Local groups have warned of an anonymous website created as an ‘attack’ on plans for the Brick Veil mosque in Preston.
Plans to build a grand mosque on prominent land in Broughton are to be reviewed by the Planning Inspectorate after the plans have been ‘called up’ by the government. The historic mosque to be built where the M6 and M55 meet the A6 near D’Urton Lane has attracted over 625 letters of support and over 425 objections to its initial proposals.
Now a local group backing the plans has warned people against an anonymous website which “includes false and potentially defamatory content”. The Friends of the Broughton Mosque group say those involved in the debate surrounding the proposal for the Brick Veil Mosque in North Preston should conduct discussions in a respectful and transparent manner.
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Some opponents of the mosque project launched an anonymous website, using a Colombian internet domain, to criticize the plans. The group says it is aware of many legitimate views on the proposal with the ‘hundreds of people’ who have written to Preston City Council and the Planning Inspectorate both in favor and against the plans .
The anonymous website has been formatted identically and created the same way as the original website. But instead, content from the online pages slams plans for the mosque with a welcome message that states: ‘An ill-located project for the faithful of Preston, forced upon the community of Broughton because the council wanted to sell the ground.”
The page options are again the same as the actual site, but instead the text under the headings says “Unpopular Design”, “Traffic Nightmare” and tells people this is “Your Last Chance to stop him”. The “truly inspiring design” by architects Luca Poian Forms was also targeted by the anonymous attack.
He says on the website: “The design of the Brick Veil Mosque is one of the worst aspects of the proposal – Interesting but ugly
“The design was selected as the winner of an international competition, without actually asking the locals what they wanted. This is unusual given the historic protections in the area that this project and design infringes.”
The group urges others involved in the discussions to refrain from anonymous attacks and to defend their cause in a professional and respectful manner. One of those who oppose the anonymous website is consultant urologist Ahsanul Haq, he said: “I have spoken publicly in support of the mosque – I think it is a great project that will benefit everyone. the community.
“This offensive website seems to imply that I do not live in the area, and what I have to say about the proposal is irrelevant. I can assure you that I live close to the site and have spent much of my career providing medical care to local people, there is nothing wrong with me expressing my honest opinion about this development and the benefits I believe it will bring.
“The decision whether or not to proceed with the mosque will be made following a public inquiry which will begin on August 2, 2022. You can find out more on the official website of the project: www.brickveilmosque.co.uk.”