Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Islamic Sect in Fight for Mosque at Olympic Site

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Islamic Sect in Fight for Mosque at Olympic Site

Article excerpt

Byline: Mira Bar-Hillel Planning Correspondent

THE future of a proposed 12,000-capacity "mega-mosque" next to the Olympic site will be decided at an inquiry which begins tomorrow.

Leaders of the Islamic sect Tablighi Jamaat will try to overturn an enforcement order served by Newham council requiring them to leave their West Ham site where they want to create the Abbey Mills Islamic Centre.

Tablighi Jamaat first applied for planning permission in 1999 for a design which was rejected by the council. Two years later it negotiated a five-year permit for a temporary mosque but this ran out in October 2006.

However, the sect has continued to use the site without permission as a place of public worship and is alleged to have built more facilities, also without permission. Newham council finally served an enforcement notice last February, which Tablighi Jamaat appealed against. Alan Craig, campaign director of opposition group Newham Concern and a former Newham councillor, said: "Tablighi Jamaat have acted unlawfully and irresponsibly. …

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