Mosque media row in Oxford

By Simon Barrow
March 13, 2008

The chairs of the Anglo-Asian Association For Friendship in East Oxford are furious with parts of the media for the way they have reported the Oxford mosque saga.

Since Ekklesia picked up this story ( we have made some changes in the light of the information we have received, and we have also appended the letter that Dr Martin Conway and Councillor Sajjad Malik sent to the Telegraph newspaper about its report, which we referred to. So far it has not been published by them.

It reads, in full:

Your article entitled 'Bishop's death threats over mosque plan' reports accurately what Bishop John Pritchard said to the meeting of our Anglo-Asian Association for Friendship in East Oxford, but, as its Co-Chairmen, we must point out that your summary of what the representatives of our Central Mosque said is seriously misleading.

Both the members of the Mosque Committee who spoke about the call to prayer insisted that the approach to the City Council had never been properly authorised. The General Secretary said that what had started off the whole discussion was 'basically a romantic idea of something that people wanted to share without any intention of asserting a theology or imposing a culture on anyone'. The Chairman of the Mosque then offered an apology for the way in which the matter had been mishandled and made it clear that no further steps towards a public call to prayer would be taken without consulting local residents.

So we are astonished at the way you report this sensitive matter. We note that no name is given for the author responsible and ask that this letter be printed as a clear statement of the true facts.

(Councillor) Sajjad Malik
(Dr) Martin Conway
Co-Chairs, Anglo-Asian Association

See also the Bishop of Oxford's response:

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