British politician and leader of the UK Independence Party Nigel Farage says super-mosques are “not a great idea”.

Muslims waiting outside of the East London Mosque (file photo)

Muslims waiting outside of the East London Mosque (file photo)

Farage said large mosques are “not necessarily a great idea”, as he toured a West Midlands town where the far-right English Defence League (EDL) has demonstrated against plans to build one with an 18-metre high minaret, the Guardian reported.

The Ukip leader was speaking in Dudley North, a constituency where tensions over the mosque appeared to be at the heart of an alleged plot by former Tory candidate Afzal Amin to get the EDL to organise an anti-mosque march that he would then take credit for stopping. The scandal led to Amin’s resignation last month.

Asked for his view on the Dudley mosque, Farage said: “People need places of religious worship. It’s just a question of whether that scale is the right one or not. I’m not going to for one moment advocate that we should ban people from being able to worship their religion. I think it’s very important they do. But whether super-mosques are the way forward is a separate question.”

Now, Shabbir Hassanally, an Islamic Studies Expert in London1 says: “Some British politicians …tend to sort of try and get away from the population, they try to divide people; it’s a common practice in the West to divide people and to create division because when people are busy fighting each other or having animosity towards each other, they forget what the politicians are doing and so the politicians get away with whatever they are doing.”

In the past UKIP members have struggled to differentiate religious buildings from each other.

Last year, a Kent branch of the populist right-wing party was left red-faced on social media after it mistook Westminster Catholic Cathedral, one of London’s most iconic buildings, for a mosque2.

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Footnotes

  1. This was an interview conducted by PressTV for its news bulletin on this story
  2. This ignorance was covered extensively, an article from the Catholic Herald on the subject can be found here

Written by Shabbir Hassanally

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