According to The British Beer and Pub Association, 10,500 pubs have closed since 2000.
Just imagine if even a small proportion of these pubs get turned into Mosques. That is what seems to be happening in East Anglia.
Disused pubs are generally cheap to buy because they have commercial planning permission and few other uses. They can be found on prominent positions, on busy roads or street corners, in urban areas. They almost always, offer a lot of accommodation for the amount of money spent and often have plenty of parking.
Aylsham Road is a residential area on the outskirts of Norwich. It is also part of NR6 which was recently voted as one of the most desirable places in Britain to live.
But as the Eastern Daily Press (EDP) has just reported, a disused pub has just been purchased for £450,000 and planning permission has been granted to build £1m Mosque within the grounds.
Norwich is a city with relatively few Muslims. The recent census suggests that just 2% of the population are Muslim. As the report says, Norwich is not a very culturally diverse city. Walking around the city centre, I doubt that you would ever see a Burka and rarely a Hijab, but it seems that there are enough Muslims to built a large Mosque.
You have to question where such a small community gets £1.5m of donations from. It takes a lot of Bangladeshi takeaways dishes at £1 profit a time to raise and save these sort of amounts.
Not surprisingly, the EDP, which is known as an extremely liberal, tell you nothing much, local paper, has disabled comments. As can be imagined, local feeling is running high.
Of note, the EDP is owned by Archant, a newspaper group, who also owns the extremely anti-Brexit, pro EU and pro mass migration, ‘New European’ newspaper, as well as many other local newspapers including the Ipswich Star.
Even more concerning are the events in Ipswich. Ipswich has a much larger Muslim population including many Kurds. The Ipswich Star published the following article: ‘Plans lodged for former Mulberry Tree pub in Ipswich to become community centre.’
Another quite beautiful pub with surprisingly similar architecture to the Norwich one.
In the Ipswich case, Archant has allowed comments, quite surprising given it’s political persuasion. This has caused all sorts of controversy on the newspaper’s facebook page and in the comments section of this article. The issue here, of course is, what is the real difference between an Islamic community centre and a Mosque. Given that Muslims pray in the street in France, presumably they could also worship in a community centre. It would appear that the term ‘community centre’ has been used to get over planning objections.
Ipswich, a town of supposedly just 133,000 residents, already has three mosques. One is openly labeled on google as ‘Ipswich Kurdish Islamic Centre’ (Mosque).
A concerned Ipswich resident of non- Muslim, South Asian descent emailed me and said : ‘Yesterday, I contacted ‘The Mosque Buster’. He’s a planning consultant who does planning objections pro bono against Mosques.’ He sent me this link. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2fZ5d1HMEX8&t=3s
Earlier on Norwich Road, Ipswich, an area which has become colloquially known as Ipswich’s ‘Little Lebanon’, a similar conversion was attempted. The council gave permission:
Then the entire building just suddenly collapsed and fell down. Anyone who has ever done any construction knows that it is much cheaper and advantageous to build new than try to renovate some 150 year old building. How co-incidentally fortunate.
A local resident said: ‘I remember the congestion this caused when I tried driving around Ipswich when this road was closed. It’s rather convenient that the builders were so unskilled to essentially demolish the pub by stealth since the building is not currently viable (the building firm had ethnic sound surnames and were based in London so it wasn’t your skilled Polish or Irish builder that knocked out the walls.) ‘
Also a couple of years ago, a church purchased by an Islamic organisation burnt to the ground. Initially, some homeless squatting there were blamed but why didn’t they have insurance to allow restoration to its previous state? Anyone who has ever done a listed building renovation knows it is a complete nightmare of regulations and expenses, including having to use original materials like lime mortar and try to repair lead in stained glass windows. Another convenient coincidence seems to have occurred.
A reader of the Ipswich Star then posted this link:
It makes interesting reading especially the offer of an interest-free loan so a member of ‘the community’ could use ‘right to buy’ to buy a council house. Also of note are a number of ‘investigations’ by the charity commission about charity donations and sources of money. Even the Guardian has noted that a quarter of charity commission inquiries target Muslim groups.
Again you have to question, how would a local person get £1m to give a soft loan to a Kurdish community centre in Ipswich?
As with many things today, the media neither investigates, nor always tells the full truth but there is growing evidence that Kurdish gangs are involved in the illegal cigarette trade. Could the money possibly have come from these activities?
A quick google of ‘Kurdish cigarette gangs’ brought up 410,000 results. This just one article.
‘Kurdish illicit tobacco gang’s ‘Mr Big’ will face judge to be sentenced for selling dangerous fags.
There have also been continual cigarette gang raids in Great Yarmouth, Leicester and elsewhere which have been well documented. This trade appears to be run by Kurdish gangs all over the country. Here is another from Hertfordshire
I leave you to ponder some questions. How was it, that not one but two historic buildings, one of which was grade two listed, came to be destroyed in a small town. Where has that £1m soft loan come from?
Maybe a few politically incorrect dots need to be connected. Unfortunately, you can guarantee that it is unlikely to be an Archant owned, local newspaper that does it.