I know Chipping Norton and its environs pretty well, as my husband’s family live in the area. Someone recently pointed out that David Cameron used to drink at x pub near Chippie. I said (with memories of certain conversations and jokes in my mind) that he was probably viewed by the locals as a dangerous lefty.
Recently planning permission was granted for a small mosque in the town, a shop conversion, to offer a regular place for local Muslims to pray – previously they had used the town hall. The Mail reported recently that objections had been raised – of course some people may have had legitimate concerns, but I note that some of the letters had to be edited before being used in evidence to avoid unnecessary offence.
But now the landlord of the building proposed for the mosque has received threats, and the plans have been scrapped.
He said: “Someone rang up and said if you go ahead with the mosque then it will get very hot. They were saying they would burn it down.
“I have got people in the flat above [the proposed mosque]. I cannot take the risk.”
Mr Wissinger said he had only received one phone call but word of mouth around the town suggested the sentiment was more widespread. He said: “There is more than one person.”
Here’s one blogger’s response:
It gives me no satisfaction to say ‘I told you so’ on this and other threats against Mosque plans. If elected representatives and others in authority disregard genuine concerns, expressed peacefully and legally, about Islamic ideology and behaviour, then it is not surprising, that some individuals may feel frustrated and take the law into their own hands.
By that logic, if people ignore any peaceful and legal grumbles about cartoons of Muhammad or whatever – then society only has itself to blame if threats and violence follow.