Muslims condemn Islamic group

Prominent Muslim organisations in Reading have condemned an Islamic group which has been set up in opposition to the Government’s Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) initiative. Reading Borough Council and Thames Valley Police are implementing a Home Office initiative designed to tackle violent extremism by working with Muslim communities.

The Evening Post reported on Friday that Reading PVE Crisis Group has been set up with the support of more than 1,000 Muslims who feel the Government initiative is unfairly targeting the Muslim community. But a statement from Reading Council for Racial Equality in response to the crisis group said: “We do not recognise the Reading PVE Crisis Group and condemn the way in which they have used the names of legitimate local Muslim organisations in order to justify their own political views.” The contents of the letter issued by the group do not carry the endorsement of many of the organisations listed.

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Terms agreed for new £4m mosque

Muslim leaders and a Berkshire council have agreed the final terms for a _4m mosque to be built in Reading. The mosque will be built on the corner of Wokingham Road and Green Road. The new building will include a prayer house, washing facilities, classrooms for male and female students and more than 100 parking spaces. Funding is being raised by the Muslim community. A report is due before the cabinet. The building, classical in design with a silver dome in the centre, will provide a social as well as religious focus for the Muslim community across Reading, the borough council said. The previous mosque, which will return to residential use, had inadequate parking facilities – there will be 115 parking spaces at the new building. David Sutton, Reading Borough Council leader, said: “This partnership between the council and the Muslims of Reading sends a strong message about community integration and social harmony in our town, and I am very proud about that. “I look forward to the grand opening of another new Reading landmark.”