Camberley Mosque 259


As someone who devotes much energy to battling Islamophobia, it is important equally to oppose false cries of Islamophobia whenever any Muslim group is thwarted. Otherwise “Islamophobic” will become a meaningless pejorative just as “Anti-semitic” is thrown at any rational critic of Israel.

Having looked at the dispute over Camberley Mosque, I feel that it is the Bengali community which is acting with gross insensitivity. They wish to pull down a listed Victorian building to build a mosque. I would oppose that were the proposed replacement a mosque, synagogue, church or Tesco.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/surrey/8561342.stm

The old scholl has in fact been in use for many years as an Islamic centre. There is no threat to that. It is demolition of the building which is objected to.

It strikes me that the very large and sturdy building looks ideal for sympathetic internal conversion to make it a better mosque. Failing that, the community can do what anybody else has to do whose needs have outgrown a listed building, and move the mosque elsewhere.

I encountered a similar arrogance and insensitivity from some members of the Muslim community while campaigning on Whalley Range in Blackburn, when I was faced with a demand that a pub close to a mosque be closed down. I replied that the pub had been there for over a hundred years before the mosque.

The deliberate spread of fear and hatred of Muslims by politicians, media and security services is a real problem. But what we must insist is that Muslims are treated both no worse and no better than anybody else.


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259 thoughts on “Camberley Mosque

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  • Clark

    Technicolour,

    you ask “which leaders?” Well, I haven’t really speculated that deeply, and besides, this is a question of psychology, so I would have to know the leaders personally. I just find it difficult to believe that all Western leaders are thinking “we can grab the resources, and encourage Islamophobia to help us get away with it”, more “we can’t possibly leave a resource as internationally important as that under the control of that sort of regime – they’d have far too much international power. Imagine what *a regime like that* [irrational fear] might do with such power!”

    And I don’t think it’s an all – or – nothing issue, some leaders completely cynical, but others entirely motivated by unconscious fears; more a spectrum of these in each individual leader.

    As to Karzai, they just used him because he was available, the end justifying the means. Nothing to do with values, more “He may be a bastard, but at least he’s OUR bastard”.

    Richard Robinson,

    I fail to understand you. My point was not about the nature of Islam (or Christianity), but about *ignorance* of the varied nature of Islam.

  • Clark

    Suhayl Saadi,

    I worked at a club in Bradford in the ’80s, near Bradford City football ground. While setting up in the afternoon I often heard the call to prayers. It was haunting and beautiful.

    Technicolour,

    there have been various discussions on this site about whether leader such-and-such is a psychopath, or what other explanations there could be for their attrocities, and how they cultivate Islamophobia, as if the majority were in the grip of these few evil leaders. I see it a bit differently. We are all, to a greater or lesser extent, in the grip of our unconscious nature, including our ‘leaders’. We can diminsh its hold upon us by becoming more conscious.

  • technicolour

    I can’t believe I’m taking a break from Snakes on a Plane for this.

    “If any male or female enforces it on their women folk, they know their circumstances better than someone who is outside Islam.”

    How very convenient, anno. And yet you then go on to say:

    “The ones who are not perving, and don’t hate Islam should respect her choice.”

    So you force it on her and it becomes her ‘choice’. Uh uh. Wrong.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Clark – I think that the popular illusion of Islam as monolithic is part of the cause of Islamophobia.

    RR – Hm. “We” put up with Popes for long enough.

    Clark – I fail to understand you. My point was not about the nature of Islam (or Christianity), but about *ignorance* of the varied nature of Islam.”

    My point was that, given a thousand years or more of having perceived “the” church as “catholic” (Greek, via Latin: “universal”), I don’t see how a perception of something as monolithic works as an objection, regardless of its accuracy.

    I suggest that “it belongs to them next door, and we’ve been arguing about where the garden-fence ought to be” works better as an explanation.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Not everyone who sees a woman wearing a burkha, is an Islam-hater, or trying perve about women”

    WT*F* ?

    I don’t know where you live, maybe it’s different there. Round here, they’re out on the streets getting the shopping in, how do we not see them ? It’s got nothing to do with whatever the hell kind of weirdo you might think, or so very liberally not think, we are, it’s just how seeing people works – they’re there, so are other people, other people see them.

  • anno

    Thanks, Arsalan.

    Richard, doesn’t it say in the Gospels that if someone looks at someone with the desire of adultery, then they have committed adultery? So W*T*F* was Jesus pbuh talking about then? Or was that bit added by the church as an afterthought? maybe? Only God Knows.

    I want to ask the time-honoured question of this blog: Cui bono? Who benefits from the flame of antagonism between Shi’a and Sunnis in Iraq, which did not exist before the UKUS invasion?

    ( Please note I dropped the (Is.)word on this occasion.) Who benefits from igniting the flame of antagonism between Christian Democracy and Islam? Talking about the Burka is people picking on the differences. Fundamentally the values of Chritianity and Islam are the same even if the theology is different. Frankly I don’t know. Some people say that the root is Secular fundamentalism. Some people like myself ask if it is a particular branch of religious racism. Some people say that the root is trans-global economics or neo-colonialism.

    But what I do know is, that whoever seeded false-flag bombs to start the civil war in Iraq, and whoever started to rake up the old wounds of the British Raj by attacking Afghanistan, and whoever started the process of privatising national resources, we had better learn the lesson quick, that their objective is DIVIDE AND RULE. The tensions were DEFINITELY started deliberately and if we don’t stop over-reacting, WE ARE DOOMED.

    A previous commentator on another day, Ian McNee, suggested that these divisive forces are unco-ordinated, pragmatic and opportunistic. Whatever serves the purpose at the time, anti-communism one half-century, anti-Islam when oil resources beckon, anti-China is next down the line. This is a contradiction.

    Yes the targets of the tensions changes, but the techniques used are the same.

    That doesn’t mean that the originators of the divisions are united, or the same people. For all I know this stuff is taught in College. The strategy is always the same. We, the people, have to consciously take a stand against the political powers that try to dis-unite us, lest their pockets or their prejudices or their nihilistic anti-values prevail.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    “Whatever serves the purpose at the time, anti-communism one half-century, anti-Islam when oil resources beckon, anti-China is next down the line…

    Yes the targets of the tensions changes, but the techniques used are the same.

    That doesn’t mean that the originators of the divisions are united, or the same people. For all I know this stuff is taught in College. The strategy is always the same. We, the people, have to consciously take a stand against the political powers that try to dis-unite us, lest their pockets or their prejudices or their nihilistic anti-values prevail.” anno

    Absolutely.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Richard, doesn’t it say in the Gospels that if someone looks at someone with the desire of adultery, then they have committed adultery? So W*T*F* was Jesus pbuh talking about then? Or was that bit added by the church as an afterthought? maybe? Only God Knows.”

    I certainly don’t.

    Does the need to buy a couple of pounds of potatoes always lead to adultery ? What an interesting life you must lead.

    “”Whatever serves the purpose at the time, anti-communism one half-century, anti-Islam when oil resources beckon, anti-China is next down the line…

    Yes the targets of the tensions changes, but the techniques used are the same.”

    Yes, I’d agree with that. Except, maybe they’re “under development”, they can maybe change here and there as the powers-that-be learn. They do, I think. Just, not what we’d wish them to.

  • arsalan

    I switched on to snakes on a plane, it seemed crap so I switched off again.

    I don’t have anything against snakes.

    They eat mice and rats so they are very useful. Humanity would be close to extinction without them.

  • Arsalan

    They eat mice not people, so it is mice they want to bite. If they were in a plane full of people, they would try and hide. Not come out to bite people.

    They have nothing to gain by biting a person except wasting venom that they need for mice.

    The only snake able to eat people is the anaconda. And they aren’t venomous.

  • technicolour

    Ah, but Arsalan, you missed the fact the snakes were sent crazy by pheromones sprayed through the plane’s air conditioning. And we all know what (male) snakes will do when driven crazy by thwarted lust. If only the passengers had worn some kind of covering, perhaps a – no, I won’t go there.

    Anyway, the two passengers humping adult-erously in the toilet get it first; a powerful message to us all.

  • Camberley Says No

    The reason no one wanted the mosque is becuase areas with mosques go downmarket quickly (there are numerous examples of this in the UK). Crime rises, unemployment rises and house prices drop. However, then only legal argument to be made was the listed building argument, which is why it was used so vociferously. No one was being a coward, but no one in Camberley wanted to be labelled ‘racist’ or ‘fascist’ or whatever the latest misguided epithet is.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    The happy, rockstar astronomer – the Michael Wood of the stars – was better. I’m waiting for him to hit the heliopause.

    ‘Snakes on a Plane’ – how do such ‘dogs’ get made?!! I’m surprised Brian Dennehy wasn’t in it – was he?

  • MartinS

    “As someone who devotes much energy to battling Islamophobia”

    -Haha, as if there are Muslims devoting their lives to battling ‘Infidelophobia’. Don’t you get it? Islam wants you dead, subdued or converted! According to the Koran, there’s no other option. Devote all you like, as soon as the scimitar hits your neck it will count for nothing!

  • Richard Robinson

    “Anyway, the two passengers humping adult-erously in the toilet get it first; a powerful message to us all”

    Snakes don’t approve of humans reproducing ?

    I’ve not seen it, and don’t really expect to. But I did hear someone tell that a bull once got loose on the car-deck of the Orkney ferry. I can imagine taking a certain satisfaction in a few minutes’-worth of that footage.

    Much more drastic than a china-shop.

  • technicolour

    Suhayl: do you mean the *great* Brian Dennehy; star of The Belly of an Architect? Watch Snakes on a Plane 3 times in penance if you do.

    Funny that, Martin. No, really, it made me laugh out loud. I have an image of myself blithely travelling around the Islamic world, befriended as a ‘Child of the Book’, smiling, grateful, and oblivious to the frequent swishes of scimitars missing my unprotected neck by inches. Have you ever travelled, by the way?

    Nor do my friends & neighbours seem to want to kill me either, and goodness knows they have provocation. What’s going on?

    As for Mr ‘areas with mosques in go downmarket’, no that’s not at all a racist or vicious, if you prefer that epithet, thing to say. It is quite frankly, fucking stupid, since the building was being used as a mosque already.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Brian D has acted in so many really mediocre TV movies that now I find that I can’t associate him with much else. I guess Jason Robards did too and he acted in some great films. Nonetheless, I will do my penance, technicolour. As long as you don’t ask me to watch Noel Edmonds… I’d take the snakes any day.

  • technicolour

    No they bloody didn’t dress that way. Or behave that way. If you’d had women locked into their homes clutching at your knees and begging you to help them from the enforced house arrest and enforced seclusion and enforced dress, you might have a different opinion, Arsalan. But you don’t want to know, do you? You don’t want to know about Jamiat i Islami and the other mujaheddin groups who were horrified by Hezb. Fine.

    You are however right in that decades of war have caused this insanity. And who is to blame for that? Oh yes, the US, UK and the Soviets. Not the poor bloody Afghans.

    I can see past the burkha (see above). I can’t see past your refusal to keep supporting it, and refusal to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes, even if that person happens to be a woman. Nothing to do with being a tranny.

  • Richard Robinson

    Aargh, my past is catching up with me.

    Stage left pursued by false bears, in the shape of a post-demo court case featuring a wonderful argument with a court usher, on the subject of whether the head of a bear costume counted as a hat (“it comes off, sonny”) and whether a quacking toy duck on wheels was a necessary part of someone’s defence (he’d had enough and gave up. It went into court, where it was plainly unnecessary, and therefore good for morale).

    Also “40 years and we’re still hearing the same tripe!”

    As I remember it, Alf Garnett was supposed to be a mockery rather than a role-model, but some people never caught on.

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