U.K. Gov't Expected to Turn Down Super-Mosque Plans

LONDON – A senior security source has recently expressed his concern about the proposed "super-mosque" on a site close to the venue of the 2012 Olympics in east London.

The planning application for the mosque, however, is expected to be turned down by the government, the Sunday Telegraph reported.

The super-mosque, called London Markaz, is supposed to have room for 70,000 worshippers. The group behind the project is reportedly Tablighi Jamaat, whose charitable trust, the Anjuman-e-Islahul Muslimeen, owns the 18-acre site.

The Tablighi Jamaat was called “an ante-chamber for fundamentalism” by French security services, and two of the July 7 London suicide bombers had reportedly attended one of its mosques.

The report by the Telegraph said that the organization denied any link to terrorism, and noted that it had never been banned.

The report added that until recently, it was expected that the permission for London Markaz would be granted after the project was agreed in principle in 2001 between the Newham Council and the Anjuman-e-Islahul Muslimeen.

However, the unnamed senior government source told the paper that there were fears that the giant mosque could damage community relations in the area, and added: “We are going to stop it.”

Alan Craig, a Newham councilor for the Christian People's Alliance party, warned of the “community and security impact” that the mosque would have, and claimed that Muslims were already moving into the area in preparation for its opening.

In a separate, and very contrasting move, the Kingsway International Christian Centre, Europe's biggest Christian evangelical church with a capacity of 12,000, is being pulled down to make way for the Olympics, the Sunday Telegraph added.