Plans for educational centre at proposed 'walk-in mosque' in Blackburn
3:00pm Monday 26th August 2013 in News
THE sponsors of a new walk-in mosque for town centre workers and shoppers have revealed details for a linked Islamic educational complex.
They said it would provide a ‘centre of learning excellence’ for borough residents.
The application for a new ‘Blackburn Central Mosque and Education Centre’ in an empty industrial unit on Tontine Street, near Barbara Castle Way, was approved by councillors last week.
This was despite concerns about parking and traffic from the development at the former Auto-Windscreen Centre.
Sudell Liberal Democrat councillor Paul Browne: “I oppose this application. It’s going to see trees cut down and there are no proper parking facilities.”
He supported objections by four local businesses over traffic and noise nuisance.
Labour councillors Parwaiz Akhtar and Suleman Khonat supported it as reviving an eyesore building.
Tory councillor Jackie Slater questioned whether the location was suitable for a centre for young people.
Patron Mufti Sayed Shamsuzzoha Ashrafi said: “This is great news. Our centre will provide prayer facilities for believers working in the town centre, and will provide Islamic education for adults and children.
“As our community has grown and established itself, it became evident we needed to develop a central hub for everyone."
Chairman Sayed Zafar Iqbal Ashrafi said: “We have a great opportunity to work with the community and local youth to provide a moral, spiritual and educational platform.
“This centre will be a unique educational centre and importantly, providing facilities for women and girls in our community as well.
“We will work hard to make this a centre of learning excellence”.
They revealed the centre will be called the ILM Educational Centre.
A statement from the charity ILM UK, based in Preston New Road, which is financing the plan said: “The educational centre's doors will be open for all its community members, whatever caste, colour or creed.
“The ethos of the centre will be the fact that we can work together, live together and still respect each other's differences.
“We hope the centre will become the heart of the community of Blackburn with Darwen.”
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