Search

Police step in as tempers ignite over East End mosque plan

PUBLISHED: 10:40 10 July 2008 | UPDATED: 13:26 05 October 2010

Police officer trying to stop the big fight started at Stepney Shah jalal masjid mosque in Mile end this morning between members as information has been disclosed about the use of the donated money for a new mosque, London 04 July 08

Police officer trying to stop the big fight started at Stepney Shah jalal masjid mosque in Mile end this morning between members as information has been disclosed about the use of the donated money for a new mosque, London 04 July 08

POLICE were called to a mosque in London’s East End when angry protests threatened to boil over following Friday Prayers.

Officers moved in to calm placard-waving worshippers who swarmed around the Shahjalal Mosque in Stepney, claiming community Elders were breaking promises to rebuild the mosque. The protesters waved placards proclaiming Stop hijacking our mosque land’ and Where has our money gone?’

By Gemma Collins and Ted Jeory

POLICE were called to a mosque in London's East End when angry protests threatened to boil over following Friday Prayers.

Officers moved to calm placard-waving worshippers who swarmed around the Shahjalal Mosque in Stepney when the row erupted.

Younger Muslims claimed community Elders were breaking promises to rebuild the mosque.

They waved placards proclaiming 'Stop hijacking our mosque land' and 'Where has our money gone?'

Members of the mosque's senior management committee fear the youths are pushing their own agenda and say they're scared of what they believe is a fight to usurp them.

The row centres on a set of portable cabins in Duckett-street on Stepney's huge Ocean estate.

Some cabins serve as the mosque and others as the Shahjalal community centre.

Conditions have become cramped, particularly during the increasingly popular Friday Prayers.

Plans to rebuild it were approved by Tower Hamlets council four years ago and the Elders launched a fundraising drive.

They promised worshippers a three-storey building with a community centre in the basement.

But the committee concluded the £5 million scheme would be too expensive and downgraded the plans, much to the fury of 1,000 protesting worshippers who signed a petition.

The protesters organised a deputation to the Town Hall with a litany of complaints against the Elders.

Their spokesman Zafar Ali called for an investigation into where donated funds had gone.

He told the Tower Hamlets council meeting: "The management committee of the mosque is undemocratic, unrepresentative and selects it membership from its small circle of friends and relatives.

"Intimidation and bullying is commonly used to get mosque members or the public to stay silent or agree with them."

Mr Ali told the East London Advertiser after the meeting: "Having the community centre inside the mosque building will allow us to keep an eye out for extremists.

"We won't be able to do that if they're in different places."

But mosque chairman Mohammed Abdul Hafiz told the paper the allegations were "lies" and has asked the police for a heavier presence at the mosque.

He said: "The only thing we can do with this land is a mosque with community facilities, because that's what we got planning permission for.

Latest East London News Stories

Yesterday, 16:14

The mayor of Tower Hamlets has voluntarily had a blood test for Aids in a council campaign for public awareness for people to take part in HIV Testing Week starting tomorrow.

Yesterday, 18:21

Police have found the body of a missing student with links to east London.

Yesterday, 13:48

Campaigners have called for support ahead of a national unity demonstration against racism and fascism.

Yesterday, 11:45

Police are appealing for help in finding a vulnerable man who has been missing for more than a week.

Thu, 19:00

Tower Hamlets Council is to overhaul the way it awards grants to community and voluntary organisations (VCS) in the borough.

Thu, 14:41

Yobs have been banned by magistrates from going onto a housing estate in Whitechapel which has been plagued by drug addicts.

Thu, 11:49

Older people in Tower Hamlets are being trained in classical dance by the English National Ballet to commemorate a century since the end of the First World War.

Thu, 08:18

Police are looking for the driver of a suspicious vehicle which sped away as they approached and was a then in a hit-and-run incident in Spitalfields yesterday.

PROMOTED CONTENT

Are you a landlord looking for a fixed rental income, paid whether the property is empty or not? Steve Westley, general manager at estate agents Elliot Leigh, explains their Guaranteed Rent Scheme and how it takes the stress out of letting your property.

Newsletter Sign Up

East London Advertiser twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Docklands and East London Advertiser
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now