

They’re simply expressing an orthodox Islamic viewpoint that says the criteria for a Muslim is simply one who believes in God and the finality of the Prophet Muhammad. Can you find me one of your cuddly Islamic friends who disagrees with this definition of a Muslim (Using, of course, the standard Islamic references)?

As for MCB people saying stuff about Hindu temples, silly MCB people. But I note that you haven’t actually pointed to established MCB policy or pronuncements?

#42 Comment By Derius On 3rd August, 2007 @ 1:33 pm

“The Saudi’s are simply being targeted because of the media.”

Is that so, Natty. Then maybe you would care to comment on how exactly religious pluralism is coming along in Saudi Arabia these days. Last time I checked, you could be put in prison for owning a bible.

You then decide to criticise Germany instead for its religious identity. Are you suggesting that religious pluralism is actually worse in Germany than in Saudi Arabia?

Your deflection away from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan is also misleading. I am sure you are perfectly aware that Saudi “Wahhabi” Islam is taught in many madrassahs in Pakistan.

See here:

[15] http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,2763,1529794,00.html

It is hardly surprising that you see nothing wrong with Saudi funding for mosques in this country, when you seem to see nothing wrong with Saudi Arabia itself.

#43 Comment By Sunny On 3rd August, 2007 @ 2:00 pm

Can you find me one of your cuddly Islamic friends who disagrees with this definition of a Muslim (Using, of course, the standard Islamic references)?

Oh I have plenty of cuddly Muslim friends who disagree with the way the MCB and their ‘orthodox’ (read: Jamaat) friends see all this. But trying to convince these people is like trying to draw blood out of stone. This being the same MCB that said taking part in a school raffle for charity is akin to gambling.

As for condemning - well who is the MCB to decide who is Muslim and who isn’t? There are plenty of Muslims who think the definition of a Muslim is too limited according to ‘Orthodox thinking’.

There was an article on eteraz.org on this but I can’t go through their archives.

But I note that you haven’t actually pointed to established MCB policy or pronuncements?

Abdurrahman is part of the MCB and that is what he says, clearly. I didn’t say everything has to be based on an official policy pronouncement. Besides, half the time the MCB take off stuff from their website once it becomes embarassing. Like the time Bunglwala criticised Q-NEws magazine after the Panorama expose.

#44 Comment By RebelYell On 3rd August, 2007 @ 2:22 pm

Sunny, prevaracation aside, I’m still keen on getting answers, FACTS.

I’ll repeat, which Islamic authority disagrees with what the MCB said? Let me help you, you mentioned Q-News, do you think they’ll support your point of view? Perhaps you want to call them.

Oh, and you’ve brought fresh allegations:

This being the same MCB that said taking part in a school raffle for charity is akin to gambling.

Really? Where, when?

Besides, half the time the MCB take off stuff from their website once it becomes embarassing.

That’s like saying ‘my mate says that Sunny man is a charlatan but he won’t prove it ‘cos he might get embarrassed’

Proof, fact, evidence.

#45 Comment By Arif Ahmed On 3rd August, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

Azad, thanks for the considered response. Although I agree with the spirit of your arguments, I disagree with your finer details. This I put down to one fundamental difference- you see Tablighi Jamaat as they are, or possibly were. I see them for what they are becoming. If this remains a chasm then we will both be right from our respective positions.

The article is really about Muslims, the BNP and the mosque rather than a critique of TJ. To answer your question, I do have first hand experience of TJ, both at home and abroad, although I haven’t been to the Dewsbury gathering. Although TJ’s ethos might not be evangelical, I’ve lost count how many times they have tried to get me on side. Nothing sinister or ‘radical’ here, of course. Sitting through a lecture, going to a gathering, listening to a sermon, it’s all very civilized. But this small point indicates how they are beginning to move away from their self professed roots.

There certainly are some very impressive TJ people, with an incredible range of experience. So you’re right the TJ does have admirable traits, as do other strands of Islam, and indeed other religions. My point is that this ‘instance’ of TJ is fast fading into something more radical. Those impressive individuals are becoming fewer, and I find myself disagreeing more and more with those who remain. If you consider my comments in this changing light perhaps you might see my reservations. Also you will note that I have called them ‘questionable’, without completely dismissing. My optimism for TJ has waned over the years, but you never know…

TJ, as other Deobandi institutions, has always been close to Wahabism. It is through this association that they share more than just Hanbali roots, they also share a common Saudi cheque book. This is what I find worrying. For what it’s worth, TJ did not used to have the same level of puritanicalism, although this has started to change in recent years.

The societal planning implications that I alluded to are about the dynamics of East London. I don’t know how well you know the area, but there are strong tensions. What used to be tightly knit community a few years ago is becoming a ‘village of villages’. By allowing such a prominent display of Islam, especially one that is hotly contested, to be built will divide that community. Was anyone thought about the impact that it will have the rest of the area? Will it become more ghettoized? Will it improve? Will it stay the same? I don’t know, but someone should think about this holistically.

The urge to build the mosque is not about non-Muslim sensitivities about Muslim ‘victimhood’. If the mosque doesn’t get built, then Muslim victimhood will be confirmed. Whether we like it or not the BNP are an issue to deal with now. They are still thinking that this is all about building or not building a mosque. The problem is a far bigger one now concerning the whole community. This is why I think that there is confusion.

Your points about orthodox Islam, rituals, evangelicalism and radicalism are interesting, but outside my original intentions. However as this is possibly a tangential issue worth exploring perhaps we could discuss offline, or maybe have another article, as I too am critical about areas of Islam.

I’d like to close with something that might be interesting- TJ have engaged the services of a PR consultancy. Again nothing sinister, but what is happening to the world when religious organisations need lobbying?

#46 Comment By Sunny On 3rd August, 2007 @ 3:14 pm

RebelYell,

I didn’t say Q-News would give me a different answer on Ahmaddiyas.

As for the missing documents, see this story. See the link marked ‘response’
[16] http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/1083

Really? Where, when?

[17] http://dalnunstrong.blogspot.com/2007/02/mcb-guidance-for-schools-mustnt-censor.html

And see the report published which is mentioned in that.

I can back it all up, you just need to spend a bit of time digging :)

#47 Comment By David Boothroyd On 4th August, 2007 @ 12:24 am

Arif, I happen to work for said public affairs company. We were hired because we specialise in community consultation on planning applications, and at its heart this is just a big planning application. By the time we started work, the project had already got an awful lot of publicity and campaigns against it had started, many based on misunderstandings.

#48 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 12:26 pm

“Your deflection away from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan is also misleading. I am sure you are perfectly aware that Saudi “Wahhabi” Islam is taught in many madrassahs in Pakistan.”

Clearly just reading the media and spouting about Wahabi Islam is nonsense. Do you actually know what Wahabi is? It is a dereogatory term.

“Wahabi” Islam that you refer to is to do with the worship of One God alone. So the Arabs do not partake in the types of events taht the Sufi’s do. They do not beleive in Saints or people that have hidden messages.

In fact this thinking is Orthodox Islam. The concept of the supremacy of God.

The media whip this up. In fact looking at history it is the Egyptians who taught a fundementalist and revolusionist form of Islam and many found snactuary on Arabia for their ideas. For example Yusuf Al-Qardawhi. The ideas for this type of Islam actually eminate from Egypt and no Arabia so how can they be linked with “Wahabi” when it is Egyptian ideology?

Also for your information the 9/11 hijackers before you bring that up were influenced by Egyptian thinking. Many of the Saudi Scholars condemn the actions of these people.

As to Germany your linkage is strange as I was referring to the racism and how Germany still hasn’t learnt it’s lessons. If German identity is so fragile that building a mosque threatens it!

#49 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 12:31 pm

Sunny,

The MCB and some of the Hindu Forums are in a battle for the eye of the Government. Whilst critcising one side we should also recognise that the other is hardly friendly.

Lobby groups hurl accusations all the time. Tis is why lobby groups are a bad idea and allowing charities to lobby politicians is simply the death of listening to people.

The USA is in this state precisely because of lobby groups and the corruption of lobby groups.

Take the Jewish Lobby for example. Very powerful and yet whilst it’s people believe in a two state solution, the groups themselves don’t advocate this.

The MCB may not be great but it is simply systematic of a greater lobbying problem. Lobby groups be it MCB, Hindu Council, Board of Deputies etc. lobby on a narrow scale and without attention to the needs of grassroots. This needs change across the board.

#50 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 12:52 pm

Feeling a little peckish I sauntered off for a sandwich, not considering how the building would look in East London.

There are plenty valid reasons for the planning application to be turned down - amongst them the fact that the transport system in that part of London is just not up to it.

20K Hammers fans pouring into the area is enough to bring the whole area to a standstill. The mosque is intended to accommodate 70K.

#51 Comment By David Boothroyd On 4th August, 2007 @ 1:12 pm

Chris Stiles, no it isn’t. The maximum capacity will be 12,000 and that’s only on exceptional holy days. Please don’t fall for this myth - read the facts at [18] http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com.

#52 Comment By Arif On 4th August, 2007 @ 1:34 pm

I think this is a great opportunity for engaging with the mosque spokespeople, who appear to be presenting the mosque as one which will be open to the wider community.

While this will ring alarm bells with evangelicals of other religions, who can see that getting non-Mulsims in will be step towards seduction into another faith, secularists and those of us who aren’t afraid of religious dialogues should be engaging to join in the planning of the mosque to ensure that the supposed open ideals become a reality. At this point, while the mosque still needs to prove its worthiness, its the right time to set out reasonable conditions in line with its avowed vision.

The mosque isn’t unprecedented as far as I am concerned. The Ahmadiyya Mosque in Morden holds 10,000 people. The BNP ran a scare campaign against it which got residents scared about parking and being swamped. But it is there, it holds events to invite all parts of the community, including non-Ahmadi Muslims who - whatever their views about the sect/religion - can also respond well when they feel respected rather than threatened.

Are TJ likely to be respectful or threatening? As individuals there will be the wide range from humility to self-righteousness that you find anywhere. The specific ethic of those running the institution might still depend a bit on how they feel treated (as friends or foes) by those of us around them. My own view is that the TJ emphasis on personal piety means it is more likely to promote humility as long as the politics of fear doesn’t corrupt it. I’m sure there are hidden depths of politics and funding which I know nothing about, but as people we all want some level of acceptance and understanding before we can let down our guard and let go of our fears. It is TJ people who will have to fight pressures of corruption - just as well have to do in all the institutions we are part of.

#53 Comment By Arif On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:28 pm

PS. Arif is not the same person as Arif Ahmed, in case there is any confusion!

#54 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:47 pm

Look this is ludicrous how the media is whipping up hysteria and people are falling for it.

Could someone please explain why big religous establishments for Eastern religions generate such phobia?

The Temple in Neasden is another example of a big religious building and it seems to be ok.

The mosque in East London and Regents Park are well respected by the community.

The Synagogues in North London are part and parcel of the landscape.

What is the big deal if the mosque holds 12,000 worshipers. No one batted an eye lid when the land was purchased and it was of no significant value. Now the Olympics are arriving and suddenly this is big news. Is this the famed tolerance of London!

Noone is stopping Christians buyign land and buidling a big catheral in London are they. So to whip up mass hysteria for no viable reason is hardly helping the community.

#55 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:54 pm

David -

Chris Stiles, no it isn’t. The maximum capacity will be 12,000 and that’s only on exceptional holy days.

The figure of 12,000 refers to the capacity of the mosque, not that of the entire complex(correcting myself above) which would hold the larger figures being quoted.

And they are only providing several hundred parking spaces.

#56 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:55 pm

“There are plenty valid reasons for the planning application to be turned down - amongst them the fact that the transport system in that part of London is just not up to it.”

In case you forget the transport system is being upgraded to accomodate the Olympics so that isn’t a valid reason.

If the transport system cannot cope with Hammers fans or Mosque worshippers kindly explain how it is going to cope with massive Olympic facilities and the associated fans, competitors, journalists and locals?

Should the Olympics them be moved from that area of London? Sorry but you can’t have it both ways in that the transport system can cope with the Olympics but can’t cope with mosque worshippers.

More hysteria which isn’t being backed up by reality and facts on the ground. Such a development would take at least two years to build by which time the transportation will be in place.

With the way things are going if the mosque is turned down it will now embolden the BNP and the Right Wing Press against any other religous establishment apart from Judeo-Christian ones. Whcih is truely sad.

People need to realise this now instead of going along with the BNP.

A planning application shouldn’t be stopped by hysteria. It needs to be judged on it’s own merits.

When the land was sold all those years ago they knew what it was for and that didn’t stop the sale.

#57 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:57 pm

“The figure of 12,000 refers to the capacity of the mosque, not that of the entire complex(correcting myself above) which would hold the larger figures being quoted.”

So how do you know what the entire area holds? Where are the studies?

Look at the plans the area is planned to have a garden and conference facilities. So where will the 70,000 go in the road cause they were never catered for.

It is hysteria by a rabid press.

The plans are quite clear, anything else is just salacious gossip.

#58 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 2:59 pm

Should the Olympics them be moved from that area of London?

In my opinion, yes. Though, in any case the Olympics only last two weeks and aren’t permanent - I fully expect those two weeks to be a complete nightmare.

Sorry but you can’t have it both ways in that the transport system can cope with the Olympics but can’t cope with mosque worshippers.

I’m not having it both ways, and afaict the only person in this thread being hysterical is you.

#59 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:00 pm

So how do you know what the entire area holds?

The figures variously quoted by Mangera Yvars and Allies and Morrisons in their press releases.

#60 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:15 pm

Ok if the site was to build a Cathedral would you approve?

#61 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:16 pm

“The figures variously quoted by Mangera Yvars and Allies and Morrisons in their press releases.”

So how are their numbers deemed to be more reliable than the architects who are renowned for their work.

#62 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:17 pm

Ok if the site was to build a Cathedral would you approve?

No.

#63 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:19 pm

“The figures variously quoted by Mangera Yvars and Allies and Morrisons in their press releases.”

So how are their numbers deemed to be more reliable than the architects who are renowned for their work.

They are the two firms of architects who have variously worked on this project.

#64 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:20 pm

Chris,

It is a fact that the transportation is being upgraded as massive cost in that area. So transportation is just an excuse being used to disrupt a perfectly legal application.

Canary Wharf holds more people daily than this place. So with improved transportation this isn’t a problem.

The problem is because it is a mosque.

#65 Comment By Natty On 4th August, 2007 @ 3:26 pm

“They are the two firms of architects who have variously worked on this project.”

But the projectis quoting only 12,000 the rest of the area is for gardens etc. So how can 70,000 people pray there. Maybe during few weeks in the summer. But during the winter, I doubt it.

The figures quoted are the maximum possible which is not intended for use as the person involved with the project has pointed out. The architects will always say the max number for completeness but it doesn’t mean that is the number intended for use.

70,000 cannot just come and pray as the Health & Safety Executive wouldn’t allow it and neither would the police. So it is just hysteria.

There is a simple answer if people don’t like the idea, offer a price for the land which the owners can’t afford to turn down. Problem solved.

#66 Comment By David Boothroyd On 4th August, 2007 @ 4:45 pm

Allies and Morrison are the architects. Mangera Yvars did some early designs which demonstrated what might be done with the site, but the project has moved on a great deal since then. The maximum capacity will be 12,000, and the regular weekly attendance will be substantially less than that.

#67 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 5:11 pm

The maximum capacity will be 12,000

And I say again, that maximum capacity refers only to the mosque itself, not the surrounding complex (which will consist of more than just the mosque), and both the Mangera Yvars and Allies and Morrison have quoted larger numbers as capacities for the entire complex, these have then been picked up and used as attendance figures for the mosque itself (which is obviously wrong - unfortunately in my haste to reply I made the same mistake inadvertently in #49). However, when considering transport the entire capacity of the complex has to be considered - after all, if they are going to build it presumably they would like it to be used reasonably frequently.

The scale of the complex being talked about isn’t particular practical. That would apply if it were a Cathedral, Temple, Gurudwara, Government Complex etc.

#68 Comment By David Boothroyd On 4th August, 2007 @ 7:13 pm

Chris, Mangera Yvars produced designs at an early stage, but the architects on the scheme are Allies and Morrison. The capacity of the scheme is a maximum of 12,000, and that is for the whole site. Please stop misleading people on this question.

#69 Comment By Chris Stiles On 4th August, 2007 @ 9:54 pm

The capacity of the scheme is a maximum of 12,000, and that is for the whole site.

That is the capacity of the mosque. The mosque is not the only thing on the site.

#70 Comment By David Boothroyd On 4th August, 2007 @ 11:02 pm

I know that the Mosque is not the only thing on the site, Chris. I work for the company which is doing the public affairs work for the Mosque trustees. If they were planning anything bigger I would know it and they are not.

The 12,000 is the maximum capacity of the whole site. You have got it wrong.

#71 Comment By Derius On 5th August, 2007 @ 9:40 am

Natty,

Thank you for your response.

The founder of the Wahhabi sect was Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab, who was from Arabia, and not Egypt. He also established this sect first in Arabia, and not in Egypt. In fact the Wahabbis became a powerful enemy of the Ottoman Empire in the 19th Century, and they were based mainly in Arabia at that time. Therefore, I cannot agree with your assertion that this is an Egyptian ideology, despite the fact it has a significant following there now.

I also believe that you are underestimating the influence and role that Saudi Arabia has in spreading Islamist Fundamentalism. A good book to read on the subject is “The two faces of Islam”, by Stephen Schwartz (who is a Western convert to Islam).

It is also interesting that you mention al-Qaradawi as not being a moderate, when Ken Livingstone called him “the future of Islam” at a conference in London in January this year. Do you agree with me then, that Ken Livingstone really doesn’t have much of a clue of what al Qaradawi actually stands for. At least then, we can agree on something.

#72 Trackback By Unique Custom Design Resources On 23rd August, 2007 @ 6:59 am

Unique Custom Design Resources…

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…

#73 Trackback By World Religion Resources On 25th August, 2007 @ 12:29 am

World Religion Resources…

I couldn’t understand some parts of this article, but it sounds interesting…


Article printed from Pickled Politics: http://www.pickledpolitics.com

URL to article: http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/1288

URLs in this post:
[1] of the BNP: http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/article-23405143-details/BNP+is+linked+to+petition+against+new+'m
egamosque'/article.do

[2] as harassing: http://www.guardian-series.co.uk/redbridgenews/news/display.var.1469474.0.muslims_under_attack_at_ce
ntre.php

[3] Tablighi Jamaat: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tablighi_Jamaat
[4] who arranged for: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article694631.ece
[5] this paragon of community cohesion: http://www.wluml.org/english/newsfulltxt.shtml?cmd[157]=x-157-295495
[6] here: http://www.drishtipat.org/blog/2007/08/01/mujahid-in-etv/
[7] http://www.newstatesman.com/200609040026: http://www.newstatesman.com/200609040026
[8] http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=235: http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=235
[9] http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/2007/01/post_938.html: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/inayat_bunglawala/2007/01/post_938.html
[10] http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com: http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com
[11] http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2007/01/awami-league-in-cynical-pact-with.html: http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2007/01/awami-league-in-cynical-pact-with.html
[12] http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2006/12/dynamiting-democracy-in-bangladesh.html: http://disha-bangladesh.blogspot.com/2006/12/dynamiting-democracy-in-bangladesh.html
[13] http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=52: http://www.mcb.org.uk/media/presstext.php?ann_id=52
[14] On funding of Hindu temples: http://commentisfree.guardian.co.uk/madeleine_bunting/2006/11/fiddling_while_rome_burns.html#comment
-309518

[15] http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,2763,1529794,00.html: http://www.guardian.co.uk/pakistan/Story/0,2763,1529794,00.html
[16] http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/1083: http://www.asiansinmedia.org/news/article.php/television/1083
[17] http://dalnunstrong.blogspot.com/2007/02/mcb-guidance-for-schools-mustnt-censor.html: http://dalnunstrong.blogspot.com/2007/02/mcb-guidance-for-schools-mustnt-censor.html
[18] http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com.: http://www.abbeymillsmosque.com.