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Do Worship Buildings cause Isolation or Integration?
Author/Source: Ani Khan  (anikhan6@aol.com) Posted by: henna
Hits: 4437 Rating: 0 (0 votes) Comments: 0 Added On: Tuesday, April 10, 2007 Rate this article

Route To Integration

I congratulate ‘Globe’ on its role in helping people from both the Muslim & the wider community to voice their opinions about the proposed mosque in Birkenhead. Referring to the some of the concerns raised and comments made in the letters to Mailbox I would first like to draw to everyone’s attention the fact that this is not the first mosque in Birkenhead. In fact the existing mosque which has operated here very peacefully for the last twelve years is being moved to a new premises, only for the simple reason that the community has grown and a larger space is needed. Majority of the members of the Muslim community are either business people that are running Indian takeaways successfully on the Wirral or doctors working in the hospitals serving the local community. Yes, we know that the mosque was attacked by someone who was later discovered with other hideous crimes to his credit. We read about many cases of vandalism and theft in the area. So what do we do? Do away with all the organizations and places that have been attacked or try and deal with crimes & criminals.

I find Mr Roger Hayes comments made in his letter (Muslims: Integrate, don’t segregate) particularly interesting. He has condemned Islam and blamed Muslims for not dressing like him, for not drinking wine in order to integrate. Honestly Mr Hayes you need to sit and read your letter once again and you will agree with me, that what you are trying to say is that- be like me or you are not acceptable. As citizens of this country it is home to us and we see our children’s future in this country. Integration is a two way process. If people on one end are so judgemental about the dress code, way of living and faith of other people then any sensible person will tell you that the process of integration is bound to fail. Broadminded, modern & civilized we can be all that if only we accept each other with our differences and learn from the good that each community has to offer.

I would particularly like to thank Nicola Simmons who has so earnestly highlighted the positive contribution that the Muslim community has made. I understand that it must have taken courage to say all that in the present situation where talking ill about Muslims and highlighting the differences seems to be the norm. In the end I would like to applaud the efforts of all those who are trying to bridge the gaps. Having people like you all means that our children’s future is not bleak after all.

Ani Khan

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