By Enza Ferreri
“We don’t debate unprofessional councillors, unprincipled journalists, and self-righteous community organizers; we turn the tables on them”: this is how British planning lawyer Gavin Boby, also known as the “mosque buster”, describes the activity of his organization, the Law And Freedom Foundation. He uses the law to stop the building of mosques in the UK by demonstrating to local councils that the building of a mosque or an Islamic centre is actually in violation of British law. And he succeeds: the count so far is 16 victories out of 17 cases.
Gavin Boby is a 48-year-old planning lawyer from Bristol, South-West England. He deals with planning permissions or zoning permissions.
Like many other people in Britain, for almost 10 years Boby had witnessed the progressive penetration of Islam in his country, but like many other people he watched idly not knowing what to do about it.
It was the same feeling of impotence that most of us shared. But then, a couple of years ago, he had this idea. Many mosques disrupt neighbourhoods and drive out long-time residents. Non-Muslim women in particular are made to feel uncomfortable in those areas. Why not use his legal skills to help local communities resist planning applications for mosques?
The BBC video above the article exposes how corrupt the process of granting mosque planning applications can be, showcasing a session in the Rochdale Council’s planning committee in the North of England, during which councillor Begum does not allow discussion before the vote is taken and rushes the other members to vote.
This is very topical in light of the recent revelations that the Boston bombers’ mosque “has been associated with other terrorism suspects, has invited radical speakers to a sister mosque in Boston and is affiliated with a Muslim group that critics say nurses grievances that can lead to extremism”, has classic jihadi texts in its library, and gave money to two terrorist charities which have been shut down by the U.S. government. But then again, when is something about the violent nature of Islam not topical these days?
Still, this is a good way to introduce the mosque buster’s work. What are mosques? As we know, mosques are not like churches or synagogues, they are far more than houses of worship and contemplation, many of them are centres of jihadist activity that indoctrinate to commit and support violence against infidels. In America, as many as 4 different studies have independently come to the same conclusion that 80 per cent of US mosques “were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians”.
The Law And Freedom Foundation website declares: “A mosque is not merely a place of worship. Islamic doctrine requires the application of Islamic law within its geographical reach.”
We can see the truth of that in London. It is no coincidence that sharia-law areas or self-declared Muslim areas with Muslim patrols acting like vigilantes in cities like London are near mosques. We are increasingly seeing Muslim patrols in the proximity of mosques saying to passers-by that they can’t walk a dog, wear a skirt, drink alcohol.
In an interview Gavin Boby explains that mosques are being used as the bridgehead, the forefront of the advance of Islam in a territory. What happens in neighbourhoods – usually working class districts which are not used to dealing with officialdom – where a mosque is built is that the area changes forever for its residents, who no longer recognize it and eventually have to move out, due to things like the parking jihad, general harassment, vandalism.
“The parking jihad is” he describes, “soon after the construction of a mosque, people will find no parking space there, their driveway is being blocked or even a car is parked in the driveway inside your property and if you ask them to move their car they’ll say it’s only for an hour.” The parking tends to be used as a way to establish possession and control over the area, of saying: “This is a mosque area, we are the owners now and there’s nothing you can do about it”, and then after that it gets worse until the point when people move out.
“The Koran” the Bristol lawyer continues, “calls 14 times for the enslavement of non-Muslims, and 3 times for killing the unbelievers wherever they are found. This is obviously against English law. You don’t need to be a good lawyer to fight it but you need to be a very good lawyer to get around it.”
Partly, the mosque buster’s approach is that of finding the contradictions and incompatibilities between Islam and Western fundamental principles (that’s the easy part), and making mosque building and planning regulations become the battleground of these ideological conflicts.
In the same way as Islam is not just a religion but also a political doctrine of supremacy and power, so the mosque is not simply a building of worship but also a political one.
This is the Islamic doctrine, every mosque is instructed to be based upon the original mosque in Medina, where Muhammad originally in the 7th century set up his religious-political doctrine of social control, and the mosque is a place of government, it is a place where treaties are made, death sentences are passed, armies are blessed and dispatched, it is primarily about political control and it is very much used as a tool of advance. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey talked about that, the Muslim Brotherhood compared their mosques to battalions and to beehives, where Muslims will gather and then advance, and there’s nothing new about this, it goes back to the 7th century.
So, this is the why of the Law And Freedom Foundation’s operation. Now let’s see the how.
Gavin works pro bono as a planning lawyer for anyone wishing to fight the erection of a mosque. He says:
The method is very simple. A planning application gets submitted for a mosque in an area, and it will never be called a “mosque”. It will be called a community centre; an inter-faith centre; a public community, harmony-building outreach centre, and then the neighbours contact us, and it’s usually people who have never been involved in politics before, are shy of politics and officialdom and ask us to help them to resist it. And that’s what we do, we help them to simply use established methods of consultation to tell the local authorities: “We object to this proposal because of the effect it will have on the neighbourhood, the effect on parking, the effect on noise, the effect on disturbance, the architectural effect, the effect of concentrations of people generally, the amenity for residents”. And also we give them advocacy in front of the council meeting, we’ll advocate on their behalf.
Therefore the approach is twofold. The most commonly employed is to use the effects on and the desires of the local communities as tools in the consultation process which is local authorities’ standard procedure before a planning or change of use permission is granted.
As an example, the last two refusals to mosque building from local authorities were motivated by: loss of the retail floorspace; harm to the character, function, vitality and viability of the neighbourhood centre; possible harm to the surrounding transport network in respect of movements to and from the site for both pedestrians and vehicles; loss of employment use in a Locally Significant Industrial Site and potential harm to the viability and function of the remaining Locally Significant Industrial Site; low public transport accessibility inappropriate for a large-scale community facility; lack of adequate on-site parking with resulting overspill on-street parking likely to cause unacceptable traffic management problems and traffic congestion, to the detriment of traffic flow and road safety in the vicinity of the site.
From these you can have an idea of the broadness and scope of reasons that can be used. Other common issues are noise, and congestion at particular times like Fridays at prayer times or when there are Koran lessons for children.
The second approach – although what is predominantly used is the first – goes more to the core of what Islam is. The organization’s website states: “Also, it is hard to see how a Local Authority has the power to grant planning permission for a mosque, since the purpose of a mosque is to promote a doctrine that incites killing, enslavement and war. You don’t need to be a skilled lawyer to understand this point – you have to be a skilled lawyer to find a way around it.”
This conviction was evident when the mosque buster was asked how he responds to people who say this is an infringement of freedom of religion. He answered:
I understand people who say that, and it would be the case if Islam were simply about private contemplation and reflection, the way that Christianity in a parish church is, but the problem is that you have two legal principles that conflict. You have this issue of freedom of religion and you have the public order issue, it’s not an issue of censorship, it’s a public order issue that [you have] if you have people preaching warfare, preaching violence, preaching killing and enslaving against another part of the population: that is against the most founding principles, [which were established] before freedom of religion was established within English law, within any law.
The British planning lawyer clarifies the relationship between these approaches when he advises his clients: “Don’t focus on the religious and political aspects, focus on the technical ones, but what we are doing is trying to stop the area from being Islamized”. But the two issues, i.e. the political question and the concern about community safety, are in fact indissolubly interconnected; he acts from knowledge of the intimidation and violence that the mosques regularly bring with them.
He observes that mosques are increasingly being built in the UK in numbers which are disproportionate to the need for them, and often in areas with hardly any Muslim population.
The Law and Freedom Foundation also offers advice to local activists on how to go about the business of mosque busting. Gavin Boby’s is an original approach, even the way he talks gives you the immediate impression that he brings something new and different (lawyer-like but this time in a good sense) to the anti-Islam movement.
Boby has become a household name in the counterjihad movement, and others outside the UK are following his example, like Geert Wilders in Holland, whose party recently launched the “MoskNee” (“MosqueNo”) project. Still to remain in continental Europe, the mosque buster spoke at the Brussels ICLA conference on July 9 2012.
He was also invited to speak in Ottawa, Canada by the organization Act for Canada, which points out that the University of Alberta’s former Chair in Islamic Studies explained how the founder of the Muslim Brotherhood Hassan al-Banna hoped to change “the status of the Mosque, bringing it from a static place of worship to a center of Islamic revolution”, while Youssef Qaradawi, unconditionally endorsed by leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood operating in Canada, wrote: “It must be the role of the mosque to guide the public policy of a nation, raise awareness of critical issues, and reveal its enemies. From ancient times the mosque has had a role in urging jihad for the sake of Allah“. Gavin also spoke in Toronto and Montreal.
In August/September 2012 Mr Boby toured Australia on invitation of the Q Society of Australia, according to which many Australians still do not fully understand how important mosques and mosque-building are in Islamic doctrine and how crucially different a mosque is from a church or synagogue. Many Australians did not know that in their country there are already over 340 mosques and Islamic prayer rooms, many of which are rooms in once secular public buildings and public spaces.
As can be expected, there is controversy and attempts to stop this mosque-busting lawyer from giving speeches wherever they are scheduled, and he has been vilified by the mass media.
But what really matters is that it works. Maybe his activity can be the inspiration to find other specialistic, professional ways to use the law against the Islamization of our countries.
Enza Ferreri is an Italian-born, London-based Philosophy graduate, author and journalist. She has been a London correspondent for several Italian magazines and newspapers, including Panorama, L’Espresso, La Repubblica. She blogs at www.enzaferreri.blogspot.co.uk