Mosque users answer critics

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MOSQUE goers have hit back after residents complained the place of worship causes parking problems.

More than 100 residents filled the Waterloo Hotel on Waterloo Road, South Shore, on Tuesday night to voice their opposition to the Noor A Madina mosque on the same street.

Residents claim it is operating illegally and during its busiest prayer time on a Friday afternoon, those driving to the mosque cause a parking nightmare.


But Dr Zahid Mammod, 35, from Arnold Medical Centre on St Annes Road, South Shore, said: “I feel victimised and if someone decided to take this away it would be very distressing.

“I wish there was something we could do to help.

“Although this is not in an ideal location, maybe the council can do something about it by providing extra parking spaces, because this is supposed to be a place of peace.”

A petition against the mosque has been handed into Blackpool Council by the residents, while the co-owner of the mosque Natasha Shah waits on a planning decision which could see five buildings converted into a larger mosque.

Before the prayers started at 1pm on Friday, there were 10 cars parked next to the mosque and on the street, but the owners were told to remove them by the mosque and the forecourt was cleared.

Wahid Hussain, 50, also uses the mosque.

He said: “There’s no parking problem. People come into the mosque and they don’t cause any trouble.”

Shezad Adam, 24, added: “We only meet for an hour and we are not harming anyone.

“We stand outside now and tell everyone to move so nobody complains.”

Parking is available on nearby streets and a lot of the mosque’s users park in the car park at nearby Homebase, but Miss Shah says it is not only those using the mosque causing obstructions. She said: “We have cars parked there and other businesses park cars in-front of their shops.

“We are going to cordon off this area during meetings.”

Gary Rogers, 43, owner of Woodstock 4U Furnishings on Waterloo Road, said: “The parking on this street is a nightmare.

“It’s an accident waiting to happen because there is a constant flow of traffic and a lot of children live in this area.”