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British Muslims for Secular Democracy threatened for opposing mega-mosque

British Muslims for Secular Democracy threatened for opposing mega-mosque

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Tehmina Kazi, director of British Muslims for Secular Democracy and star opponent of the massive fundamentalist mega-mosque proposed for West Ham in east London, close to the Olympic Stadium future home of West Ham United, has been forced to withdraw as a witness at the huge Public Inquiry that starts at the ExCel Conference Centre in Docklands today.

Ms Kazi, a former Project Officer at the Equality & Human Rights Commission and long-time supporter of Muslim women’s rights, was harried and pressured by members of Muslim-run Newham Peoples Alliance (NPA) while abroad on holiday last weekend. On Sunday evening she conceded and withdrew from the Inquiry in an email to NPA, who in turn late yesterday afternoon triumphantly informed the office of the Planning Inspector who will chair today’s Inquiry

Ms Kazi also publicly opposed the mega-mosque project at a previous Public Inquiry in 2011. Then as now, she courageously objected to the anti-woman bias of Tablighi Jamaat, the fundamentalist group behind the project.

Newham Peoples Alliance last year invited George Galloway and his Respect Party to lead support for the mega-mosque and also held a large pro-mega mosque demo outside Newham Town Hall. Last month NPA was at the centre of the row over Respect-turned-Tory Islamist candidates such as Mufti Shah Sadruddin in the Newham Council local elections.

“Regrettably murky Tower Hamlets politics have come to Newham,” said Alan Craig, director of the long-running MegaMosqueNoThanks campaign who lives just over a mile from the mega-mosque site. “Why do Islamists always pick on women? Like misogynist bullies NPA intruded on Tehmina’s holiday abroad last weekend.By phone and email they harassed her, intimidated her and then on behalf of the Tablighi Jamaat mosque trustees gave her assurance that their future treatment of women at the site will improve.

“Of course this is no assurance at all, as at present women are completely barred from the temporary mosque at the site. For 17 years since they bought the site,by choice it’s been a male-only mosque with no provision of any kind for women. Tablighi Jamaat’s future treatment of women can hardly get worse!”