In a rare demonstration of cross-party unity in Croydon for the benefit of the locals, four Labour councillors have today come together with a local Tory MP and Conservative London Assembly Member to condemn a “hate-driven” anti-Muslim campaign in New Addington which they claim is being orchestrated by the fascists of the British National Party.
Carole Bonner and Simon Hall, the Labour councillors for Fieldway, together with Oliver Lewis and Louisa Woodley, the New Addington councillors, issued the joint statement with Gavin Barwell, the Croydon Central MP, and AM Steve O’Connell. The statement condemned the BNP ahead of a public meeting planned for this Sunday, part of a campaign which opposes the building of a mosque in the area – even though there are no such plans.
“It is clear that the whole ‘New Addington Mosque’ campaign, including street stalls and this meeting, is being run by the British National Party as an opportunistic hate-driven campaign,” the statement reads.
“There is a very strong community in New Addington. The BNP is seeking to divide this strong community and create tensions in a community where people from many different races and religions happily live together and support each other. Sadly, this is not the first time they have tried to do this in New Addington.
“The BNP has, throughout this campaign, sought to whip up fear and incite Islamophobia. Apart from anything else, this is so wrong for the approximately 1 in 20 residents of New Addington who are Muslim. We believe that, as before, the people of New Addington will unite to oppose this.
“As well as all sorts of distortions and half-truths peddled by the BNP, the whole basis of this campaign is flawed. They have mis-represented an article with a misleading headline about a Muslim group that was looking for a site to worship from somewhere in the east of the borough and turned it into a fiction that there is a plan to build a mosque in New Addington.
“The BNP like to think of themselves as patriots. But there is nothing British about seeking to deny people the freedom to practice their religion. Their values are the opposite of British values.
“New Addington is a venue for many different religions and religious groups, who celebrate their religion at various venues, some dedicated and some multi-use buildings. We believe in religious tolerance and religious freedom and that different religions should be able to celebrate their faith. We therefore would have no problem with the principle of there being a mosque in New Addington.
“We are committed to supporting New Addington to remain a tolerant community with a strong sense of community and identity.”
Coming to Croydon
- David Lean Cinema: The Wind Rises, Aug 14
- Mind-Loosing Workshop, Aug 16
- David Lean Cinema: The Love Punch, Aug 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Aug 16
- RAF Kenley Battle of Britain fly-past, Aug 17
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 20
- David Lean Cinema: Stop The Pounding Heart, Aug 21
- Mythical Maze stories, Crystal Palace Maze, Aug 27
- David Lean Cinema: Frank, Aug 28
- Upper Norwood Library well-being groups, Aug 30
- Warlingham rugby dinner with international Richard Hill, Sep 12
- Norwood Society Talk: War Memorials, Sep 18
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Sep 20
- Streatham Common 6M race, Sep 27
- Norwood Society Talk: From Fire Station to Theatre, Oct 16
- Cinema Ruskin film show, Oct 18
- Norwood Society Talk: Lambeth’s Archives, Nov 20
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