Ny megamoské i London?

Ortodokse Tablighi Jamaat relanserer planen om å reise en megamoské ved den olympiske stadion i London, som skal kunne romme 12 000 bedende. Fransk etterretning karakteriserer denne gruppen som ”fundamentalismens forgård”, og to av 7/7-bomberne antas å ha tilhørt Tablighi Jamaat.

Hege Storhaug, HRS

Deler av lokalbefolkningen i bydelen Newham, der 77 % av barna som ble født i fjor hadde utenlandsfødt mor, er bekymret både over den gigantiske størrelsen på moskeen og ideologien til gruppen bak planene. Tablighi Jamaat har sitt utspring i deobandi-retningen, som er av det fundamentalistiske slaget og de forkynner blant annet sterk segregasjon mellom kvinner og menn. Her skissen over moskeen som det nå søkes byggetillatelse til.

Ifølge Standard, blir moskeen Storbritannias største dersom den realiseres. Hvem som eventuelt sponser moskeen, sies det ingenting om.

An Islamic group will this week relaunch its bid to build a 12,000-capacity “mega-mosque” next to the Olympic site.

The Tablighi Jamaat group, a Muslim missionary movement once described as an “ante-chamber of fundamentalism”, wants to build Britain’s biggest place of worship in West Ham.

It will have 40ft minarets, a library, a visitor centre and a 300-space car park at the Canning Road site. The scheme has aroused years of intense opposition since the group first submitted plans in 1999. In 2001, it agreed that worship would only be on a temporary basis. Permission expired in 2006 but the group continued to use the site.

In 2010, the council issued an enforcement notice but it successfully appealed against it last year and more than 5,000 people a week now worship at the site which houses several pre-fab buildings.

A spokesman for Newham council’s planning department said: “We are expecting another application by the end of this week and will then start a formal consultation process.”

Opponents say Tablighi Jamaat is a “sect” that preaches “separation and segregation”. Two of the 7/7 bombers, Shehzad Tanweer and Mohammad Sidique Khan, are believed to have prayed at a Tablighi mosque in Dewsbury, West Yorkshire, and French intelligence officials said the group was an “antechamber of fundamentalism”.

Alan Craig, campaign director of MegaMosque No Thanks and a former Newham councillor, said: “The community is concerned about the harm this will have on Newham. It is inappropriately large, but we also have worries about the group behind it.”

Dr Jenny Taylor, who runs charity Lapido Media which aims to create better understanding of religious affairs, said it was important for those opposed to the Tablighi Jamaat to understand its structure rather than simply brand it as a terrorist recruiting organisation.

She is behind the launch of a new series of books – Handy Books on Religion in World Affairs – the first of which tackles the complexities of the global missionary movement thought to be a key influence on Muslim terrorists targeting Britain.

“To have harboured terrorists does not necessarily mean that Tablighi Jamaat is therefore a hotbed of terrorism, but it does mean we need to take it much more seriously,” she said. “Especially in light of their plans for the mosque.

«This group is often misunderstood. Their apparent desire to integrate is at odds with their dress, speech, observance and writings, which require them to be distinctive. They are deeply spiritual, yet many terrorists have found succor in their midst.”

The group maintains that its main objective is peaceful missionary work. A spokesman for Anjuman-E-Islahul-Muslimeen of London UK Trust, Tablighi Jamaat’s charitable trust and the site’s owner, said: “The door is always open and we are happy to meet and discuss in depth our proposals.”