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UK: Bar could be refused alcohol licence because of mosque

A gin bar and distillery planned in Chelmsford, a city in Essex, South East England, could be have its application for a licence to serve alcohol denied. Objectors have complained to Chelmsford City Council arguing that the venue is close to a planned mosque and people drinking could lead to a rise in “Islamophobia” and racist attacks, Essex Live reports.

A business called The Only Way Is Gin has submitted a planning application to take over what was the site of a cafe in Moulsham Street near the city’s high street. Owners will also need a licence from the local council to serve alcohol in the 19th century building. The city’s Muslim community and others have written objections to the council as Chelmsford Mosque is on the same street.

One anonymous complainant wrote: “We believe there will be a huge impact on the safety of those visiting the mosque with anti-social behaviour, a rise in Islamophobia attacks, especially on our elderly.”

The mosque’s secretary Ayman Syed said “we have faced a number of problems with drunks breaking into the mosque and we often have people vomiting outside the mosque or urinating, but the Imam has generally dealt with this as part of his duties even though he shouldn’t have to. Worshippers have also dealt with comments to and from the mosque over the years. With the bar looking to open next door, this really does increase the risk of potential conflict between worshippers and drinkers.”

Mr Syed complains that the mosque cannot afford to have security all the time. He seems oblivious to the fact that police are often on patrol in British city centres on Friday and Saturday nights when drunken disorderliness is more of a problem. It doesn’t take a genius to work out that a mosque dominating decisions is more likely to cause community tensions than old ladies enjoying a G&T.

This isn’t the first time that Islam has conflicted with British drinking culture. In his book, The Strange Death of Europe, pro-Brexit writer Douglas Murray touched on pubs and churches closing in areas of the UK which received high levels of Muslim immigration. Earlier in the year, Jayda Fransen complained about an English pub in Blackburn, North West England being demolished to make way for another mosque. Similarly, plans have been submitted to turn a former pub in Glasgow, Scotland into an Islamic centre.

Voice Of Europe

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