Grantham Journal columnist: Jacob Stuart enters the debate about an Islamic centre in town

Columnist: Jacob Stuart
Columnist: Jacob Stuart
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I echo David Burling’s thoughts on the issue of a new Islamic community centre being built in Grantham.

It would truly be disappointing to hear that our town suffers from small mindedness when it comes to embracing other cultures to our community.

Such views would be particularly sad to see at this time of year where we have always stressed togetherness and a friendly spirit.

Learning from and embracing others can only help both sides thrive where the other option is to build barriers of hate based on ignorance.

With the Muslim community counting at least 800 in Grantham, and growing, they deserve a place to congregate and practice their faith without having to constantly move from rented hall to rented hall. The site itself would certainly be a welcome addition to Grantham, promising to be highly energy efficient as well as an attractive building.

The only real issue I have with this application is a practical one. Mowbeck Way, the proposed site, is not pedestrian friendly and with only 13 spaces for cars that leaves upwards of 70 Muslims travelling back and forth five times a day on foot, or worse, parking in inappropriate or illegal areas.

In a town with as many churches as Grantham has it would be great to see other growing religions have their own permanent way to properly follow their practices.

Many Granthamians will make their journeys to these churches over the coming weeks to celebrate Christmas and the New Year, knowing exactly where they will be able to go.

It is only right that others can celebrate their special religious days in such a way as well.