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Trouble at t?mosque
Main crossbeam's warped. Pardon?
A murder trial jury have heard how a long running dispute at a mosque in Milton Keynes led to an 18-year-old man being "clubbed senseless".
Atiq Rehman was attacked with a snooker cue, causing severe head injuries, and died two days later on 17 May 2007.
Luton Crown Court heard Bilal Zaman, 21, and Usman Ali, 20, of Cambridge Street, Wolverton, pleaded guilty to murder and are awaiting sentence. Ghur Rehman, 26 and Haroon Awan, 22 also of Cambridge Street, deny murder.
The prosecutor said Atiq Rehman, who is not related to the defendant with the same name, was attacked on 15 May last year at The Square at Wolverton.
Explaining the background he said: "In late 2006 the community who attended the mosque at Wolverton had become divided following a disagreement as to how the mosque should be run. We are not concerned with the basis of that dispute but it led to a number of incidents where violence was used."
He said after Friday prayers on 12 January 2007 there was an incident involving a large number of people and weapons including knuckle dusters and knives and some people were seriously injured.
On 15 May, Atiq Rehman was playing snooker when he realised some of the opposing group were outside and were armed. He sought refuge in a nearby Costcutter shop but was dragged outside.
"He was attacked and kicked but managed to get up and run off towards the Christian Foundation which is where he was attacked again,"
Thankfully the fracas outside the Burton Central Mosque didn’t result in any fatalities but it was a close thing according to one witness yesterday. The Burton Mail reports on the continuing trial
THE prosecutor in the Burton Central Mosque brawl trial has accused a policeman of "being in the thick of the fighting and picking out people to assault".
In a 90-minute cross-examination that gripped the 11-strong Birmingham Crown Court jury, barrister Stephen Thomas said Tariq Hussain had behaved aggressively and was so wound-up he could not bring himself to talk to other officers.
The prosecutor suggested Tariq Hussain would surely have known of the mosque politics underpinning the clash and the likelihood of potential disorder.
However, the defendant rejected Mr Thomas's version of events, blamed the disorder on a failure of pro-active policing and insisted he had helped to try to restore order.
When re-examined by his barrister, Andrew Baker, Hussain revealed he had sacked his original solicitor and admitted the way he had dealt with police questions may not have been ideal.
He also confirmed evidence showing he had pinpointed his aggressors six months earlier and had hired a private detective because he believed prosecution witnesses were colluding against him.
Muslim elder Mohammed Manzoor, 82, backed Tariq Hussain's version of events, telling the court that unless the officer had intervened to save him from a punch thrown by Mohammed Arif, he would have been "killed".
BORO born and bred Rasub Afzal’s passion is promoting understanding between Teessiders and his fellow Muslims.
So the taxi driver was shocked to be caught up in a furious religious row - over paper napkins printed with a brewery’s name. They were on the tables at a Middlesbrough mosque lunch for local Muslims who are strictly forbidden to drink alcohol.
One guest was so offended by the Flying Firkin name, he started a stand-up row.
Now 41-year-old Rasub who tried to calm the row says it has made him fear for the future of good community relations. “What hope have we over really important things when there is such anger at something like this,” he said.
The storm brewed at a no-alcohol lunch in Middlesbrough’s Waterloo Road Mosque. Dozens of Muslims were there to hear a speech on unity by the Bradford-based Commissioner for Pakistan.
Suddenly one guest from Stockton became infuriated at the sight of the name on the napkins and began to criticise organisers.
Rasub, who was on his table, said: “He made a remark about the napkins and I tried to calm the situation by saying, ‘it’s not such a big issue’. “I apologised even though he was rude and abusive to me. I even poured him a glass of orange.
“But I was quite intimidated by his attitude, in fact I thought he might hit me. He said it was against Islam because the napkins had the name of a drinks company.
Rasub says the napkin incident has made him worry about attitudes which will not help foster good relations in the area.
Haji Jaber, secretary of the Islamic Society of Cleveland and the Middlesbrough Council of Faiths, said the man who complained about the napkins had created a “storm in a teacup.” He said: “He went completely overboard. The event was open to all faiths and some of those do have alcohol. “There are other Muslims who use the mosque who have shops that sell alcohol. Many were upset by his comments about it. If he didn’t like it he didn’t have to be there.”
More tea Vicar?