Mosque bid reaction to leader’s comments

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COMMENTS from East Renfrewshire council leader Jim Fletcher in last week’s Extra have prompted a backlash accross the community.

Regarding opposition to plans for a mosque within Eastwood high school grounds, the councillor compared the muslim community’s struggle to what “the catholic community experienced 30 years ago”.

However, furious campaigners insist the issue has nothing to do with religion, instead objectng to the proposed location within Eastwood high school grounds.

Stephen Graham from Newton Mearns, a member of the Crookfur Residents’ Group, told The Extra: “Lets get one thing straight — this is nothing to do with colour or creed.

“I attended the community council meetings and the recent public meeting, and we are all happy for them to get a mosque.

“However the appropriate place is not on school grounds.”

Fellow member Brent Murphy added: “I stood in front of Jim Murphy the other night and left him in no doubt that we support a prayer facility in an appropriate location.

“He has, however, chosen to ignore this conversation, and to spread his sensationalist agenda.”

Newton Mearns community councillor Bryson McNeil added: “There is considerable division in the muslim community over the proposed mosque. It is not the rantings of a lunatic fringe.”

Speaking on The Extra’s Facebook page, Kirsteen Rafferty Allan commented: “The consensus is that there should be a mosque in Newton Mearns — just not on Eastwood high’s campus.”

West of Scotland MSP Jackson Carlaw has also weighed in on the debate, writing to East Renfrewshire council over proposed changes to the Local Development Plan.

He said: “In spite of what its proposers say, this is not an appropriate solution.

“The quest for a suitable site for a mosque cannot be never-ending. However, there can be no future in the proposal for a mosque at Eastwood high.”