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Croydon's Labour and Conservative groups join forces to condemn BNP's anti-mosque campaign

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BOTH major political parties in Croydon have joined forces to condemn the British National Party's 'distorted' campaign against a mosque being built in New Addington.

The estate's four Labour ward councillors, Conservative Croydon Central MP Gavin Barwell and the Tory Greater London Assembly Member for Croydon and Sutton Steve O'Connell, have released a joint statement regarding a campaign they have attributed to the BNP.

It is in relation to a meeting called this Sunday (August 17) at the ACA regarding the possibility of a mosque being built in New Addington, which they say is clearly being organised by the BNP.

In May, the Advertiser reported the Shirley branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community were considering New Addington for a new base but were also looking at Addington, Shirley and South Croydon.

The area's councillors, Mr Barwell and Cllr O'Connell have today accused the BNP of running an "opportunistic hate-driven campaign".

Their statement said: "There is a very strong community in New Addington. The BNP is seeking to divide this strong community and create tensions in a community where people from many different races and religions happily live together and support each other.

"Sadly, this is not the first time they have tried to do this in New Addington. The BNP has, throughout this campaign, sought to whip up fear and incite islamophobia.

"Apart from anything else, this is so wrong for the approximately one in five residents of New Addington who are Muslim. We believe that, as before, the people of New Addington will unite to oppose this."

The statement adds: "The BNP like to think of themselves as patriots. But there is nothing British about seeking to deny people the freedom to practice their religion. Their values are the opposite of British values.

"New Addington is a venue for many different religions and religious groups, who celebrate their religion at various venues, some dedicated and some multi-use buildings.

"We believe in religious tolerance and religious freedom and that different religions should be able to celebrate their faith. We therefore would have no problem with the principle of there being a mosque in New Addington.

"We are committed to supporting New Addington to remain a tolerant community with a strong sense of community and identity."

Croydon's Labour and Conservative groups join forces to condemn BNP's anti-mosque campaign


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