The planning application for an Ahmadiyya mosque in Scunthorpe has been highlighted by the Scunthorpe Telegraph. We understand that some members of the local Muslim community also objected to the planning application for this mosque and various reasons were given from mosques already being present and functioning in the area, through to the design and adaptation of the Ahmaddiya mosque to its local surroundings.
We have said before that we are not going to get into a theological discussion and this is not the role of Tell MAMA. Our role is to tackle anti-Muslim hatred, bigotry, prejudice and intolerance. Yet, when we hear such terms used against the Ahmaddiya community, who are simply looking to develop a mosque, we have to state what is patently obvious; that differences can be resolved without resorting to terms that have implications which are bigoted and prejudiced such as ‘banana republic’.
This video sadly shows a handful of individuals stating that the Ahmaddiya mosque is not a ‘mosque’ but a ‘temple.’ It also shows one individual suggesting that individuals from the Ahmaddiya community may have come from ‘a banana republic.’
Our call is that differences can be resolved through dialogue and discussion. We hear from Muslims that Islam promotes dialogue, education and learning. We ask that local members of Muslim communities in Scunthorpe meet with one another to find a resolution to this issue. As long as there divisions, they will be manipulated and used by extremist far right groups to drive a wedge between communities. This is the last thing that residents of Scunthorpe need and things can only be resolved through dialogue.
We would like to stress that there will always be differences in life. The key thing is to ensure the safety of all local communities in Scunthorpe and to resolve issues through discourse and with language that does not inflame tensions between communities.
Lastly, the text on this video below shows how some may frame this issue. They will use it to malign Muslims and to seek division. May we ask for calm and cool heads at this time and we are here to mediate and assist if required.
We all deserve to live our lives in dignity and free from fear. Let us keep this in mind when working with each other and when interacting with each other in this tiny island of ours.