The proposed mosque is to be built in Newham, East London, next to the 2012 Olympic stadium and is expected to have room for about 60,000 worshippers.
"We are going to produce a landmark, something not seen in this country before," said Mr. Abdul Khaliq, project manager for the global Islamic missionary movement Tablighi Jamaat, which plans to spend at least $190 million to build the mosque, dubbed by local Muslims as the "London Markaz", or center.
The public would be asked to comment on the mosque project after an official request for planning permission has been filed, said Michelle Hyland, a spokeswoman for Newham Council.
The London Thames Gateway Development Corp., a government agency responsible for regenerating the area, will decide whether to permit the construction of the mosque.
The application may eventually end up with Ruth Kelly, Prime Minister Blair's communities' minister.
According to the New York Sun, the proposed mosque is seen as a positive step by the British government to improve the integration of the Islamic community into the wider society.
However, some opponents claim that the mosque might change the complexion of London.
"This (the mosque) is going to be huge," said Alan Craig, a representative of the Christian Peoples Alliance on Newham Council. "When billions of television viewers see aerial shots of the London Olympics, they won't see St. Paul's Cathedral or any other traditional British landmark, they will see a mosque."
Mr. Craig also said that the British government must investigate alleged links between Tablighi Jamaat and extremist groups.
In response, Mr. Khaliq said that the mosque would be funded by donations, stressing that his group doesn't accept contributions from extremist organizations.
"These are the most peaceful people you can find, spreading the good word and telling people to behave with their parents and teachers, to refrain from smoking and drinking and drugs, and to live a good life," said Mr. Khaliq, who joined the group more than 50 years ago.
Newham is one of the most ethnically and religiously diverse areas of Britain, with more than 100 languages spoken. In the 2001 census, 46% of residents said they were Christian and 24% Muslim. Of the 250,000 residents, 39% were white, 32% Asian, and 22% black.
Source: Islamonline MagazineGüncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16