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At 7pm yesterday (18th September), Newham Council met to consider the escalating controversy surrounding the proposed 70,000 seater mosque in their constituency of east London. The following report of that meeting provides an insight into the hostility faced by Councillor Alan Craig of the Christian Peoples Alliance and his efforts to investigate the terrorist links of the organization funding the ‘mega mosque’.

Cllr Alan Craig, leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance group on Newham Council, said last night that the borough's executive mayor was "irresponsible" to refuse to request an independent government investigation into allegations that Tablighi Jamaat, the Islamic group behind the Olympics mega-mosque at West Ham, may have terrorist links.

"There have been increasing reports from Intelligence Services, academics, Islam-watchers and the media that Tablighi Jamaat is a fertile breeding ground for terrorists and suicide bombers around the world. Therefore we must find out the truth," said Cllr Craig. "It is extremely foolish for Newham Council, the London Development Agency and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation to push on with the mosque project without first checking up on Tablighi Jamaat's peaceable credentials. What happens if these reports are right?"

Alan Craig's comments followed a row over the mosque at a full meeting of Newham Council yesterday evening (18 September), when the executive mayor Sir Robin Wales delivered a torrent of personal abuse at Cllr Craig accusing him amongst other things of being "anti-Muslim".

"That's simply nonsense and a smoke screen," said Alan Craig. "We have a responsibility to ask questions about the mosque as it will have a huge impact on Newham and east London. West Ham United's football stadium at Upton Park holds 35,000, while this mosque may eventually hold 40,000 or even 70,000 people. It will be the biggest mosque in Europe so I'm sorry Sir Robin gave abuse instead of answers.

"But in fact Sir Robin was attempting to divert attention away from the nod-and-a-wink agreement taking place between Newham Council, the London Development Agency and the London Thames Gateway Development Corporation," Cllr Craig continued. "The clear evidence is that they have decided – behind closed doors - that they are in favour of the mosque. They have not consulted local people at all but in due course, when the mosque master-plan is submitted, they intend to give it their formal approval.

"They are doing a typically undemocratic stitch-up," said Cllr Craig. "So our campaign to bring the matter into the open will continue. In fact, our campaign is hardly out of the starting blocks."

Queries can be directed to Alan Craig by calling 07939 547198