Protests continue over Sunderland mosque plans

Protesters gather on St Mark's Road outside the site of the proposed mosque in Millfield.

Protesters gather on St Mark's Road outside the site of the proposed mosque in Millfield.

PROTESTORS again gathered at the site of a planned mosque in Millfield.

A proposal to convert a former council depot into a mosque has caused controversy since the decision was accepted in January.

And on Saturday members from the National Patriotic Front turned up to the site with signs, including some that read ‘no more mosques.’

Treasurer Paul Stephenson said: “We are a Christian country, we don’t want to bring their ideas and practices into our country.”

Chairman Robert Patten added: “We come here every month and we are going to keep coming back until there is something done about this.

“We want to stop the spread of Islam as much as we can.”

Tahir Khan, chairman of the Unity Multicultural Organisation, which was also at the protest, said: “It is a shame that a single group are making Britain look so uncivilised in front of the whole world.

“Everybody has a right to have a place to worship, according to law.”

Many residents from Millfield were cautious about speaking to the press about a sensitive issue.

But Millfield man John Watson, said: “I am in favour of the mosque because I believe in religious freedom.

“I don’t think it is too much to ask that they have a mosque.”

Marjorie Matthews, 79, from Aiskell Street, said: “This is not a racist issue. I am not racist. This is wrong because it is in the wrong area, on top of people’s houses.”

Superintendent Derek Scott, of Sunderland area command, said: “A small group gathered in Millfield to stage a protest. A second small group also carried out a counter protest.

“The protest passed with minimal disruption and no arrests.”

Twitter: @Monica_Turnbull

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