Written by Baron Bodissey
This is the latest 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) — June 2014 by JP
“We had already remarked a sound of chanting, and we found that we were looking into a mosque, where about a hundred Moslems were attending their evening rite. Through the dim light we could see their arms stretch up in aspiration, and then whack down till their whole bodies were bowed and their foreheads touched the floor in an obeisance that was controlled and military, that had no tinge of private emotion about it. The sound of their worship twanged like a bow. They rose again, relaxed and we thought the prayer must be over; but again they strained up tautly, and again they beat the floor. It looked as if it were healthy and invigorating to perform, like good physical jerks, which, indeed, the Moslem rite incorporates to a greater degree than any other liturgy of the great religions. Five times during the day a Moslem must say prayer, and during these prayers he must throw up his arms and then get down to the ground anything from seven to thirteen times. As the average man likes taking physical exercise but has to be forced into it by some external power, this routine probably accounts for part of the popularity of Islam. We watched till a fezed head turned towards us. It was strange to eavesdrop on a performance so firmly based on self-confidence of success and solidarity with the big battalion and feel diffident, not because one was on the side of failure and the beaten battalion, but because the final issue of the battle had not been as was expected.”*
Of note during June 2014 in a crowded field were reports of a new traffic light system at Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque costing over US $2 million and the renaming of three mosques in Gambia after deliberations by the Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders. Not to mention the hullabaloo in Bendigo after its council approved a controversial mosque proposal.
Ramadan report featured Islamic Society of Brevard mosque in south Melbourne. Its spokesman said that even though the mosque had been expanded three times, congregants occasionally had to pray in the parking lot.
Report on the $1.9 million renovation of the Islamic Center of Greater Miami serving the community of South Florida Muslims estimated at about a hundred and fifty thousand. The renovations include a plush $25,000 gold and maroon carpet, cushions, and copper-toned dome.
Islamic Society of Pocatello excited about construction of its mosque due for completion at the end of June. “It’s going to be a very open space,” said general secretary of the Islamic Society, Daniel Hummel. According to another report, the Islamic Society of Southeastern Idaho took on a big project when it decided to convert an old fast food outlet into a sacred space.
Report on Ramadan activities of Chicago-area Muslims. On fasting, Imam Hisham AlQaisi of the Islamic Foundation in Villa Park said it’s “akin to the saying of you don’t know what you have until you don’t have it.”
A Midland Park resident appealed to the borough against the decision of its Zoning Board to approve an application by an Islamic foundation to convert a Korean church on Irving Street into a mosque. “I find the application incomplete, at a minimum, and defective,” Joan Doumas said in her letter of appeal.
Two Korans found burnt near a mosque in Dearborn. Previously, Pastor Terry Jones and a group of motorcyclists had announced a rally against the threat of Islamic law being implemented in the U.S. This was due to take place on Flag Day, 14 June 2014, in front of the Islamic Center of America in Dearborn.
Report on the closure of a historic Catholic church in St. Paul that has re-opened as a mosque. Feisal M. Elmi, spokesman for Darul-Uloom Islamic Center, said, “There are a lot of East Africans in the area, and we want to give them a place to worship, a place to be educated, a community space.”
New York State
Jose Sanchez, owner of a boxing gym in an East Harlem tenement, embroiled in a row with his landlord after the latter leased the premises to a West African spiritual leader for his displaced Masjid Aqsa Mosque. Sanchez plans to take his case to the Manhattan Housing Court.
Terror investigation led to major drug bust at the Islamic Center of Flatbush.
US Supreme Court refused to hear the appeal of a group of neighbors who tried unsuccessfully to block construction of the Islamic Center of Murfreesboro. See here and here for the role played by the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty in defense of the mosque.
The case against a burial site at the same mosque was also dismissed.
The Islamic Supreme Council of Canada (ISCC) announced special arrangements would be in place to ensure taxi services would run as normal during Calgary Stampede week despite coinciding with Ramadan. Atthar Mahmood, vice-president of the council, said “To assure that all services are available to the guests and for the taxi drivers, the ISCC will be providing Iftari (ending fast) at the Al Madinah Downtown location at 421 Riverfront Ave. S.E. Delicious foods and drinks will be accessible to drivers and Muslim Stampede visitors, along with evening prayers. People will be able to undo their fast here and offer prayers, then they can resume their services to our beautiful city visitors.”
Two Mississaugan Muslims lodged a complaint with Ontario Human Rights Tribunal after being issued with parking tickets while attending mosque prayers. They believe the early Friday afternoon parking restriction discriminates against Muslims.
Plovdiv Regional Court upheld a decision by Karlovo District Court rejecting an application by the Muslim community to be awarded property at the central square of Karlovo where the Karmaza mosque once stood.
A two-metre tall, wooden cross attached to Karaca Pasha mosque in Gotze Delchev.
A Turkish Cypriot mufti conducted prayers in Taht-el Kale mosque in Nicosia that had been closed for more than half a century. The occasion was part of the Religious Track of the Cyprus Peace Process supported by the Swedish government. See here for more on the agreement allowing Muslim and Greek Orthodox religious leaders to cross the Green Line dividing the island.
Prominent invitees including royals and politicians shunned opening celebrations for Copenhagen’s new mosque financed by Qatar with 150 million kroner. It is the first mosque in Denmark to feature a minaret — in addition, the 6,700-square-meter complex includes a television studio and a fitness center.
Police rejected an application by Stop Islamiseringen af Danmark (SIAD) to hold a demonstration outside the mosque during the event due to the “considerable risk that public peace would be compromised.”
Twenty young Muslims gathered at Wali mosque in Dortmund to discuss the “fair mosque” concept with the intention of fostering environmental awareness as well as a focus on openness and tolerance.
Head of the Muslim Association of Iceland, Ibrahim Sverrir Agnarsson, announced that final preparations were being made for the design of a mosque, scheduled to be built on a plot of land in Sogamýri, Reykjavík.
The founder of the Muslim Association, Salman Tamimi, said he would sue those responsible for making harsh comments at an online article about the controversy resulting from remarks made by Progressive Party leader about the mosque during a municipal election campaign. He was not optimistic, however, that police would solve the case of the three pig heads found at the land allocated for the mosque. A BBC report, however, indicated that Icelanders had been joining the Muslim Association as a protest against opposition to the mosque.
Former chair of the Progressive Party and Minister of Industry and Commerce Jón Sigurðsson criticised his leader saying she had gone too far in her comments about the mosque.
Martin McGuiness, Deputy First Minister, told members of the legislative assembly that public funds could help provide a mosque for Northern Ireland’s Muslim community in response to a statement about Pastor James McConnell’s anti-Islam sermon. He added that he and the First Minister had “absolutely accepted” that the four thousand-strong Muslim community was “entitled to a mosque” if a suitable site could be found.
Outgoing Lord Mayor Mairtin O’Muilleoir showed his solidarity with local Muslims by starting his final Belfast City Council meeting with an Islamic prayer instead of the traditional reading from the Bible. The prayer, which started “Oh Allah, one of your name’s meaning is peace, we pray to you Spreader of Peace among us,” was created with the help of the Sinn Fein man’s Islamic chaplain Sheikh Mohammed El Rashidi at the start of the mayoral term last year.
Liam Clarke, political editor at the Belfast Telegraph opined that a mosque at the Maze would be a fitting gesture of atonement for the First Minister’s remarks about Muslims. The site of the former prison has already been earmarked for redevelopment as an international peace centre and agricultural show arena as reported by the Guardian in 2013.
Tauheed Mosque inaugurated in one of Oslo’s outer suburbs. Although it is Oslo’s first mosque built by Shia Muslims, the mosque’s management said its use not confined to Shia Muslims, rather it was a home for all Muslims.
In other news, Nemat Ali Shah, imam at the Central Jamaat Ahle-Sunnat mosque in Oslo, attacked by a masked, axe-wielding assailant. A man of Pakistani origin was arrested a couple of weeks later. A further report revealed that he belonged to Oslo’s Young Guns gang with a previous conviction for violence, illegal weapons possession and making threats.
Vandals defaced a Tatar mosque in Kruszyniany with graffiti of a pig and other insults.
The third man in the infamous ISIS terror propaganda video “There’s no life without Jihad”, featuring Muslims who used to live in the UK, identified as a previous resident of Aberdeen where he reportedly attended Aberdeen Mosque and Islamic Centre and volunteered as a “mu’adhdhin”, someone who calls worshippers to prayer.
A teenage girl, Chelsea Lambie, and 39-year old Douglas Cruikshank, who ‘desecrated’ Edinburgh Central Mosque by attacking it with strips of bacon, jailed for twelve and nine months respectively. They attached bacon to door handles and threw strips inside the mosque on 31 January 2013. Richard Dawkins called the conviction “contemptible.”
Glasgow Central Mosque given permission to make two-minute long prayer calls throughout the Commonwealth Games from July 10 to August 4 every evening at approximately 10pm.
The Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) hosted a two-day conference in Madrid to discuss development of Quranic centers in non-Muslim countries. Participants worked out a realistic perspective for training Quran memorization and recitation in these countries.
The Emir of Qatar reportedly agreed to fund the €2.2 billion ($2.99 bn) conversion of Barcelona’s La Monumental bullring into a forty thousand capacity mosque, the biggest in Europe, by 2020, if the city council approved the project. The building would include a three hundred metre tall minaret which would make it the third largest in the world after those in Mecca and Medina.
Scandinavian Dawa Movement Muslims gathered to discuss God’s message and how to be a good Muslim at Norrköping.
Kuwait’s Zakat House donated USD 140,000 to an Islamic cultural center in Switzerland to fund construction of a center for raising awareness about Islam. Kuwaiti Ambassador to Switzerland Bader Al-Tunaib presented the donation to its Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Mohammad Karmous.
A report on Muslim Brotherhood funding at the Arab Reporters for Investigative Journalism (ARIJ) website has more on the Centre Socio Culturel des Musulmans de Lausanne [Muslim Cultural Center in Lausanne] and Dr Karmous.
Publication of Innes Bowen’s Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam. The author who is a BBC radio editor discussed her work in at article at the Spectator entitled ‘British mosques aren’t that moderate after all.’ Reviews of the book can be found here, here, here, and here.
Pakistan’s The Nation reported that David Cameron had spoken up against Muslim clerics who had been denouncing free speech, equality and democracy in the UK. Meanwhile, mosques in the UK launched a nationwide anti-terror campaign to coincide with Ramadan: imams called on young Muslims to stay away from the civil war in Syria and instead make donations to legitimate charities.
Campaign launched by Khadeejah Welfare Foundation, Duncan Lewis Solicitors Islamic Department, the Muslim Council of Britain and the National Association of Muslim Police calling for the end of domestic violence in Muslim communities to mark the beginning of the blessed month of Ramadan 2014. For the first time a campaign unites Sharia and English law to fight domestic abuse, and, among other activities, messages of condemnation are to be disseminated at London mosques during Friday prayers.
TV personality Katie Hopkins offended entire Muslim community with tweet: “Ramadan typically brings a spike in violence in Middle East. I get grumpy when I don’t eat — but I don’t blow things up. Religion of peace?”
The Big Iftar
A national initiative known as ‘The Big Iftar’, set up in 2013 after the murder of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, commenced for Ramadan 2014 with support from various organisations as well as the government. The Big Iftar initiative explained:
“The Big Iftar is an initiative launched in 2013, encouraging Muslim communities to welcome their friends and neighbours of all faiths and none as guests to their local Mosques and Centers to join them in sharing iftar during Ramadan.
In 2013, The Big Iftar took place in many cities across the UK. Mosques, Islamic and community centres, local councils and others participated and hosted a number of Iftars and flash mob iftars across the nation. The Big Iftar encourages British Muslims to invite their friends, neighbours and colleagues to join them at mosques on an agreed date and enjoin them in sharing the meal of iftar.
This year, iftars are being hosted by many mosques and centres, and also by churches, synagogues and different faith communities and organisations.
We believe that holding a ‘Big Iftar’ in Ramadan is a perfect way to show people of other faiths and none, who perhaps have never even been in a mosque or enjoyed a meal with Muslims, what it’s really like.”
In his Ramadan Mubarak message, the Prime Minister had this to say about the initiative:
“Last year I was delighted to see how many community iftars were taking place across the country in mosques and in community centres, in parks and even in tents. Again this year government is supporting the Big Iftar programme with hundreds more communities, from Leeds to Luton, Woking to Manchester, throwing open their doors so that people of all faiths and none can break bread and get to know their neighbours. So wherever you are this holy month, I wish you Ramadan Mubarak.”
Faith and Communities Minister Baroness Warsi said, “This year the Big Iftar will be bigger and better than ever. I’m looking forward to seeing events happening across the country from mosques, synagogues and other places of worship to parks and town centres — bringing together communities of all faiths and none. There is no better way of breaking barriers and forming friendships than by sharing a meal together and Ramadan is the perfect time to reach out to our neighbours and strengthen relationships.”
The Big Iftar’s facebook page here.
Muslim leaders in Luton urged police to take action against “mosque invasions” by Britain First. Luton Central Mosque president, Mohammed Shafait, told the Morning Star “People are fed up.”
In other news, a gang of Luton’s Muslim preachers found guilty of affray at the Old Bailey. The gang’s ringleader, Abu Rahin Aziz, absconded from police bail in March 2014 and was convicted in his absence. See also here.
Slough Borough Council and Thames Valley Police prevented a group from holding a meeting at Chalvey Community Centre where radical preacher Anjem Choudary had been due to appear as guest speaker.
Brentwood and South Essex Cultural Association confirmed that it would not proceed with plans to convert a three-storey building near Brentwood railway station into a community centre and mosque as it had insufficient funds to purchase the property. The plan had met with opposition from councillors and residents concerned about parking issues.
A Muslim in Ilford murdered a prostitute because she was working near a mosque.
A leader at the Canterbury Muslim Cultural Centre blocked radical preachers from London speaking to youngsters at his mosque.
Medway Council delayed a decision on Gillingham mosque application by Kent Muslim Welfare Association after parking concerns were raised by residents and echoed by members of the council’s planning committee. The proposed mosque which would feature a ninety-two foot tall minaret would replace a car park next to the town’s railway station.
The county’s first Islamic Lifestyle exhibition took place at Jan’s Conference Centre in Blackburn.
Taiyabah Islamic Centre submitted plans to Bolton Council for a new, one thousand prayer mat mosque, complete with dome, minaret, and nineteen classrooms, in Astley Bridge. A spokesman for the centre said the new development would “bridge the gap between ‘negative perceptions’ of Islam and the faith’s true meaning.” A facebook campaign called Stop the Astley Bridge Mosque Bolton was launched with demonstrations against the mosque ongoing — see here and here.
Islamic Relief launched its Ramadan ‘pound for pound’ campaign at a fund-raising dinner in Manchester. The government would match donations made by the charity’s supporters up to a maximum of £5 million in a partnership arrangement with the Department for International Development.
Pendle MP Andrew Stephenson (CON) addressed Friday prayers at Jamia Masjid Minhaj-ul-Quran Mosque and made a call for an inquiry into recent violence outside the M Minhaj-ul-Quran headquarters in Lahore, Pakistan.
The Planning Inspectorate’s public inquiry into Newham Council’s rejection of plans for a mosque in West Ham opened with supporters and opponents of the so-called “Mega Mosque” making their case. Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Eric Pickles to have the final say on whether the mosque can be built. A key Muslim opponent of the mosque proposal may have been intimidated into not appearing at the inquiry: a manifestation of ‘private pressures and public buckling’ as Douglas Murray explained. See also a report by Irfan Al-Alawi at the Gatestone Institute about this Tablighi Jamaat mega-mosque. And most recently at GoV on 5 October 2012.
Newly elected committee of Waltham Forest Islamic Association pledged to promote peace and social integration after years of tension over its leadership. The group will take control of the Lea Bridge Road mosque.
Britain’s first mosque re-opened in Liverpool after its restoration by the Abdullah Quilliam Society which raised £400,000 in donations and plans to spend £3.8 million in total on further renovation as well as creation of a museum and heritage centre. William Henry Quilliam converted to Islam in 1887, took the name Abdullah Quilliam, and took to persuading people of the merits of Islam. In 1894, Sultan Abdul Hamid II, the Ottoman Empire’s last ruler, proclaimed him Sheikh-ul-Islam of the British Isles. However, religious intolerance led him to leave England for Istanbul in 1908, only to return later under the name Haroun Mustapha Leon. He died in Woking in 1932.
South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue (SYFR) issued fire safety advice in advance of Ramadan. Head of community safety Kevin Ronan, said “We recognise this is a really important time in the Islamic calendar, but want to make sure people observe it safely. In particular, people should take extra care to keep an eye on their cooking, as fasting could leave you feeling tired and more likely to become distracted or have an accident.”
SYFR also launched a fire safety campaign with Madina Mosque, Sheffield after five members of a Muslim family died recently in a fire.
Prominent imam attacked on his way home from the mosque.
Richmond Pharmacy provided a free health awareness clinic on the eve of Ramadan at Stetchford’s mosque Jamia Masjid and Madrassa Faiz Ul Quran Ghousia.
Crawley Islamic Culture Centre and Masjid re-opened its Langley Green Mosque after a £1.1 million conversion of a bungalow into a three-storey building.
Pope Francis hosted joint prayers at the Vatican with Israeli President Shimon Peres and his Palestinian counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas. Subsequent reports on this event revealed that the imam chosen to represent his faith departed from script when chanting verses from the Koran in Arabic.
Cardiff Jihadists: ISIS terror video “There’s no life without Jihad”
Report on the Muthana Brothers one of whom appeared in the ISIS terror video: The fresh-faced schoolboys who grew up to call for jihad and Sharia law in Iraq and Syria.
Report by Andrew Gilligan on Al Manar Mosque preachers allowed to give lunch time lectures at Cathays High School where two of the jihadists appearing in the ISIS propaganda video met. Extended report by the same author on the “energetic and enterprising” Al Manar Mosque including a lengthy list of extremist preachers who used its facilities.
Barack Albayaty, a trustee of the Al Manar Mosque and Islamic Centre, Cardiff, claimed he was worried about extremists radicalising Muslim men not only in Cardiff, but all over the UK.
Walesonline published a Ramadan guide which includes mention of a local tradition, the end-of-Ramadan Eid parade through Cardiff Docks, recently revived by Shaykh Zane Abdo, South Wales Islamic Centre imam.
Mufti Aziz Hasanovic, head of Croatia’s Islamic community, and the ambassadors of Azerbaijan, Indonesia and Iran visited a mosque in Gunja that had been damaged by recent flooding.
Decree issued by interim President Adly Mansour’s office bans unauthorized preachers from giving sermons or teaching Islam in mosques and other public places marking a further step in official efforts to curb Islamist influence.
Israel and the Palestinians
Scores of Palestinian women staged a sit-in at the western gate of Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jersualem. Jordan’s Ambassador to Israel Walid Obeidat submitted a letter to the Israeli Foreign Ministry protesting Israeli measures to prevent Muslims from entering Al Aqsa Mosque.
The Organization of Islamic Cooperation picked Jerusalem as the capital of Islamic Tourism for 2016. Mahmoud Habbash, the Palestinian Authority minister of religious affairs, said the decision was another step towards breaking Israel’s siege of Islamic holy sites.
Iran’s news agency, AhlulBayt (a.s.) News Agency (ABNA), reported that a group of Jewish settlers “desecrated” Al-Aqsa Mosque by touring its courtyards under police protection.
Lod municipality postponed a mosque demolition order after heightened tensions in the Jewish-Arab city.
Editorial by Daniel Johnson at Standpoint Magazine on the Islamist Blitzkrieg and the perennial refusal of Islamic doctrine to separate mosque and state.
Report on the splendour of Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque. Among other features, the mosque has a fifty-metre high dome encircled by an undulating parapet of merlons and crenels typical of Omani fort architecture.
Report on the construction of a new, US $64 million, Sultan Qaboos mosque where RMD Kiwkform is set to break company records with shoring towers up to forty-three metres tall to support the casting of the dome, concrete slabs and beams that make up the main areas.
A man claiming to be Jesus Christ created havoc at Mecca Grand Mosque before his capture by security guards.
Report on smart phone availability of Koranic translations into seventy-two languages at the above-mentioned mosque. The mosque also has four thousand shelves containing nine hundred and fifty thousand copies of the Koran in different languages.
United Arab Emirates
Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre ranked second among the world’s top twenty-five attractions in the “2014 ‘Travelers’ Choice’ awards” of TripAdvisor, the world’s largest travel site. A traveler reviewing the mosque wrote: “I liked the mother pearl inlaids in the marble clad and the colorful imported chandeliers. It is also said it has [the] world’s largest carpet. Definitely a must when visiting Abu Dhabi! And girls don’t worry about your clothes, they lend abayas for free!”
A new traffic signal installed at the above-mentioned mosque, at a cost of around Dirhams 8 million. It is thought the new signal system will ensure the smooth flow of traffic in front of the landmark at peak hours, particularly Friday prayers, during Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.
Remaining with Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, dozens of portable air conditioners as well as red and gold carpets arranged in its central courtyard in advance of Ramadan. Three-quarters of a million Muslims are expected to visit the mosque throughout this period.
Presidential guards placed Saleh Mosque under siege, trapping armed supporters of former President Ali Abdulla Saleh inside. A tunnel connecting the mosque to the presidential palace was also discovered. Abdulwali al-Qadi, head of the mosque and a Saleh relative, denied the building harboured any weapons. “There’s no truth to these allegations,” he told Reuters. “There are no weapons in the basement, only books and Qur’ans.”
Opening ceremony held for the Muhammed Vaf Mosque in the Tatarstani village of Srednyaya Korsa. The event was attended by the Chief Kazy of Tatarstan, Jalil Hazrat Fazlyev as well as respected guests from Turkey.
Report on a mosque in Mariupol stuck in the crossfire between Ukrainian armed forces and pro-Russian separatists. Yasin Cagdas, the imam of the mosque, said that although the events haven’t affected them directly, the community was distressed by the recent developments.
Kazkhstani woman donated US $600,000 for construction of a 220-square-metre mosque in Kaskasu.
National Capital Territory of Delhi
Report on Muslims ready to protect Shia holy sites in the Iraqi towns of Karbala and Najaf. “We have twenty-five thousand volunteers who have filled in the forms and given their passports and are ready to go any moment,” Syed Bilal, spokesman of Anjuman-e-Haideri which protects Delhi’s own ‘Karbala’ shrine.
Minister-in-charge of Muslim Affairs Yaacob Ibrahim launched the first phase of a $1.1 million upgrade of Al-Huda Mosque in Bukit Timah.
Insurgents fired shots into a mosque in the Panare district in Pattani province killing one man and injuring another.
New South Wales
The chairman of Roselands Mosque in the Sydney suburb of Canterbury announced that he would be making a section 96 application to the council to expand operating hours despite continuing concerns of residents about traffic levels and visitor numbers. The mosque opened in February 2014 under strict conditions for one year set by Canterbury Council.
Two hundred and fifty Currumbin Waters residents heckled a councillor as she tried to explain the council process of approving applications, in reference to a mosque proposal for the corner of Villiers and Coghill drives. David Truman, national secretary of the Brisbane-based Freedom and Heritage Society of Australia said “it’s not just about local issues like noise and traffic, it’s also about what happens when a mosque comes to your area. It’s about the impact on the community and the lack of social sustainability.”
Bendigo Hullaballoon: The City that said Yes to a Mosque
Local planning decision approving a mosque proposal catapulted Bendigo into the heart of Australia’s debate about Islam.
Scene-setter at the Bendigo Advertiser calling it “possibly the most controversial building proposal in recent times — a $3 million mosque to be built in East Bendigo.” Mosque proposal given the green light amid residents’ fury. After the decision, campaigners against the mosque wrote a letter of demand to City of Greater Bendigo Planning Minister Matthew Guy and did not rule out taking their fight to the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
Black balloons hung on a councillor’s fence: Cllr Mark Weragoda vowed to fight against racism. Hundreds of Bendigo residents fought back against anti-Muslim sentiment with a peace ceremony and rainbow balloons.
Report on anti-Islamic and right wing groups leading the anti-mosque push. Push back by pro- mosque supporters who launched a petition, a facebook page This is Bendigo, and printed five hundred posters with an image of colourful balloons to show support for the city and its multicultural past, present and future. An example of relatively recent cultural enrichment with a possible Mohammed Coefficient of fifty per cent was given at GoV on 11 January 2011: Gang rape in Bendigo.
UK’s Guardian newspaper report that Gavin Boby of the Law and Freedom Foundation met Bendigo anti-mosque campaigners at a Melbourne conference in March 2014. Concomitantly, Victoria’s The Age, on a report about the Bendigo right wing outsider cause celebre, quoted an expert on global internet racism, Professor Jakubowicz, who identified Gates of Vienna as the key switcher in Europe for anti-Islamic groups. Apparently, Norwegian mass killer and rabid anti-Muslim Breivik read the Gates of Vienna blog. See the response by Baron Bodissey at GoV on 29 June 2014.
The mosque proposal received support from La Trobe University which houses the only Muslim prayer facility for Muslims in the city. Patrick Falconer, executive officer of the Bendigo Business Council, said the mosque would be a tourism magnet and bring in millions of dollars. Chinese Association treasurer, Anita Jack, also voiced support saying that mosques she had visited, particularly in Malaysia, were places of “absolute serene peace.”
Coolaroo mosque proposal case resumed at the Victoria Civil and Administrative Tribunal almost a year after the original application was given the green light by Hume Council with a decision expected in July. The proposal to build a Shi’ite Muslim mosque next to an existing Assyrian Christian church received more than a thousand objections, and Senior Counsel, acting on behalf of the mosque objectors, said construction of the mosque would lead to a “significant detrimental effect” on the congregation of St Mary’s Ancient Church of the East and diminish the safety and amenity of the area.
DAREBIN Council deferred its decision on plans for a substantial expansion of Preston Mosque to consider residents’ concerns about traffic and parking.
Reports surfaced in Australia that two Muslim converts, an Australian and a New Zealander, killed in Yemen last year by a US drone strike, were radicalised in a Christchurch mosque.
Muslims at Invercargill mosque claimed that they were being watched by undercover Security Intelligence Service officers. President of the Federation of Islamic Associations Anwar Ghani said the country’s thirty-two mosques were open for anyone to come and visit — New Zealand mosques preached harmony and peace, nothing else.
Committee of Banjul Muslim Elders announced that, following discussions and wide consultations, it had renamed three mosques in Banjul, namely the Independence Drive Mosque in Banjul would henceforth be known as Masjid Abu Bakar Saddiq, whilst Half-Die Mosque, would be called Masjid Umar Bun Khatab. Meanwhile, in another related notice, it announced that James Senegal Mosque, Banjul, was renamed Masjid Ali Ibn Abu Talib.
The Committee’s press release explained: “The name change reflects the view that the name of a mosque should be Islamic, dignified and inspiring. The names, ‘Independence Drive’ and ‘Half-Die”, were mere names of convenience, and had nothing to do with Islam. By not having proper names of their own, the mosque simply assumed the names of their locations, and changing names as the names of these locations changed.”
Mohammed Idris, chairman of the Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya shot dead in Mombasa as he headed to the mosque for morning prayers. He is survived by four wives and twenty-five children. See also here.
Three Muslim clerics shot and seriously injured by unknown assailants in Garissa town. Two pistols were recovered at the scene: Garissa county commissioner Rashid Khator said, “Forensic experts will go through the guns to get the finger prints. This will assist us in identifying the culprits.”
President Goodluck Jonathan saluted Nigeria’s Muslims and urged them to offer special prayers for peace and security in his Ramadan message.
Governor Babangida Aliyu inaugurated Paiko Juma’at Mosque constructed at a cost of Naira 121 million. The six thousand capacity mosque has modern facilities such as an ablution space, toilets and a 40 KVA generator.
A home-made bomb blew up in a Zanzibar mosque killing the preacher, Sheikh Mohammed Abdalla Mkombalaguha.
Members of the Bosnia-Herzegovinian football team visited Cuiabá mosque for Friday prayers and mingled with the local Muslim community.
Opening quote from Rebecca West’s Black Falcon and Grey Lamb: A Journey Through Yugoslavia, Canongate Books, Edinburgh, 2006 (1942), pp. 414-415.
|2014||Mar||1||Global Mosque Report: February 2014|
|Apr||8||Global Mosque Report: March 2014|
|May||4||Global Mosque Report: April 2014|
|Jun||11||Global Mosque Report: May 2014|