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Mosque Construction Blocked By Ulster Unionists
national | miscellaneous | news report Tuesday January 14, 2003 17:14 by Sean
Islamic Society of Britain Urgent Action: Ulster Unionists Block Masjid Construction "Today's issue of The [London] Times features a story about how the construction of North's first-ever purpose-built masjid is being blocked by Ulster Unionist politicians.
Please do read the story and if you feel that the
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January 14, 2003
Unionists protest against building of Ulster mosque.
By David Lister, Ireland Correspondent
THE construction of Northern Ireland's first
purpose-built mosque is being blocked by Unionist politicians who say that residents would be kept awake by "wailing" and that Muslims are plotting to destroy Christianity.
For years a small Muslim community near Portadown, Co Armagh, has observed the antics of Orangemen during the annual marching season in the mid-Ulster town.
Blending into the most famously hardline Protestant area of Northern Ireland,
a province that remains 99.15 per cent white,
according to the 2001 census, was always going to be tricky for the two dozen Muslim families who
Many of them work at the hospital or run takeaway food shops.
But after years of minding their own business, they have spoken out after Unionist councillors objected to their plan for a mosque in a field outside Portadown.
One councillor claimed that the development could pave the way for an al-Qaeda terrorist cell in the area.
Fred Crowe, an Ulster Unionist councillor and former Mayor for the Craigavon area, said that residents in Bleary believed that their way of life would be threatened if the mosque were built. Mr Crowe said that encouraging Muslims to settle in Craigavon might open the door for
Although outline planning permission has been granted for the £200,000 mosque, which is to be funded by the Muslim community, final approval has been delayed after Unionist councillors voted for it to be reconsidered.
Woolsey Smith, who represents Ian Paisley's Democratic Unionist Party, said: "They say it's not going to be an eastern-type mosque and there'll not be the wailing noise calling these people to worship but we don't know about that. I would be worried for residents in the area as to just what they will be confronted with."
Like other Unionist councillors, Mr Smith claims the mosque, proposed for a boggy field three miles outside Portadown, will cause sewage problems and heavy traffic on the country road leading to it, even though Muslims say that their community is at most 200-strong in Craigavon.
Mohammad Yousaf, a retired draper who came to Northern Ireland 15 years ago, said that Muslims had used a community centre for their Friday prayer meetings since a makeshift mosque was burnt by vandals five years ago.
Adam O'Boyle, a Roman Catholic who converted to Islam four years ago, said that the Province's insularity meant that many people found it difficult to cope with other walks of life and different ethnic groups.
Mohammad Ashraf, a Pakistani whose family came to
Northern Ireland 27 years ago and who owns the land on which the mosque will be built, said: "We don't want to fall out with anybody but we want the mosque.
It will be a simple building that will blend in, with just one dome, not too many minarets. They'll be no wailing, no call to prayer. Who is going to listen around here anyway? Cows?" "
People should have the infrastructure available to practice whether religion they so fit.
Far be it from me to deny others their free expression of religious belief.
Funny it is, though, that those who would attack the evil Zionists at the drop of a hat are those most inclined to attack the narrow-minded anti-Muslims.
Of course, when the roles are reversed, it is impossible to find the apologists for Muslims who would condemn the slaughter of Christians by Muslim exclusionists in countries like Lebanon, Yemen, and Pakistan.
I condemn the slaughter of people of whatever religion, Christian, Jewish, Hindu, Muslim, or whatever else, for the practice of their religion. (Even though I find their worshipping of imaginary beardy blokes in the sky to be quite ridiculous)
Take your persecution complex somewhere else.
Residents got really upset about plans to build mosque in sattelite town of Barcelona.
I´ll find the english version of the story/camaigns.
went on for ages.
same arguments used against the Mosque/muslims.
Catalan society is racist and anti-maghrebi in the main just like Irish.
There is no purpose built mosque in Catalúnya.
The muslims meet in flats and shops in the centre of the city in the slum area.
This is up for rezoning next three years so lots of "where do we put them" attitude.
I´d first off check the development profile of where the mosque is being put.
Islam generally doesn´t splash out on expensive property.
And ask the muslims of Ireland.
They have two websites and are always up for input into their society.
They mostly live in Dublin.
Others in N. Ireland are more british in culture, something that can cause long term effects on Ulster mainstream unionism if not approached by them properly.
I´m moving today. (again) so give me a few days to find the campaign details.
The group who organised it are SOS racisme.
originally from France, there offices got broken into and weird fluctuation in their electricity bill during part of the campaign, which just goes to show, some of the nasty´s really don´t want mosques anywhere.
Saleem = Shalom.
which is why i like the location of the Dublin mosque right opposite an ex synagogue. SCR.
It is not surprising to find Unionist opposition to the mosque in Portadown. There is a significant element within Unionism that share a sectarian and racist mentality. It is clearly reflected in their deep-seated anti-catholicism and anti- Irish outlook. This in in part due to the fact that they lack any sense of a cultural identity themselves and feel deeply insecure.Many people in N.Ireland want to see a pluralist and multi-cultural society and our Muslim brothers and sisters in N.Ireland should know that we support them in their efforts.They should also know that Symth and Crowe are just backwoodsmen - idiots whose day is over.
Lets face it......As Pim Fortuyn said the new face of Islam does not recognise western Pluralist and secular values. The very people calling for freedom of Religion here should visit Yemen, Saudi, Pakistan to get the picture.
Since the Catholics and Prods can barely get along in Northern Ireland,how do you suppose the Muslims will fit in up north? God help 'em!
given the general attitude of loyalists in portadown to taigs, its hardly surprising that they would oppose a mosque.
i wonder if those "trotskyists" who support the loyalists "right" to march down the garvaghy road will support their opposition to the mosque?
surely to the "trotskyists", its a case of two competeting rights? arent the loyalists only expressing the rights to their traditional culture by displaying such ignorance, bigotry and racism?
I thought you were happy to live with your differences, and only bring this kind of thing up when people attacked republicans?
This thread is about bigotry in Portadown, so I don't think my remarks are out of place. The same people hate both Catholics and Muslims.
If certain passages in the Orange Order constitution reffered to Muslims or Jews rather than to Catholics, then I don't think particular organisations would be supporting Orangemens "right" to march down the road.
Wonder what Trimble thinks of this then, it's his party after all and he was giving of a short time back about how backward and 'mono-cultural' the 26 counties are.
I don't think anyone from the SP has been involved in this thread, and certainly not extending sympathy for loyalism. If you're serious about being happy enough living with your differences, then don't start unprovoked slagging of the SP.
In no Arab country is it allowed to practice
and build cherches or synagoges.
Misioners in those countrys are murderd.
Western reporters are being murderd on tape
( Pearl) and you guys are arguing the rights
of Muslims in the western world.
Please i find it pathetic.
Would Golan wish that we persecute and oppress Muslims in Ireland because of the actions of some Muslims elsewhere in the world - often corrupt leaders and regimes supported by the West. We need to build a worl where the rights and religion of all :Jew, Christian and Muslim are protected. Shalom
You were the one to name the SP, I reffered to "Trotskyists" and "particular organisations". My comments were in context, the fact that certain groups have given Left Cover to the Orange bigotry regarding the Garvaghy Road has emboldened Portadown loyalists.
They now feel they can get away with any sort of racism they like.
BTW, you are not so quick to condemn unprovoked SP attacks on others.
Golan your comments plainly show your small minded rascist mentality. If I cite Pakistan as an example as a Muslim country where there are numerous churches and schools run by mostly Irish nuns. You will also find many churhces across various countries in the Middle East. There is no law banning the construction or practice of religion across the Muslim World from Morocco to Indonesia. To suggest that it can be justified to oppress Muslims in Ireland because of actions of others in foreign lands is ludacris. You exhibit the small minded rascist mentality that is keeping society from progressing towards an acceptance of all cultures and encourage multi culturalism. Or is it that you would just like to keep the pure blood Irish. Please explain to me what it means to be Irish. Do I need to be called O' Reilly, drink many pints and be white, perhaps even a farmer. Go back to whatever hole you crawled out of. It is time to wake up to the reality that is the current Irish state. One that is thriving upon diversity not one of exclusion as some would wish it to be.