Dudley’s Muslim community united in disappoinment after committee rejects mosque proposal

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Oh, dear, how sad, never mind. That’s one of the comments to this report from Dudley News. The headline should read Dudley residents united in agreement with rejection of attempted bribe.

DUDLEY’S Muslim community is united in disappointment as hopes appear to be dashed that a £325,000 out-of-court offer could resolve a long-running dispute over land earmarked for a replacement mosque.

After a two-day hearing last month, Dudley Council’s overview and scrutiny management board recommended the authority turns down Dudley Muslim Association’s (DMA) offer for the Hall Street site – which already has planning permission to build a new place of worship and community centre. 

An action group, comprising members of all political groups and DMA representatives, will instead be set up to try to resolve the long-running saga and find an appropriate alternative site for the mosque by the end of the year.

But the action group has been branded “a farce” by Councillor Shaukat Ali, a former deputy leader of the council, who has slammed the authority for bowing to “political pressures”. A frustrated Cllr Ali told the News: “The report isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. . . In my view, the council has been unfair on this matter throughout. There are political pressures, people feel they may lose their seats but who are they giving in to? Far right extremist people who come and disrupt our town?” 

Councillor Dave Tyler, chairman of the scrutiny board, said after hearing evidence from both sides, it was clear there was “significant historical opposition” to the Hall Street site, which was “likely to be exacerbated if a development there went ahead”. Explaining the basis of the recommendation, he said: “We did not receive any reassurance from the DMA of a completion date if the settlement had been recommended and the group’s governance and business planning around the proposals is vague. There was also some uncertainty as to whether the proposal was a firm offer from the DMA or subject to further consultation.” 

Amjid Raza, spokesman for DMA, said it was a “solid offer made in good faith”, adding: “It is clear the council does not wish to settle out of court so this issue still remains politicised. . . The Court of Appeal hearing is scheduled to take place in October and we hope that justice will prevail. If we win that will give us the right to appeal, it’s not the end of the story.” Mr Raza said the proposed action group was “yet another delay tactic by the council” 

The council’s cabinet will make a final decision about the offer on Monday (August 17). 

Highly rated comments include:

“The DMA do not seem to understand democracy. The majority of Dudley people never wanted a mosque like that in Dudley. Not once have they said No but dozens of times. It is now time for the DMA to accept the decision at last and stop causing so much unrest and animosity in the communities.”

“Ah what a shame…. they are saddened and disappointed.
Shaukat Ali is a disgrace and ought to shut up once and for all…… The DMA have lost YET again and still refuse to accept a democratic process and keep bleating on. Is anyone else tired of their drivel and poor old me that they cant get a mosque where a few people want it.
Community Centre for all to use…. who on earth do they think they are kidding?
And as for them saying it didn’t end in a positive way, I’m sorry did i miss something? it ended positively for the 80000 people who signed a petition against it. So get over it!! “

“Well what a turn up for democracy at last. Alas it is still not the end just yet, but it seems an open air bribe trying to by pass the courts decision has not worked. In all honesty seeing as the DMA were all too willing to by pass any previous planning proposal by offering a cash payment in the hope that if it was accepted it would throw any future planning application by anybody to the council out of the window. Why bother with it? Just show the council, in fact, no need to show, just promise a nice bug wad of cash and have your own way…. No need to bother with a democratic process is there? About time this was put to bed. DMA get on with it, stop belly aching and find an alternate site, for once accept the fact that through due legal process, through objections to proposals and a final “no” to what to me seems a bribe your plans have been thwarted. And stop trying to push the blame to the “far right” getting there own way by way of marches and hoodlums and violence etc etc, not that there was any but we know the angle you were begging for and again, that did not happen. You have been beaten fair and square, end of!!! “

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