Of course the Ministry of Defence was right to apologize. After all, who ever heard of a mosque being used for violent purposes? Yet more dhimmitude in the UK: “MoD apologise over Catterick Garrison firing range ‘mosques,’” from The Northern Echo, April 8 (thanks to Twostellas):
The Ministry of Defence apologised today after a Muslim group complained that structures used on an Army firing range resembled mosques.
Bradford Council for Mosques said the structures at Bellerby firing range at Catterick Garrison in North Yorkshire should be taken down immediately.
The Army said it was vital soldiers trained in an environment which replicated where they were deployed.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the structures were ”generic Eastern buildings” and were not used as target practice.
The spokesman added: ”We apologise for any offence that we may have caused. It was never our intention for these generic structures to look like or replicate mosques, only to provide a setting similar to operational environments in which our personnel could train.
”We are seeking a meeting with representatives from the Muslim community to hear their concerns in order to discuss the way forward.”
Mohammed Saleem Khan, chief executive of the Bradford Council for Mosques, said the shape and colour of the structures – a green dome – symbolised an Islamic place of worship.
”It is so obvious. Even a non-Muslim recognised the significance. The first person who raised the issue with us was a non-Muslim,” he said.
”We are trying to achieve unity and cohesion and encourage British Muslims to participate in the Army and we accommodate visits from the Army.
”It is clearly very offensive. We feel there should be an apology and they should be removed straight away. If it was a mistake it should be removed straight away.”
This BBC report, meanwhile, features some noteworthy remarks from Ishtiaq Ahmed on how this mosque on the firing range will give people the crazy impression that mosques could be centers of violent activity:
“Army builds ‘mosques’ on North Yorkshire firing range,” from the BBC, April 8 (thanks to all who sent this in):
[...] Ishtiaq Ahmed of the BCM said that they were undoubtedly meant to resemble mosques.
“The shape of the structures, the colour of the dome – the green dome – symbolises an Islamic place of worship,” he said.
“Anyone looking at it will think about mosques and Muslims and think about them negatively.”
He accused the Army of reinforcing negative perceptions of Muslims.
“What angers me very much is that we are conditioning the young British to say that mosques are a place where you are going to find danger and a place to target,” Mr Ahmed said.
“That is really disturbing.”
Yes, I am indeed really disturbed by this. Here’s why: recently we have seen mosques used to preach hatred; to spread exhortations to terrorist activity; to house a bomb factory; to store weapons; to disseminate messages from bin Laden; to demand (in the U.S.) that non-Muslims conform to Islamic dietary restrictions; to fire on American troops; to fire upon Indian troops; to train jihadists; and much more.
If anyone is actually giving the impression that, in Ishtiaq Ahmed’s words, “mosques are a place where you are going to find danger,” it is the people in those mosques themselves.