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Britain First relaunches campaign to halt construction of Maidstone's 'mega mosque'

Far right political group Britain First has relaunched its campaign against the construction of a town centre "mega mosque".

Members visited Maidstone last January in a bid to end the plans to build the new three-storey mosque in Mote Road.

The site has been the central hub for the town's Muslims for two decades and is undergoing a major restructure.

Around 10 protestors from Britain First protested the expansion of the mosque in January 2017, and another dozen did in September 2017
Around 10 protestors from Britain First protested the expansion of the mosque in January 2017, and another dozen did in September 2017

Plans to build the new mosque, which includes three shops, were approved by Maidstone Borough Council in December 2016.

A statement on Britain First's website said: "Britain First has previously campaigned against plans to build a 'Mega Mosque' in the heart of the historical town of Maidstone in the heart of Kent.

"After tearing down an existing mosque, they now propose to erect a grotesque three-storey structure which includes three shops.

"This is all part of the ongoing plan for the Islamification of Britain.

Maidstone mosque has been demolished
Maidstone mosque has been demolished

"Britain First are re-launching our campaign against this monstrosity."

Eleven people have so far sent off a complaint to MBC through the website.

Last month Dr Muhammad Shabbir Usmani, Imam of Maidstone Mosque said: "The mosque will be regenerated into modern buildings that facilitate the wider community.

"These new facilities will include classrooms for the children, more space to pray, wash and rest, a new library and a flat.

"Our previous space did not allow us to do this, but we would also like to work with churches in the area to provide space for homeless people too."

Dr Muhammad Shabbir Usmani, Iman of Maidstone Mosque
Dr Muhammad Shabbir Usmani, Iman of Maidstone Mosque
Computer generated images of the new Maidstone Mosque
Computer generated images of the new Maidstone Mosque

Dr Usmani, who has been Imam at Maidstone Mosque for 20 years, hopes that the new place of worship will be finished by the end of April next year.

"We had planned to begin the work in the summer but there was a delay. We are still very ambitious, we've got to work hard with our contractors and engineers.

"The holy month of Ramadan will begin in May, so every night about 80 and 90 people turn up to do their prayers for the month, so our intention is to re-open before then. But we've got to be patient.

"We closed this site in September and since then we've been hiring a home in Park Wood called Heather House, where we do our weekly Friday prayers. The facilities are very good, there is lots of parking and an open area."

Computer generated images of the new Maidstone Mosque
Computer generated images of the new Maidstone Mosque

The planning process has been marred by protests from anti-Islam and far-right activists in the past couple of years.

In January 2017, around 15 members of the South East Alliance voiced their opposition to the expansion of the site.

Counter demonstrations were held by the left-wing Kent Anti-Racism Network, who outnumbered their rivals by around three to one and later enjoyed tea and biscuits inside the mosque with worshippers.


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