Division over Oswestry Muslim Centre grows


Staff Reporter

OBJECTIONS are mounting to plans to convert a former Oswestry church into a Muslim centre.

Public comments continue to roll in for the Oswestry Muslim Society proposal to transform the former Presbyterian Church on Oswald Road, hitting the 100-mark last week, as the £300,000 scheme divides the local community.

Currently 59 objections have been received by Shropshire Council, with 40 in favour, and one neutral comment.

A planning decision for the building, which currently houses a antique and reproduction furniture business, had been expected by January 11.

The recent spike in objections follows a targeted campaign by the British National Party, despite receiving considerable public support in the early stages.

One objection, received by Shropshire Council planning officers from Allan Jones, commented: “I am strongly opposed to the building of any Mosque in this country as I am of the personal opinion that although there are good and bad people in every race in the world, my opinion is that Islam is a dangerous form of religion and has no place in Western Society.

“I would not consider it right to build a Christian church in a Muslim country,” he added.

However, Gemma Cassin wrote to the authority, saying: “I believe that increasing Oswestry’s multi-culturalism can only be a good thing.”

Muslim leaders say they hope the scheme can build bridges and bring better understanding between community groups.

If successful the building would provide a permanent home for the religious group for the first time in its ten-year history.

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