Bomb disposal experts are called to mosque in Walsall after suspicious item discovered

Police examining a suspicious item found in a Walsall mosque have confirmed they are treating the incident as a hate crime. A police spokesperson said an explosion was heard by residents on Friday evening. On Saturday, the item was discovered by a member of the public and handed into the police. Superintendent Keith Fraser, the head of crime and operations for Walsall Police, said the incident was being treated as hate crime but the motive for placing the item near a mosque remained unclear.

 

Army experts ordered the evacuation of nearly 40 homes near the Rutter Street mosque in Walsall, West Midlands Police said. “We have launched a full investigation into the suspicious item that has been found, and what’s going to be the key to this is the public’s help in relation to helping us to understand why that suspicious item was in the area. ”So if anybody saw anything over the weekend I’d like them to call police on 101 or Crimestoppers  0800 555 111 .”

 

Officials from Walsall Council are working closely with the emergency services to support local people and minimise disruption in the area. Zahid Ali, Cabinet Member for Public Protection at Walsall Council, also spoke outside the mosque. Describing the incident as “unfortunate”, Mr Ali added: “It’s absolutely wonderful to see that the communities have come together supporting the residents, and most of those residents are now back in their homes.”

 

Zia Ul-Haq, who acts as a spokesman for the mosque and also sits on its committee, said: “First of all can I thank the police force and the local council for really supporting us on this occasion.

Muslims join battle to stop new mosque

More than 200 people, including members of the Muslim community, joined forces at a packed public meeting to fight controversial plans for a new mosque in Walsall. People living near the planned mosque at the former Hertz Rent-A-Car and Autocrash Repair Centre, in St John’s Road, Pleck, were joined by Muslims from the area in opposing the scheme. Residents say dozens more cars would be brought on to an already busy road if the current proposals are given the go-ahead by Walsall Council planners. Representatives of an existing mosque in nearby Woodward Road said there are already enough mosques in the area. A meeting last night at Pleck Working Men’s club, next to the proposed site in Scarborough Road, resolved a committee would be set up to campaign against the application. Pat Etchells, aged 57, from Darlaston Road, said: “There are already parking problems here and we are going to have a red route down the road soon. “I am concerned about access for the emergency services as much as anything, with Walsall Manor just a short distance away.” Sue Hayward, who also lives nearby, said: “It’s not a large piece of land and certainly not big enough for all the cars there will be there.”

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Muslims join battle to stop new mosque

More than 200 people, including members of the Muslim community, joined forces at a packed public meeting to fight controversial plans for a new mosque in Walsall. People living near the planned mosque at the former Hertz Rent-A-Car and Autocrash Repair Centre, in St John’s Road, Pleck, were joined by Muslims from the area in opposing the scheme. Residents say dozens more cars would be brought on to an already busy road if the current proposals are given the go-ahead by Walsall Council planners. Representatives of an existing mosque in nearby Woodward Road said there are already enough mosques in the area. A meeting last night at Pleck Working Men’s club, next to the proposed site in Scarborough Road, resolved a committee would be set up to campaign against the application. Pat Etchells, aged 57, from Darlaston Road, said: “There are already parking problems here and we are going to have a red route down the road soon. “I am concerned about access for the emergency services as much as anything, with Walsall Manor just a short distance away.” Sue Hayward, who also lives nearby, said: “It’s not a large piece of land and certainly not big enough for all the cars there will be there.”http://themuslimweekly.com/newsdetails/fullstoryview.aspx?NewsID=1B468CB93AAA89FB195A1BBB&MENUID=HOMENEWS&DESCRIPTION=UK%20News