I WOULD like to point out two inaccuracies in last week’s Dudley News regarding the mosque.
Firstly, Council Leader David Caunt is quoted on the front page that the Independent Planning Inspectorate at Bristol was a “Labour funded quango”.
Quite what he means by this I’m not sure as the Independent Planning Inspectorate is part of the Civil Service and is not funded by a political party.
It is no different to the DVLA, HMRC or JobCentre Plus and no one would describe them as “Labour funded” – they are in fact, funded by you and me the taxpayer.
Secondly, Mr Cherrington’s remarks (Viewpoint, July 23) stated that Mr Ahmed of the Dudley Muslim Association is chairman of the North Dudley Labour Party – again this is simply incorrect.
It seems that Mr Cherrington and his UKIP friends follow the adage of never letting the truth stand in the way of a good story.
It seems to me the problem on the whole mosque issue is that it has been hijacked by extremists on both sides and the truth has been lost.
The main points and questions to answer are: l Does the Muslim community in Dudley need a replacement mosque – Yes. Anyone who has seen the chaos of the parking situation on Castle Hill on a Friday afternoon would agree).
l Do they have the right to freedom of worship – Yes, this is one of the fundamentals of a civilised society.
l Should they build a mosque in the 21st century with a 65ft minaret – No. There is simply no need to build a modern place of worship in the UK today based on an outdated and unnecessary requirement such as the call to prayer, especially in a largely non-Muslim urban area For me, these are the main points and Mr Caunt would be better served talking with the DMA to arrive at a compromise that suits everyone rather than political point-scoring.
He knows well enough that whichever political party would have been in power nationally, the decision from Bristol would have been the same.
Let’s not forget Dudley Council’s own planning officers’ recommended approval, so this notion that a local decision has been overturned is a technicality.
Councillors knew it would be a contentious issue so they rejected it and passed the buck to Bristol knowing full well it would be approved on purely planning grounds.
Please, please, please can we have some common sense on this issue.
There is a middle way and the council and the DMA need to find it.
STUART TURNER Gornal