ATTEMPTS to block Oswestry Muslim Society’s new centre plans have fallen on deaf ears as over 30 people came out in support.
Letters of support rolled in to Shropshire Council in relation to the application at the premises of Oswald Road Fine Furniture business after it was lodged in November, with many of the 33 praising the opportunity to provide the organisation with a permanent home for the first time in its ten-year history.
Others welcomed the restoration of the former Presbyterian Church as a religious building.
But since the first British National Party ‘Day of Action’ last weekend a barrage of objections has hit the £300,000 project, taking total objections to 23.
Charles Nicholson wrote: “I fully support this change of use in the interests of multi-culturalism in the town of Oswestry. I am appalled that right wing groups such as the BNP should be attempting to sow the seeds of racism and hate in our community.”
His views were echoed by Valentine Davis, who added: “As I live nearby I would consider myself a neighbour should this building be restored for use for community worship. I warmly support this application and am certainly not concerned about the possibility of noise disturbance from the call to prayer.
“The Muslim community in Oswestry contribute much to our town and there is no reason to deny them a mosque in this lovely old chapel. I’m sure this will benefit the wider Oswestry community as there will be open door events and opportunities to share ideas and core beliefs.”
But Mark Hothersall, commented: “Application for a mosque disguised as a community hall. Coming from Blackburn, this is just a start and I for one don’t support it. If it goes ahead, I don’t believe I will continue to live in this unspolit town, while Marie James, added: “I am dead against it as it will bring more Muslims into the area. We are a small market town and have no need for this – there are not enough police in this area to control a mass demo which it will turn into.”
Other objections highlighted the already stated concerns regarding parking.
Society officials say they hope the new centre will help ‘build bridges’ and ‘bring better understanding’ to all communities.
A SHOCKING video has been released by the British National Party as the far-right party held its first day of action against plans for a Muslim centre in Oswestry.
Marking their first day of action on December 16, the BNP used the YouTube aired video to state their reasons for objecting to the Oswestry Muslim Society’s plans to convert the former Oswald Road Fine Furniture Store into a new home.
The footage features graphic images of supposed Halal meat slaughters demonstrating one of four reasons for the political party’s objection. The ‘Islamification’ of the United Kingdom, allegations of sexual grooming of white British girls, and Koran readings that it is acceptable to lie to advance a cause, were the other reasons.
BNP member Philip Reddall featured in the video comments: “We have had a great day of action today. We have had lots of activists, many of them local people from Oswestry.”
Hundreds of leaflets and newspapers were distributed through the doors of town centre properties as part of the action day.
Shropshire Council’s Leader Keith Barrow also came under fire in the video after he repeated a comment posted on social media site Twitter calling on ousting the BNP from Oswestry.
But the Oswestry South representative slammed the party’s stance, commenting: “They are nothing to do with Oswestry and should keep out of Oswestry, we do not need their hatred.
“The Oswestry Muslim Society are part of our town. They have been coming together for prayers for years and no-one has noticed, so why is this a problem? It makes good use of the building.”
The BNP has promised further action days in 2013.