Faith leaders condemn 'hostile and racist' opposition to plans for Islamic centre in Golders Green Hippodrome

Faith leaders have condemned critics over “hostile and racist” opposition to proposals for a new Islamic centre in a former north London Hippodrome.

The Hippodrome in Golders Green was snapped up for £5.25 million by Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami, the Centre for Islamic Understanding - writes standard.co.uk.

A planning application has now been submitted to Barnet Council for the former entertainment venue – which in the past hosted the likes of the Kinks – to convert it into a Muslim community centre and mosque.

The proposals sparked a wave of objections from residents, one of whom opposed the centre on the grounds that it would “make this beautiful neighbourhood crowded with loads of burkas and veils”.

Almost 30 members of an interfaith forum in the north London borough have hit out at the “hostile” and “racist” response to the plans, in an open letter that welcomes the Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami.

It was signed by representatives of Catholic, Anglican and Greek Orthodox churches, imams, Sikhs, rabbis, Quakers and Methodists, and posted on Facebook.

“As clergy and faith representatives we unanimously deplored and condemned the hostile and, at times, racist response to the new Islamic Centre’s opening,” the letter read.

“We are sure the new Islamic community will contribute, with us, to the neighbourhood’s character, harmony and safety.”

Gavin Boby, of the Law and Freedom Foundation, said the plans were “the biggest threat to the sense of home for Jews since Cable Street” – referring to 1930s fascists in east London.

His comments came at a meeting two weeks ago, where he protested against the proposals, the Guardian reported.

Mr Boby reportedly said he had challenged 47 planning applications for mosques in the past, and claims he stopped 33 from being approved.

A petition asking the council to deny the application for the Grade II listed former music venue on the grounds of increased traffic, air and noise pollution has gained more than 5,000 signatures.

Hundreds of objections have been lodged with the local authority, which was forced to remove all comments on the proposal from its website due to increasingly racist language.

Commenting on the campaign against the plans, Marcus Dysch, political editor at the Jewish Chronicle, wrote on Twitter: “Hard to see [the campaign] as anything other than inexcusable, blatant Islamophobia.”

A spokesperson for Barnet council said a date to decide the planning application had not been set but it was working with the new owners of Hippodrome and the local community “to ease tensions”, according to the Guardian.

Read more news of London on our site.

standard.co.uk
GoldersGreenHippodrome London
If you notice an error, highlight the text you want and press Ctrl + Enter to report it to the editor
4 views in october
I recommend
No recommendations yet

Comments

Post your comment to communicate and discuss this article.

Society
Would you trust a taxi with no driver? Taxi firm Addison Lee is betting its customers will be ready to, in London at least, in just three years' time. It has joined forces with self-driving software specialist Oxbotica, and says the tie-up means it will offer self-driving taxis in the capital by 2021. The move will pit it against rival ride-hailing app Uber, which is also planning to roll out driverless cars on its network in the future, pending regulatory...
Crime
A senior US military commander has called on the UK to take back Islamic State fighters who have been "caught on the battlefield" in Syria. Maj Gen Patrick Roberson, commander of US special ops, also called on the government to repatriate two Londoners who have been called the "IS Beatles". The UK says El Shafee Elsheikh and Alexanda Kotey have been stripped of their British citizenship. The government is negotiating for them to face trial in the US. Speak...
Society
A woman has died in a suspected gas explosion in north-west London. Her body was found in a first-floor flat destroyed in the blast in Fulbeck Way, Harrow, just before 01:00 BST Sunday. Another woman, a man and a baby were rescued from a second-floor flat, with the woman and child taken to hospital. About 70 firefighters tackled the flames and 40 neighbours were evacuated from their homes. The Met is investigating. The victim, believed to be in her 80s, ha...
Society
About 13 million adults in the UK live in areas where at least half of the local banks and building societies have closed, analysis by the BBC reveals. Figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show nearly 6,000 local branches have shut since 2010, a fall of a third. The consumer group Which? called the number of closures "alarming". Trade association UK Finance said closing a branch was a last resort when usage falls. Banks and building societ...
Society
A ban on sales of new petrol and diesel cars should be brought forward by eight years to 2032, MPs have said. The government's current plans to ensure all new cars are "effectively zero emission" by 2040 were "vague and unambitious", a report by Parliament's business select committee said. It also criticised cuts to subsidies and the lack of charging points. The government said it aimed to make the UK "the best place in the world" to own an electric vehicl...
Society
London area home sales fell 15.9 per cent in September from August because of a shortage of homes to sell, and that shortage of inventory helped push up prices by 20 per cent from a year ago, the head of the London St. Thomas Association of Realtors (LSTAR) said. In September, LSTAR reported 776 homes changed hands in London and St. Thomas, compared to a near-record August, when 923 homes were sold. By the numbers Homes sold in September: 776 (a drop of 6....
Society
Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, jailed for inviting support for the Islamic State group, has been released. The cleric was sentenced in 2016 to five-and-a-half years in prison. He led an extremist network linked to violent jihadists, including one of the killers of soldier Lee Rigby in 2013. Choudary, 51, has now served half of his sentence and will complete the rest under strict supervision. Police are preparing up to 25 measures to control him, the BBC...
Society
One of London's front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if he wins the top job, provincial and civic election officials say. One of London’s front-running mayoral candidates has already put 40 per cent more of his own money into his campaign than the $25,000 limit allowed by law, a move that could put him in jeopardy if...
Society
Nearly 150 County of Lambton paramedics are no longer responding to non-emergency calls amid ongoing negotiations for a new contract. Job action as of last Saturday means Lambton County paramedics won’t be doing non-urgent transfers between hospitals for the next while, or keeping ambulance stations as neat and tidy, a union spokesperson says. Nearly 150 Lambton Emergency Medical Services (EMS) paramedics represented by SEIU Healthcare Local 1 stopped resp...