A COMMUNITY turned out in force to show their support for a mosque which has become the subject of an English Defence League campaign.
Members of the Noor-A-Madina mosque on Waterloo Road were joined by the North West branch of United Against Fascism, the Blackpool, Fylde and Wyre Trade Union Council and Blackpool Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT).
All of the people present were there to show defiance to the EDL, a group which one UAF member claims is “trying to whip up racism”.
The support groups gathered as members of the EDL were understood to be staging a protest amid claims the mosque was operating illegally and not inclusive to all members of society.
However, Natasha Shah, the owner of the mosque disputes these claims, which first surfaced on social networking site Facebook.
She told The Gazette: “As far as I’m concerned the council knows about this and there’s not an issue at all.
“We want to be part of the LGBT community.
“We are in the process of setting that up and I’m working closely with the vice-chair of Blackpool LGBT.”
Paul Jenkins, from the North West UAF, said: “I’m here because I want to show my support to Natasha and it’s important with the EDL trying to whip up racism.
“I wanted to show they don’t represent the people of Blackpool.”
Police attended, but no protest was held.
Liam Wood, the EDL’s LGBT division leader, said: “If you went out and spoke to the local residents you would find out they are up in arms against the mosque. It’s only a select few individuals supporting it.
“We are a democratic country and everyone has the right to support any cause they want to.
“I have no ill feelings towards them or those who have the mosque, what I have ill feelings towards is the idea to build a super mosque in Blackpool, which people don’t want.”