Oswestry’s first Muslim centre at ex-church gets go-ahead

Controversial plans for Oswestry’s first Muslim centre have been given the go-ahead. It will be sited in a 19th century former Presbyterian church.

The bid to change the church in Oswald Road, into a Muslim prayer centre sparked more than 70 objections and led to the town being targeted in a leafleting campaign by the British National Party.

But more than 40 people wrote in support of the bid by Oswestry Muslim Society and permission was given by Shropshire Council planning officers under delegated powers.

Planning officers revealed today that some of the objectors’ views had not been placed on the council planning website where the public’s representations can normally be viewed as they were of a ‘sensitive and pot-entially provocative nature’.

A planning report said: “There have been a substantial number of representations received both in support of  (41) and objection to (72) the proposal. Many of these relate either entirely or primarily to the race and/or religion of the applicants and individual perceptions about the potential influence on both the local and wider community.

“These matters are not material planning considerations and should not play any part in the determination of the application.”

It said the bid was approved as the proposed use was appropriate for the buil-ding and would not have an adverse impact on the area.

Comments for: "Oswestry’s first Muslim centre at ex-church gets go-ahead"

Andy Blade

Strange how a church is called a church yet a mosque is called an "islamic centre". Why is this?

Dawley Dave

I don't know, but there are Christian churches that are known as Christian Centres.

Edward

It is not called a mosque..... because it isn't. It's an "islamic centre" which is quite different.

HM

I suppose the word mosque sounds a bit scarey to alot of people. Btw, - I wonder how many christian churches would be allowed to be built in Saudi Arabia?

Robert

A good outcome. A community and prayer centre for our muslim citizens has had the support of all christian churches in Oswestry. The leaders of these churches have reminded us all that welcome, hospitality and tolerance are the basis of Christianity.

Peter

Robert,

It's good to see that you are able to support those of aother faith - but surely welcome, hospitality and tolerance can be observed in decent people of all religions and none. Aren't they just the basis of humanity?

It's difficult to imagine any legitimate objection to the provision of a place of worship for those who wish to follow their religion. If this were to be a huge new building there might have been some legitimate planning objections - but logically, given that it had fallen into disuse and previously been used to worship the same Abrahamic god (albeit in a different interpretation), it seems an apt enough purpose.

I wonder what possible reasons were offered by those objecting?

robert

Points well made Peter.

Nothings free

All well and good however "tolerance" questinable if that is practiced by any religion and will women be made welcome here? if not why not.

Peter

My understasnding is that women of the Islamic faith also worship at Mosques - so I see no reason why there should be any problem with women using the centre.

I believe men and women worship separately, but Islam isn't the only religion that has such separation of worship.

hm

Well I'm a christian and these so called leaders certainly don't speak on my behalf. I can't believe these people have actually given their blessing for a church to be taken for Islam. God help us!

Pat Bennett

My understanding is that government promotes integration, not segregation. Why is it that Oswestry Muslims seemingly disagree with this, by insisting on a separate 'meeting place'?

Peter

I'm not sure why you construe people wishing to follow different regligious faiths ( or none) as 'segregation'.

Do you regard Roman Catholics as segregated? Or Buddhists? Or Jehovah's Witnesses? They all have their own separate places of worship. Even Quakers have 'Friends Meeting Houses'.

All of these places, including Mosques or Muslim meeting places, would no doubt welcome visitors, subject to certain courtesies - e.g. the removal of shoes.