Michael Fabricant MP condemns BNP in Lichfield mosque debate

Alex Sproule with the BNP 'truth truck' outside Lichfield Cathedral

Alex Sproule with the BNP 'truth truck' outside Lichfield Cathedral

EXCLUSIVE: Lichfield MP Michael Fabricant has re-iterated his opposition to a proposed mosque – but added that he hoped “no-one will fall for the BNP’s doctrine of hatred”.

The BNP’s controversial ‘truth truck’ was removed from the grounds of Lichfield Cathedral yesterday after the group revealed it would be fighting against any mosque in the city as part of a European and County Council election strategy.

But Mr Fabricant, who has already voiced his opposition to the building of a traditional-style mosque in Lichfield, has accused the BNP of “disgraceful opportunism”.

He told The Lichfield Blog:

“The appearance of the BNP in Lichfield is a nasty new turn in the course of events surrounding the mosque issue. Their opportunism is disgraceful. I hope that no-one will fall for their doctrine of hatred.”

However, the Lichfield MP has continued to state his opposition to the plan, saying “I do not think that domes and minarets are appropriate in a heritage City like Lichfield”.

He also appealled for a respectful dialogue between those behind the mosque plan and the objectors. He said:

Michael Fabricant MP

Michael Fabricant MP

“I firmly believe that we all now need to show some mutual tolerance and respect regarding this matter.  And I use the word ‘mutual’ advisedly for this issue goes both ways. On the one hand, our unwritten constitution allows for freedom of worship.  Unlike some other countries where Christians and those of other religions are persecuted, we believe it is a fundamental human right to allow our citizens to worship in their own way.  A number of different branches of Christianity have churches, chapels, and tabernacles in Lichfield and – yes – there is room for a mosque too.

“But on the other hand, it is not for one religion to try and impose itself on non-believers of a particular faith.  Many in Lichfield would find regular, daily, amplified calls to prayer in Arabic annoying, distracting, inappropriate and highly intrusive.  And while I happen to believe the new restaurant and flats by Minster Pool and Bird Street to be quite out of keeping in a conservation area, two wrongs do not make a right and to demand a mosque complete with minarets and domes in such a sensitive historic location is equally – if not far more – incongruous and provocative.

“Non-conformist churches and synagogues generally blend in with the existing environment and quietly get on with worship while not intruding on the lives of others.  Many Moslem architects and theologians say mosques can do so too; needing neither special external architectural features nor calls to prayer.  And to those who argue that church bells are as intrusive as the call to prayer, I would say that the sound of any human voice is far more noticeable than that of bells – which also happen to be part of our English tradition.

“Passions have been inflamed by the manner in which the Mosque in Lichfield has been promoted by Abdul Salam.  I would say to him: not all publicity is good publicity.  Community relations in our ethnically mixed nation can be unnecessarily strained by those who thoughtlessly seek to make wild demands of our normally tolerant society.  It really is not racist to say that tolerance has to be a two-way street.  I do now hope that some calm can prevail.”

Advertisements
Founder of LichfieldLive and editor of the site.

29 Comments

  1. Stuart Harrison

    22nd April, 2009 at 5:02 pm

    Mr Fabricant is right. Domes and minarets have no place in a sensitive historic location, which is why we have planning laws. Such an application would never get planning permission, even if the relatively small Muslim population of Lichfield manage to find a magical pot of money that would allow them to fund such an application.

    All this sorry little episode has done is give nasty people like the BNP the oxygen of publicity, and the sooner this is forgotten about, the better.

  2. Rob

    22nd April, 2009 at 8:49 pm

    Oh right Stuart, so you don’t mind them popping up all over the rest of the country then, just not in your town eh? Good luck to the BNP.

  3. dave

    22nd April, 2009 at 9:10 pm

    not in my backyard a Stuart, you nasty selfish little man. not unlike Michael Fabricant . to late for talking now loser.

  4. Sir Jasper

    22nd April, 2009 at 10:20 pm

    Fabricant – suggests a cross between “Lubricant” and “Fabrication”. Come to think of it sounds like a apt discription for a Tory slimeball!

  5. boley roley

    22nd April, 2009 at 10:37 pm

    Good luck to Alex on june 4th,racist no way ,this chap has some very good local polices and issues.

  6. David

    23rd April, 2009 at 6:23 am

    The Rt Hon Michael Fabricant MP said “and – yes – there is room for a mosque too.” He also reportedly said
    “I do not think that domes and minarets are appropriate in a heritage City like Lichfield”. So he has a foot in both camps. Whose vote is he after? But he can say too, “The appearance of the BNP in Lichfield is a nasty new turn in the course of events surrounding the mosque issue. Their opportunism is disgraceful. I hope that no-one will fall for their doctrine of hatred.” So he is against taking opportunities when they land in your lap, like manna from heaven?

    If the good people of Lichfield don’t want a mosque in their backyard tell the applicants to go to their neighboroughing big, town to the east. Where the planning department there, has absolutely no qualms of destroying over 1,300 years of heritage and history.

  7. Stuart Harrison

    23rd April, 2009 at 9:30 am

    Dave – How am I ‘nasty’ and ‘selfish’? If I was ‘nasty’ and ‘selfish’, I’d be judging people by the colour of their skin and their religion and denying people a place to worship.

    I’d also be interested to see how many people commenting on this and similar stories actually live or work in Lichfield and how many of them are just Mr. Griffin’s cronies trying to whip up racial hatred.

    Once again, this whole issue is a non-issue. A mosque will never be built in the centre of Lichfield, so all this is noise and bluster over nothing.

  8. Rob

    23rd April, 2009 at 11:30 am

    Stuart, I think you need to read the comments again.

    So you don’t want a mosque in YOUR town, but you couldn’t care less where else they appear. In my book and obviously ohers that makes you a selfish hypocrite, just like Mr Fabricant, and also a moral coward.

    As long as you’re ok eh.. you can carry on being Mr right-on-pc-man that your picture implies, and you get to call other people who DO care about what’s happening to this country ‘nasty’ to boot. COMMENT REMOVED: Any comments containing personal abuse will not be tolerated and will be removed.

    PS. Do you have to be a resident of Lichfield to comment on smething tht is affecting the whole country, ie. Islamification of Britain?

  9. Michael Fabricant

    23rd April, 2009 at 12:08 pm

    Stuart has obviously touched a raw nerve when he asks whether some of the more extreme comments are actually being posted by locals or not! But my position is very clear despite some of the comments made above. There are methodist churches, baptist tabernacles and others besides in Lichfield. If a synagogue were opened there wouldn’t be a fuss either. Why? Because neither Jewish nor Christian worshipers seek to impose their views on those of other religions or no religion. Nor should anyone kick up a fuss if a mosque were established and quietly got on with it like other places of worhsip. It would indeed be rascist is we just singled out Muslims. What I object to is the proposal for this particular mosque – not that anyone has applied for planning permission – which would impose itself on everyone else both visually and aurally. But as some have already said, such a proposal would not meet planning regulations anyway so it’s all a bit academic!

  10. David

    23rd April, 2009 at 12:24 pm

    Mr. Fabricant, a lot of buildings don’t seem to meet planning regulations, but they somehow manage to get built. Why is that?

  11. Rob The Builder

    23rd April, 2009 at 12:30 pm

    Whilst I believe Mr Fabricant is genuinely concerned about the city, his ‘sit on the fence’ approach to this issue is exactly the sort of thing that the BNP and other racists jump on to support their arguments.
    Anyone. including Mr Salam, has the same right to propose a new building and then follow the proposal through the planning system. I have no doubt that there will never be a mosque situated by Minster Pool.
    But by turning the issue into an anti-Muslim one, rather than a debate about where particular buildings should be situated, he does our city no favours.

  12. Rob

    23rd April, 2009 at 1:02 pm

    Mr Fabricant, it’s not whether the postings are from locals “which hits the raw nerve”, it’s the selfish disregard for what is happening to large parts of our collectively country which “hits the raw nerve”.

    What is wong with you people, you try and twist things as though you assume everyone is totally stupid.

    The point is, as in the case of most pro ‘multiculturists’ (yes, that failed social experiment) it’s one rule for you out there in your leafy suburbs and quite another for the rest of us who have already seen our communities destroyed through unwanted third world mass immigration. Or to use a more accurate description.. bloodless genocide of the British people.

    I think you’ll find over the coming years it is YOU who will rightly be viewed as the ‘extremist’ for what you and your Troughminster colleagues have allowed to happen to this beautiful country.

  13. Gastank

    23rd April, 2009 at 1:15 pm

    Perhaps people would like to consider this recent article linked below in the Economist and the comments made by Ann Cryer MP for Keighley, who has in the past also raised the issue of the high number of birth defects in the Muslim community because of the propensity to marry first cousins.

    Would the people of Lichfield be happy if 80% of the Muslim worshippers marry someone from Pakistan and then have 4.8 children of which 80% marry someone else from Pakistan. It really just amounts to backdoor Islamification and results in the importation of poverty because of inability of the imported spouses to function successfully here, in part because of the language/cultural differences and in part because the Muslim community tends to pick and choose the parts of the British system that they like and ignore others.

    I think the reaction to the Mosque and indeed BNP support is a reaction to these issues. When did problems last arise about the construction of a Guru Nanak Temple? Why do other groups manage to go about their business quietly without shouting that the are being victimised and at the first sign that anyone disagrees or dares to criticise their culture or practices allege racism.

    Therefore I think that mainstream politician need to get hold of issue and start acknowledging and dealing with the problems in the way Frank Field has, otherwise the BNP will continue to flourish. Of course the Conservative Party is afraid to do this because the left will play the race card, as they did on the 2001/05 elections. Although I am not sure that will work this time.

    http://www.economist.com/world/britain/displaystory.cfm?story_id=13497357

  14. Tax Payer

    23rd April, 2009 at 3:12 pm

    Nice to know that we have Michael Fabricant MP contributing to the debate. Perhaps he would like to talk about his (and his colleagues) claiming of Parliamentary expenses? For instance, are we (the taxpayers) helping to purchase a second home for you as we do for so many of your Parliamentary colleagues Michael? Over to you sir.

  15. Rob

    23rd April, 2009 at 4:32 pm

    Oh dear, he’s gone strangely quiet.

  16. Rob

    23rd April, 2009 at 5:57 pm

    Probably feeding time or something?

  17. Tax Payer

    23rd April, 2009 at 8:39 pm

    According to the “They Work for You” website Mr. Fabricant has claimed around £138,000 in Parliament’s Additional Claims Allowance (ACA) between 2001 and 2008. This being the money MPs claim from us to pay mortgage interest, council tax, phone, gas, electricity, water and grocery bills (not to mention items fom the John Lewis List)! Funny thing is that his expenses table implies that he is “1st” when it comes to claiming ACA. Have a look for yourselves – Google “They Work for You” and then search for “Fabricant”. His expenses claiming details can be found at the foot of the report. It makes very interesting reading.

  18. Nina Salter

    24th April, 2009 at 11:16 am

    Lichfield is a lovely tranquil city, people flock here to visit its Catheral and surrounding history. I feel it would be a very sad day should a mosque be allowed to be built in Lichfield. Why cannot people see that Englishness & Britishness has a right in this country instead of always being pushed to the side for other beliefs. Why should Englisness & Britishness be seen as a second citizen!

  19. Nick Brickett

    24th April, 2009 at 1:19 pm

    “…bloodless genocide of the British people.”
    LOL.

  20. Adrian Burbridge

    24th April, 2009 at 2:22 pm

    I was born in Lichfield and live in Lichfield, by having a Mosque built does in no way affect the “Englishness & Britishness” of the city/county. We have Mormans, Jehovahs Witnesses & many more in the city.
    Lichfield has a high amount of racism, this is brought about by the lack of cultural diversity in the city and stopping the mosqu will only further this.
    Just for some people’s information being British has nothing to do with the colour of your skin or your religion

  21. Phil

    24th April, 2009 at 3:07 pm

    “Tax Payer” – Please keep comments on topic.

  22. Gastank

    24th April, 2009 at 7:16 pm

    “by having a Mosque built does in no way affect the “Englishness & Britishness” of the city/county”
    What are you for real?

    How can a place not be affected if a Mosque is built and all the Muslim people gravitate together in one area because of this and then force the previous white inhabitants out through their racist attitudes – yes that is right racism towards white people does happen, hard as it is for some to comprehend.

    “I was born in Lichfield and live in Lichfield – Lichfield has a high amount of racism, this is brought about by the lack of cultural diversity in the city and stopping the mosqu will only further this.” Why don’t you go and live somewhere that you think can fulfil your fantasies then if it is so bad in Lichfield? Do you actually deep down despise yourself for having the benefits of living in Lichfield. Don’t worry I am sure the personal benefits of lower crime and good schools help you to justify living in Lichfield to yourself.

    So you think that by importing another culture with abhorrent views towards women and gay people it will reduce racism, because it is something different, just like that at a drop of a hat? You are just repeating the unthinking mantra of multiculturalism, do you not understand if you have multiple cultures people have nothing in common to share and just end up living separate lives, that is why Trevor Phillips and others are moving away from this notion. How many non white friends have you got and when did you last have a person from another race in your house?

  23. Benno

    26th April, 2009 at 4:50 pm

    Well said Gastank, and very true.

  24. garry

    1st May, 2009 at 12:41 pm

    I agree with Michael Fabricant’s general comment, that interaction is a two way operation.When aChristian Cathedreal can be built in Mecca or Medina, then a Mosque should be built in Lichfield! This will never happen in Saudi Arabia so why should it be permitted in Lichfield.Faith is a personal thing and people should recognise the fact that our predominant faith is the Christian faith/Church of England and accept this without feeling the need to change everything to siut their demands, if this is unacceptable to them, then worship in a country where their chosen faith is the dominant one.

  25. rob

    1st May, 2009 at 7:09 pm

    why can’t they use the church as the Christian faith does not discriminate between faiths and the doors are always open

  26. weeble

    2nd May, 2009 at 7:45 am

    what would interest me , is of all the people who have commented on this issue , how many actually regularly attend a church ?

    This is a no issue. blown up by the press when there was nothing else to report. time to move on.

  27. Adrian burbridge

    3rd June, 2009 at 5:32 pm

    “do you not understand if you have multiple cultures people have nothing in common to share and just end up living separate lives” – I fail to see your logic in this, I have friends from different cultures and we get along fine, solialise and yes we have common interests and hobbies.

    “How many non white friends have you got and when did you last have a person from another race in your house?”- I must have 15+ non white friends and the last time someone from another race was in my house was around 4 years ago, so clearley different cultures can get along…your point being?

    It does not effect my life if they build a mosque or not in Lichfield, theres good arguements for both sides of the case. But the people posting saying hites and non whites can not get along is childish and even worse are the thugs on the facebook group saying they would vandalise it.

  28. nonoftheabove

    28th August, 2009 at 2:34 pm

    I would remind everyone that despite a 20,000 strong petition against a Mosque in Dudley, planning permission was granted. So much for considering the will of the people. The truth is that BRITISH people do not want a mosque, and that should be the end of it. But the minority politically correct idiots will get their way as usual. If the muslims wish to pray why not go to Burton only a couple of miles away. To be honest even this mosque should not have been allowed.

  29. Unconcerned Citizen

    28th August, 2009 at 5:43 pm

    Collecting signatures doesn’t justify a witch hunt.
    It indicates a large number of bigots present.