As a secularist, people of any faith should be able to meet and worship. When it comes to bidding for property, necessary planning permission and exclusions they may go about the process like anyone else.
Like the Muslim Education Centre in Sutton Colliery. The local council have given permission, however local residents had objected against mostly on the grounds of potential parking and traffic problems – rather than islamophobia we are told – source Sun On Sunday. Step forward the English Defence League (EDL) to put another spin on things in their protest earlier this month.
It’s a shame that the local authorities seem to have other concerns than looking after the best interests of the people it is supposed to represent and answer to. However, when the wishes and concerns of local communities are ignored, when the interests of Muslim communities are given priority over those of local residents, the EDL will be there. We will not be ignored, and we will not be silenced. We will not stand by and watch our culture, our community and way of life be ripped apart in the name of ‘religious tolerance’ while intolerant, exclusive religious communities assimilate, convert and corrupt what was once a part of our heritage.
No surrender, not in Sutton Colliery, not now, not ever.
Taking our car parking spaces really is the straw that broke the camel’s back it seems.
The article begins with the quote by Recep Tayyip Erdogan: “The mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers”. No mention that was said before he became Prime Minister of Turkey, and that he was arrested for saying that because it incited religious hatred – source BBC News. The irony of the EDL using this line given that beggars belief.
The fear the article verbosely tries to edify is that this centre would become a focal point for Islamic believers. In much the same way a secular hall is for secularists, and a Catholic Church is for those that believe in Catholicism.
There is no suggestion that the planning permission by Durham Council was illegal, improper, or that a rival project was seriously proposed by anyone else to bid at the same time.
Incidentally the petition mentioned in the EDL News reads as follows:
Shotton Colliery residents are against the opening of a Islamic centre / Mosque been opened in this small ex pit village. the village already has education services funded by other partnerships working in the best interest of the village.
Hopefully the new education centre can help them write a better petition when it opens.
Article written by John Sargeant on Homo economicus’ Weblog