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.

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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  • Suhayl Saadi

    Yes, that’s right, Richard, Alf G was parody, but as you say, many didn’t get the irony. The kitchen-sink films and TV dramas were often excellent critiques of then-contemporary British society, with cracking dialogue. Really good cinema/ TV. ‘A Taste of Honey’, etc.

  • Suhayl Saadi

    Ah! I found my scimitar! Roight then, me lubbers…! Toime ta walk tha plaank, it be! Redbeard’s me name and don’ ya be forgettin it! Khairrudin Barbarossa, Corsair of the Barbary Coast, Whoite Slave Trader and terrifier a’ the flanks a’ the Thames! ‘Cept me got a fancie Devonian accent me has, Raabert Newton-stoiyle!

  • Richard Robinson

    “Will have to grin & bear it, I guess.”

    I should, perhaps, have remarked that it was an “Anti-racists are having more fun” fancy-dress demo. And now the acid seems to have got to Suhayl, too … can you play us a tune on that scimtar thing ?

  • technicolour

    yes, but Richard, I can *see* it. 200 helpless passengers locked on a plane with an out of control Noel Edmonds (Kevin Spacey). Terror? It lurks above! Suhayl can do the soundtrack on his scimitar (I bet it sounds a bit like a saw, but with sharper notes).

  • technicolour

    Arsalan, by the way, this is nothing personal. I like many nuns for example (well, not in that way). I do respect religious adherences as long as they don’t detract from humanitarianism and human rights all round.

    Human rights all round! Mine’s a double!

  • technicolour

    I wish you had a scimitar too, Arsalan. I do have one, a Turkish one. Family legend says it is bloodstained, but I think it is rust. Still, you are welcome to borrow it, as long as you can play a decent intro.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Suhayl can do the soundtrack on his scimitar (I bet it sounds a bit like a saw, but with sharper notes)”

    The Sandvik Stradivarius can actually be found in tool catalogues, believe it or not. (It could 20 years back, anyway, I don’t know about now).

    “an out of control Noel Edmonds”. Horror indeed. I live in Lancaster – the neighbouring town of Morecambe has an ugly history of involvement with Mr. Blobby. *Bad* acid.

  • technicolour

    Well, actually, I always thought that if I were forced to fight (ie conscripted) I would do so in a Mr Blobby suit, put on at the last minute, obviously. That should put the prat among the pigeons, as they almost say. And some good would come out of this terrible evil (you know it).

    My father took me to see a concert which included the Sandvik Stradivarius at the Albert Hall when I was a child!

  • technicolour

    Just realised that the original post (yes there was one) contains the immortal line “The old scholl has in fact been in use for many years”.

    These hippies & their sandals, eh?

  • Richard Robinson

    “Well, actually, I always thought that if I were forced to fight (ie conscripted) I would do so in a Mr Blobby suit”

    My god ! you fiend !

    (Cameras fade to set-piece battle).

    A battalion of false bears and wooden ducks, they can be fielders, while Mr. Blobby bowls wooden footwear, and Suhayl in to bat (well, scimitar) with a parrot on his shoulder … And for spectators, a horde of very puzzled-looking Tebbits.

  • Richard Robinson

    “Craig do you know where I can get a letter of marque?”

    In Somaliarrrrr, me hearties.

  • technicolour

    Well, actually, I always thought that if I were forced to fight (ie conscripted) I would do so in a Mr Blobby suit”

    My god ! you fiend !

    (Cameras fade to set-piece battle).

    Band of Brothers. Square jaws. Troops advance, grimly. Sound of rocket fire (those terribly accurate hem hem ones). And, through the mist of conflict, come the battle torn figures…with what in the middle? Mr Blobby?

    Total collapse of stout parties. At least, that’s what I reckon.

  • Richard Robinson

    Poor Craig. He from Elsewhere is bound to make out we’re all his fault …

  • Linda

    Thank you so much for pointing out that “anti-Semitic” has become a meaningless term thrown at anyone who says anything critical of Israel.

  • technicolour

    Hey, he should pay us!

    I quite like that bloke from elsewhere for some reason. Mischief, probably. Anyway, he seems to want to go to the surreal, and who are we to stop him, in this surreal world, where people believe things and reality is worse than all of them.

  • technicolour

    honestly larry, you’re wasting your time. Engage or not. We have seen you off, in any other respect.

  • Richard Robinson


    I feel a bit dubious about having said that. Not funny, what’s going on there.

  • Vronsky

    “Alf G was parody”

    Intriguing (in a sad sort of a way) that his lefty protagonist was a thespian by the name of Booth, who fathered a certain Cherie Booth, now Blair.

    Seems Marx got things the wrong way round, when he talked about great personages appearing twice “the first time as tragedy, the second as farce.” We got farce first, now we get tragedy. But I don’t care, I only ever watched the programme because I was blinded by an adolescent lust for Una Stubbs.

    I quite liked ‘Snakes on a Plane’, though. There is something adorable about the idea of jamming a couple of hundred Americans into a metal tube and then inserting some venomous reptiles in the other end – can’t quite put me finger on what it is.

  • Arsalan


    I’m am so glad everyone here is using the word venomous instead of poisonous. There are only two poisonous snakes, all the others are edible.

  • Richard Robinson

    Snakes on a plane ? There’s worse.

    A short story by, I think, Truman Capote, where someone committed a murder by waiting until the victim left his car with one of the windows a bit open, in a car-park in the full ?Texas? sun. Whereupon the murderer promptly obtained a dozen and a half rattlesnakes from somewhere handy, injected them with amphetamines and introduced them through the slot at the top of the window. So, when the victim comes back and opens the door – rattlesnakes on speed, pouring out of a car ! (I have no idea whether it’s true, but I think he claimed it was).

    Also a story I heard from one of the old hot-water-springs towns in south-west France, where nobody uses the pool much any more so it’s quietly reverting back into the local ecology. Open the tap for more water, and what pours out is water with water-snakes in.

  • arsalan

    So the moral of this thread is, yes to Mosques no to snakes on planes?

    Or was that the other way around?

    Anyway, I think it was all a Labour gimmick.

    Labour and the other parties know that Muslims will always vote Labour.

    So the other parties ignore pleasing Muslims and concentrate on winning over winnables such as racists.

    Labour know that their is nothing to gain by pleasing Muslims, because they already have the Muslim vote, and nothing to lose by displeasing them, because Muslims carried on voting Labour after the slaughter of millions of Iraqis and Afghans by Labour. So Labour too concentrates on securing the racist vote.

    This is all a Joke. None of the councilors had a problem with a Mosque being built there outside of election season, all of them had a problem with it being built in election season. None lorded the building’s “Historical significants” when planning permission was first sort. So how long does it take for a building to change from being dilapidated to Historic? This would indicate the time it takes for parties to think about the next election?

    This is all about securing the vote of the knuckle dragging skinheads of the EDL. This turn down might effect the way they vote, but wont effect the way the Muslims will vote. Because everybody knows they will always vote Labour.

  • Richard Robinson

    Arsalan – yes. It all has a bit of feeling that all there is to vote for is the colour of the deckchairs on the Titanic, doesn’t it ?

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