This is the second in a series of monthly 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) — March 2014
Definition of a mosque and/or Islamic center as a ‘rabat’: a place for the preparation of raids against infidels. Not to be mistaken for a place of genuine worship.
“The Prophet imposed his rule on parts of Arabia through a series of ghazvas, or razzias… The ghazva was designed to terrorize the infidels, convince them that their civilization was doomed and force them to submit to Islamic rule. Those who participated in the ghazva were known as the ghazis, or raiders. After each ghazva, the Prophet ordered the creation of a rabat — or a point of contact at the heart of the infidel territory raided.
The rabat consisted of an area for prayer, a section for the raiders to eat and rest and facilities to train and prepare for future razzias. Later Muslim rulers used the tactic of ghazva to conquer territory in the Persian and Byzantine empires. After each raid, they built a rabat to prepare for the next razzia.”*
In Lincoln a group of young Bosnian and Middle Eastern immigrants raised nearly $200,000 to purchase a long-empty church and convert it into a mosque.
Jamaal Diwan, imam at the Islamic Center of Irvine, interviewed by Orange County Weekly. A convert, his love of basketball and hip-hop led him to Islam.
‘Questions about Islam’ event held at the Kalamazoo Islamic Center. “The main goal is to achieve a sense of understanding between those who practice Islam and those who do not,” said Farhan Igbal, a student at Western Michigan University.
Bernards Township: Islamic Society of Basking Ridge’s Liberty Corner mosque proposal met opposition from neighbours concerned about lights, noise, and traffic. Further hearings scheduled to take place in April and May.
Burlington County Muslim Association proposed a 22,745-square-foot building to house a mosque, elementary school, and day care center in Delanco.
United American Muslim Association Inc. filed an application to convert one of Clifton’s oldest buildings, erected in 1740, and latterly a funeral parlour, into a mosque.
New York State
North Side Learning Center purchased Holy Trinity Roman Catholic church in Syracuse for conversion into a mosque to be named ‘Mosque of Jesus the Son of Mary’ (Masjit Isa Ibn Maryam). A petition was lodged with the Landmark Preservation Board to remove crosses from the steeples and grounds as these are not in line with the ‘worshipping practices’ of the new tenants.
Shakila Ahmad became the first woman president of the Islamic Center of Greater Cincinnati in its eighteen-year history. The mosque sees up to 3,000 Muslims involved on holy days, and there are an estimated 25,000 Muslims in the region.
Memphis Islamic Center to launch the first of three phases required for the construction of a $6.5 million, 63,144-square-foot rabat in Shelby County this summer. In October 2012, World Relief Nashville/Memphis was awarded a Preferred Communities grant by the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
State delegate Alfonso H. Lopez defended his praise of Dar al-Hijrah Islamic Center in Falls Church after being rebuked by counter-terrorism officials and media for sponsoring a successful resolution at Virginia’s General Assembly commending the center.
The Islamic Center of Raleigh held its annual open day: among the attractions on offer, visitors could watch Muslims praying, listen to a recitation in Arabic of the ninety-nine names of God, and examine a travelling display of artefacts showing the history of Muslims in America since 1500.
Report on a Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) Muslim Outreach program visit to Toronto Islamic Center mosque.
A convert sentenced to one year in prison for spreading radical Islam. His Saudi Arabian-educated tutor at a south Bulgarian mosque school was given a suspended sentence.
Report on the construction of Slovenia’s first mosque and Islamic cultural centre which will be completed in three years’ time in Ljubljana at a cost of EUR 20 million. The edifice will be 12 metres high with a 40-metre-high minaret. See also here.
Maidenhead Mosque held an open day as part of Islam Awareness Week to encourage understanding and dialogue between different faiths. The event included a lecture by Monawar Hussein, Muslim chaplain at Eton College.
Members of the Muslim community left dismayed after West Berkshire Council decided to allow a supermarket to sell alcohol next to Newbury Mosque.
Cambridge’s Mawson Road mosque applied for permission to run a madrassa at weekends after temporary permission to use the premises for educational use was previously given retrospectively on the condition this was to confined to Fridays and Ramadan.
Cambridge Muslim Academic Trust raised concerns over a plan to build student accommodation next to the new Mill Road mosque under construction, stating that it would “unlikely to be the development option most beneficial to local residents or mosque users”.
Senior Minister of State in the Foreign Office and Minister for Faith and Communities, Baroness Warsi visited Shah Jalal Mosque in Blacon, Chester for a Q&A session with over fifty mosque elders.
Rumours that a former Woolworths store in Ilkeston was to be converted into a mosque quashed by the council and the building’s owners, the World Federation of Khoja Shia Ithna-Asheri Muslim Communities.
Isle of Man
A property developer gave residents of a suburban street in Douglas an ultimatum: either accept his plans to turn a former Methodist church into dwellings or he would sell it to Muslims in Bradford who had expressed interest in turning it into a mosque and learning centre.
Nasir Mosque in Gillingham was inaugurated by His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, the supreme head of the worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. The former working men’s club has been used by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association since the early 1970s. Its recent revamp makes it Kent’s first mosque to feature a minaret and dome.
Clitheroe’s first mosque, the Clitheroe Masjid, opened after refurbishment of a disused Mount Zion Methodist chapel.
Al-Hira Mosque in Nelson submitted plans to convert a former Masonic Hall into a place of a worship and religious education due to increased demand.
Planning officers at Preston City Council recommended that the city’s planning committee approve plans submitted by Preston Muslim Cultural Centre for a new mosque and community centre at Grafton Street.
Loughborough Mosque and Islamic Cultural Association applied to Charnwood Borough Council to add a dark green dome and six minarets to a mosque on the corner of King Street and Wharncliffe Road.
South Kesteven District Council planning officers invited Grantham Muslim Community Association to withdraw its plan for a place of worship after a couple of problems concerning the application were discovered.
A detective from New Scotland Yard paid a visit to South Woodford Mosque, Ilford to warn mothers of the dangers of their children joining the conflict in Syria. This was in advance of a police awareness campaign on Syria to be launched at the end of April.
Leaders of Darusalaam Mosque and Cultural Centre, Southall called for a pedestrian crossing to allow its visitors numbering up to a thousand a day, many of whom come by foot, to reach the mosque safely.
Ellis, a company in Rillington near Scarborough, secured a contract to supply cable cleats for Shamiya Haram, part of the Grand Mosque of Mecca. Ellis’ cleats will be used to secure power cables throughout the building’s 75,000 sq metre central utility complex (CUC).
Muslims attending the Madina Mosque in Oxford pressed the council to provide free parking near the mosque.
Tyne and Wear
Six arrests made at a protest against a new mosque in Sunderland.
BBC accused of gagging free speech after its BBC Three debate show, Free Speech deliberately dropped a question about being Muslim and gay at the request of the Birmingham Central Mosque where it was being filmed.
A non-religious state school allegedly spent £70,000 on loudspeakers to summon pupils to Islamic prayers at Park View School in Birmingham.
Crawley Islamic Centre and Mosque received a future conduct warning from the Charity Commission after failing to submit three years’ worth of accounts for Langley Green Mosque for which it is responsible.
Pupils at University Academy Keighley encouraged committee members of Markazi Jamia Mosque to adopt Fairtrade principles of ethical trading at a Dragon’s Den-type event.
Authorities threatened Syrian refugees with immediate expulsion should they persist in disrupting mosques and doctrinal unity. It is estimated around a thousand Syrians arrived in Morocco during early 2014.
A Salafist imam, Khamis El Mejri, was arrested in Tunis for preaching without a permit. Among other statements he is alleged to have referred to the suspect arrested for the murder of Chokri Beladi as a martyr.
Israel and the Palestinians
Ahmed al-Tayeb, Grand Imam of Al-Azhar University, Cairo, said that the university would never accept Israeli oversight of Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem in advance of a debate on the matter in the Knesset. At present Jordan has administrative responsibility for Islam’s third holiest site.
President Ramzan Akhmadovich Kadyrov of the Chechen Republic inaugurated a $10 million, 3,200 sq metre mosque at Abu Ghosh near Jerusalem. The new mosque can hold up to 3,000 worshippers.
A notice posted on a wall in Zuhra Mosque, Sana’a, warned against impromptu lectures as well as fighting inside the mosque.
Police security intensified in the vicinity of Nawab Mosque at Vellore Fort in advance of rumours that Muslim outfits would attempt to gain entry. The mosque has been under control of the Archaeological Survey of India since 1921.
Bengkulu mayor, Helmi Hassan, delivered a Daihatsu Ayla car to Ar-Rahman Mosque to be given as a prize to anyone who attended fifty-two consecutive evening prayers.
Report on Seoul Central Mosque.
New South Wales
Australian Bosnian Islamic Council resubmitted more modest plans for first-floor additions and a minaret to the Penshurst Mosque, south Sydney. Hurstville Council received 2,000 objections citing height of the minaret and parking among other concerns.
Plans lodged with the City of Greater Bendigo for a $3 million mosque attracted forty objections and one submission of support. Bendigo council will proceed with an engagement consultation phase shortly.
Voice of America reported on the ideological battles taking place in Mombasa’s mosques, in particular Musa Mosque which was raided by police in February 2014 after it was suspected of recruiting for Al-Shabaab.
In other news relating to Mombasa, an imam was seriously injured by radical Muslim youths.
Security forces arrested dozens of recitation teachers suspected of being Al-Shabaab agents in Mogadishu Koran schools.
* Amir Taheri quoted here.
- 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
- Zuhlsdorf, Fr John: Ground Zero Mosque: a “Rabat”, not a “Cultural Center” American Orthodox Institute, 10 September 2010
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