British Muslims Welcome Government’s Change of Mind on Closure of Places of Worship

15 Dec 2005

British Muslims Welcome Government’s Change of Mind on Closure of Places of Worship

The Muslim Council of Britain welcomes today’s announcement that the Government is to drop its controversial proposed plan to give courts the
authority to order the closure of places of worship.

`In our formal submission to the Home Office consultation paper last month we made it clear that the government’s original proposals had aroused a great deal of concern and even anxiety among many British Muslims. Mosques are and remain entirely peaceful centres of worship for the One True God. We believe that the police already have sufficient powers to deal with any potential problems so we are delighted that the government has today listened to these concerns and opened the way for mosques to be seen as partners against extremism and not as incubators of extremism,’ said Sir Iqbal Sacranie, Secretary-General of the Muslim Council of Britain.

It is notable that even in the case of the Finsbury Park mosque, which is so often cited in the media as a trouble spot, a change of management was undertaken using existing laws and procedures.

The MCB wishes to thank Churches Together in Britain and Ireland (CTBI) and also the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) who had also raised their concerns with the government on the proposals to close places of worship.

While welcoming today’s change, the Muslim Council of Britain continues to raise its concerns about other aspects of the government’s anti-terror legislation.

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Notes to Editors:

The MCB’s full response to the Home Office consultation paper can be read at:

http://www.mcb.org.uk/uploads/responseplacesofworship.doc
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