This is the first of a series of reports by our British correspondent JP on the progress of worldwide Islamization, as represented by the building of mosques, and activities associated with mosques.
Global Mosque Report (GMR) — February 2014
The minarets are our bayonets, the mosques are our barracks, the believers are our soldiers.*
The Global Islamic
Militarisation Mosque Project (GIMP) continues apace. What follows is a brief survey of news reports where mosques have made the headlines for one reason or another during February 2014, and where usually, but not always, superlatives tend to feature prominently such as the world’s tallest minaret, the biggest mega-mosque ever, and so on.
Where some see grounds for celebration, others experience dismay and misgiving, in the knowledge that mosques bring with them ever-increasing disturbance until indigenous residents move to mosque-free neighbourhoods.
Report on the $1.8 million, 18,000-square-foot, two-storey Islamic centre and mosque complete with minarets being erected in West Modesto.
The Islamic Center of Fort Collins will host an open day on 1 March at its new mosque which features a 70-foot minaret and 50-foot dome, both topped with crescent moons.
A variance request hearing ostensibly to focus on parking and public safety concerns over a proposed mosque in Pocatello was instead dominated by discussion of religious freedom and fear of Islam.
Traffic concerns of fire officials over the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s Liberty Corner mosque proposal were considered by Bernards Township planning board, but deemed legally irrelevant.
At a Bridgewater planning board, Yassir Abdelkader, president of the Al Fatah Center, spoke on behalf of his proposal to convert the former Redwood Inn into a mosque. He assured residents that there would be no services outside the mosque and no calls to prayer from the proposed mosque’s minaret.
Report that the lawsuit arising over Murfreesboro mosque approval has already cost Rutherford County $343,276, and the amount is expected to rise.
Shahina Siddiqui, president of the Winnipeg-based Islamic Social Services Association produced a 50-page downloadable handbook for imams addressing topics such as Canadian marriage laws, counselling practices, mediation, domestic violence, care of vulnerable persons, and hate speech.
Dzhumaya Mosque in Plovdiv was damaged by protesters during a march demonstrating against the decision to return a mosque to Muslim control in Karlovo, the birthplace of Bulgaria’s prominent revolutionary against Ottoman rule, Vasil Levski.
Ahead of March local elections, the French President, Francois Hollande, visited the Grand Mosque of Paris to commemorate the hundred thousand Muslim soldiers who died during World War One.
Construction has begun of the Athens’ first mosque available for prayer at an estimated cost of Euros 950,000. The mosque will not have a minaret.
Cambridge Unite Against Fascism set up a petition to support the proposed £17.5 million Mill Road mosque to counter the Stop Islamification of Europe and Sikhs against Sharia petition which received 1,600 signatures.
An illegal, Southend-on-sea mosque was shut down after a four-year legal battle.
Report on Kent’s first mosque with dome and minaret, erected by Ahmadiyya Muslims in Gillingham, and set for an official opening in March.
Bolton Council of Mosques, Bolton Council, Greater Manchester Police and Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service teamed up for a unique safer driving campaign to tackle racing and anti-social driving after a number of serious accidents involving high performance cars last year. Over the next few months in the run up to the summer racing season, representatives from the organisations will visit five mosques in Bolton to raise awareness of the risks associated with dangerous driving.
The giant Central Ghausia Mosque in Nelson is to get a new L-shaped extension with work expected to finish soon. Plans for a mosque and community hall in a residential area have been unveiled by Preston Muslim Cultural Centre.
NHS Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (NHS HMR CCG) participated in a multi-agency visit to the Central Mosque Rochdale, facilitated by Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) Health Matters. The purpose of the visit was to start a two-way exchange between the mosque and local groups. Other local groups in attendance included Healthwatch Rochdale, Link4Life, Rochdale Circle and Groundwork.
Harrow Central Mosque was the first London mosque to receive Fairtrade accreditation after pledging to participate in a number of projects including the hosting of talks on Fairtrade chocolate and bananas.
Scunthorpe mosque sought planning permission to expand.
There was joy in Nottingham when a 14.5 metre fibreglass minaret was fitted onto the new £1.2 million Jamia Masjid Sultania mosque in Sneinton Dale at a former Jester pub. It is the first time a minaret features on Nottingham’s skyline.
Dudley Muslim Association lost an appeal at the High Court in a long-running legal battle with Dudley Council over land set aside for a mosque and community centre.
The Islamic Community and Education Centre, Dudley applied to Dudley Council to convert the Old Bell at Lye in Lye, Stourbridge to a community centre offering weekly Arabic and Koran studies.
Tensions were high at Langley Green Islamic Centre and Mosque, Crawley after the home of a “British” jihadist who blew himself up in Syria was searched by counter-terrorism police officers.
Year 1 and 2 pupils at Copthorne Pre-prep school learnt how to recite prayers in Arabic on a cultural visit to Broadfield Mosque, Crawley. Year 1 pupils also learnt separately about the Chinese New Year.
Imam Qari Asim MBE of Makkah Mosque, Leeds was awarded a British Community Honours award by former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord Rowan Williams at a House of Lords ceremony.
Algeria commits to mosque neutrality after its religious affairs minister, Bouabdallah Ghlamallah, instructed imams to refrain from political sermonizing during the upcoming presidential election with a warning of severe sanctions for those who do not heed this edict.
The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayyeb, said that Al-Azhar had always been a beacon of moderate Islamic teachings and never sought any political authority.
Sheikh Atif Al-Madouli, the imam of Al-Ansari mosque in Benghazi was killed by gunmen while returning home after Asr prayers.
Tunisia commits to mosque neutrality after its religious affairs minister, Mounir Tlili, said that political leaders would be prevented from making political speeches in mosques. The religious affairs ministry estimates that twenty mosques are under the control of hardline Salafists.
An African expatriate committed suicide in the washroom of the Prophet’s mosque, Madinah.
A car bomb exploded outside a mosque in Yadouda, a rebel-held village in southern Syria, killing dozens.
US Secretary of State John Kerry toured Istiqlal Mosque in central Jakarta, said to be the largest mosque in Southeast Asia with a capacity for 130,000 worshippers. While there he beat a call-to-prayer drum.
A man opened fire with a 9mm pistol in a Karachi mosque, killing one and critically injuring three others. The mosque assailant is in police custody.
New South Wales
Yunus Kara, president of the Islamic Centre of Newcastle, dismissed and revoked visa sponsorship of the imam who allegedly presided over the marriage of a 12-year-old girl. Kara said the marriage was conducted in secret and that the centre’s management had had no knowledge of its taking place. The Pakistani imam is in Immigration Department custody.
Toowoomba has opened its first mosque at a former church. To celebrate, the Islamic Society of Toowoomba will host an international food festival at the mosque on 30 March.
Police raided the Musa mosque in Mombasa after the al-Shabaab flag was raised at its premises. One person was killed and several were seriously injured. Over a hundred youths were arrested.
A multi-million naira mosque built by Governor Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State to be named after Shehu Usman Dan Fodio, the first Sultan and founder of the Sokoto Caliphate.
In Konduga, Islamic extremists posing as soldiers killed thirty-nine people, razed a mosque and a thousand buildings to the ground.
|*||Recep Tayyip Erdogan received a four-month prison sentence for reciting a poem which contained the above lines in 1999.
- Boby, Gavin: Law and Freedom Foundation website
- Kedar, Mordechai and David Yerushalmi: Shari’a and Violence in American Mosques Middle East Quarterly, Summer 2011
- Solway, David: Revisiting the Neighborhood: Mosques are ok — on other people’s streets PJ Media, 9 February 2014
- —, — : Saving the Neighborhood Frontpage Magazine, 15 February 2013