We’re all in this together

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ORGANISATIONS across East Renfrewshire have come together to deny there is a rift within the muslim community.

Representatives from the Woodfarm Education, East Ren and Iqra learning centres issued a joint statement this week to confirm support for a religious and community facility at Eastwood high.

The statement expressed that the Muslim community “is keen to ensure the upcoming Local Development Plan includes a site which may be used for establishing a potential muslim facility”.

Council leader Jim Fletcher has described the arguments against the mosque as a “multi-headed hydra”.

He told The Extra: “Wherever a mosque is proposed there is a backlash. The proposal for a similar nearby sitewas criticised on grounds of flooding.

“The muslim community are now experiencing what the Catholic community experienced 30 years ago.”

An original application to build an Islamic community centre and mosque on Leslie Avenue in Newton Mearns received more than 1,000 letters of objection.

Mr Fletcher continued: “There were more than 8,000 objections to St Ninian’s high school and that is now one of our most successful schools.

“We knew this proposal would be controversial — that’s why we put it to consultation. The public have the right to respond as they see fit.

“I won’t take a view one way or the other until after the consultation is submitted.”

However, Newton Mearns councillor Jim Swift previously told The Extra: “It does not help this wider community by trying to site a mosque in a very controversial area and unnecessarily striving to provoke community disharmony.”