The GOVERNMENT have blocked plans by an Islamist group to build a mosque three times the size of St Paul’s Cathedral.
The controversial idea to build Britain’s biggest mosque in Newham, East London, has finally been shelved after a 16-year battle.
The site would have been large enough to hold over 11,000 worshippers, with three times the floor space of London’s most famous cathedral.
The proposal was put forward by Tablighi Jamaat, an ultra-conservative Islamist group who advise against the integration of Muslims and non-Muslims.
The group are based in West Yorkshire, where they run a school in which pupils are banned from watching television and talking to outsiders.
The group has also been linked with terrorism, with two of the 7/7 bombers attending mosques run by the group.
The French intelligence agency described the group as “the antechamber” of fundamentalism, while in 2003, the deputy chief of the FBI’s international terrorism section said: “We found Al Qa’eda used them for recruiting, now and in the past.”
The ‘mega mosque’ plan was strongly opposed by members of the East London community, including former councillor Alan Craig, and far-right groups including Britain First.
Craig was then targeted by the group after he spoke out against the plans.A YouTube video entitled “In Memory of Councillor Alan Craig” was posted online in 2007 featuring images of Craig and his family, and was linked to on the group’s website.
The plan was originally rejected by Newham Council three years ago, but that decision was appealed by Tablighi Jamaat. A three-week inquiry took place, with the results passed onto the Government this year for a final decision.
While the plan has not yet been officially rejected, sources close to the scheme have confirmed that it will be blocked.However, due to the sensitive nature of the project, details of the decision are only now beginning to emerge.
Craig said: “This is fantastic news. For a decade and a half, Tablighi Jamaat has pulled out every stop to get its way, but at last the spectre is over.”The group current have a temporary mosque at the site which can host 2,500 worshipers.