Mosque leader’s pledge to meet far-right group

Mosque leader’s pledge to meet far-right group

A MOSQUE leader has said he would meet with far-right activists – if they arranged a formal visit.

Akooji Badat, chairman of the Snowdon Masjid in Batley, spoke out after Britain First recently protested outside several local places of worship.

Last month Christians from South Korea attended Snowdon Street in a visit arranged through Kirklees Council.

They came with pastor Marcus Murray from the Elim Pentecostal Church, on Wellington Street in Dewsbury.

Mr Badat said: “Anyone is welcome at the mosque for a tour to see what we teach.

“And I actually agree with Britain First on some issues like immigration and border control.”

But Mr Badat criticised the group for making unannounced visits which he considered provocative.

Last month Britain First held up banners stating “No More Mosques” outside various venues ahead of a rally in Dewsbury.

Mr Badat said: “When they’re coming into the foyer causing trouble that’s incitement. They shouldn’t be able to come into our yard.

“It’s not public space in the same way that Tesco might be, where you’re ‘invited’ in as a customer.

“But if they want to make a peaceful protest and also talk through the issues then that’s their democratic right.”

He added of local mosques: “There’s no such thing as terrorism being taught – and if anyone came in here preaching hatred we’d kick them out.

“If there are problems elsewhere, whether in Birmingham or London, then the Government is right to take action.”

Mosques in Batley such as the Madina Masjid on Purlwell Lane have come out in support of greater integration since Britain First’s rally.

Mr Badat said: “The Asian community here is all as one. If they come to Dewsbury then we feel Batley is being targeted as well.”


Cash raised for Dewsbury Hospital

Mosque leaders have collected £350 to donate to good causes at Dewsbury District Hospital.

Members of the Snowdon Masjid, on Snowdon Street, raised the cash days after thieves stole toys from the hospital’s children’s A&E unit.

Mosque chairman Akooji Badat said: “As Muslims we have a responsibility to help others.”

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