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Sunday, 10 July 2011

How to campaign against a mosque planning application in Your Area

How to campaign against a mosque planning application

Nick Griffin has urged community activists to use advice being offered by the Law and Freedom Foundation on how to oppose an application for a mosque in their area.

Mr Griffin said that it is ‘vital’ that people ‘campaign against the threat to our values and way of life’.

Here is the advice:

1. Start Your Action Group
You will need a core group within the campaign. You can’t do this all on your own!
The more you publicise the campaign, the more support you will get, and people will respond better if they can see that you are organised.
Councils also take notice of the fact that there’s an action group that people have formed on this issue. All you need to do is create a header in Word, e.g. “Action for XYZ Location”. Then assign jobs to people – doorstepping, press, organising letter-writing.
A petition can get the attention of the media, but Local Authorities often ignore them. But a very large number of signatures will get attention.

2. Hold public meetings, and invite the press
These are necessary for raising motivation and letting people know they're not alone, and generating face-to-face loyalty.
When fixing meetings, don’t expect any help from Local Authorities. They fear the support you can generate, but won’t help. And be careful of the press, who know they can generate publicity by painting you in a bad light. Prepare statements in advance: compassion for Muslims as the first victims of Islam, but opposition to Islam and Islamic doctrine which is supremacist in nature.

3. Get writing letters to the Local Authority (letters have more weight than petitions)
This is the hard part, getting people to write letters to the Council. And then getting them to write to the Council again if the planning application is re-submitted.
You can’t write the letters for people, but you can give them grounds which they might like to include in their letters.
You have to give them contact details for the officer to write to at the Council. It takes a lot of effort to get people to write, but it’s worth it because Councils take notice of letters.

4. Legal and policy argument
It is useful to have a legal analysis of planning policy for the site, to give technical support as to why the site would be more suited to something else. This will often include traffic and congestion.
However, I think the main argument should be on principle – that there are enough mosques in the area and the country, and that Islamic doctrine is discriminatory and hate filled and, therefore, contrary to law. And that the Local Authority or Planning Inspectorate doesn't have the power to grant planning permission for an unlawful use such as this.
It's important to keep the campaigning side on the front foot, and the same is true of the legal side. You have nothing to apologise for, and nothing to be defensive about.
You have every right and duty to defend that tradition of law and freedom at home.