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Muslim councillor faces protests as she takes prayer break at Tower Hamlets

PUBLISHED: 13:00 05 October 2009 | UPDATED: 14:59 05 October 2010

Councillor Rania Khan

Councillor Rania Khan

By Else Kvist A Muslim Labour councillor faced a backlash when a Town Hall meeting was adjourning while she went to pray. The development committee at Tower Hamlets stopped after five minutes to allow

By Else Kvist

A Muslim Labour councillor faced a backlash when a Town Hall meeting was adjourning while she went to pray.

The development committee at Tower Hamlets stopped after five minutes to allow Muslim councillors a prayer break during its last meeting.

Cllr Rania Khan faced shouts of "disgusting" from the public gallery as she left to pray and on her return said she had been disturbed by the "abuse hurled at her".

A former Labour councillor, Ronald Osborne, sitting in the gallery, said: "We weren't hurling abuse at her. But you don't stop a meeting to pray, that should be done beforehand. Are they paying her to pray? People rushed home from work to get to this meeting and it's not fair to keep them waiting."

Cllr Khan later explained that as many other Muslim she tries to pray at set times five times a day.

She said: "I'm a politician but my religion is also important to me. I had been in meetings from 2-7pm and I'm entitled to a 15 minute break in any job.

"I had already missed earlier prayers and the important thing was to try and pray before the sun came down.


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