We missed this story yesterday – apologies!
The Birmingham Mail had a story about how rumours that the gold building at the new Bournville college in Longbridge is, in fact, a mosque (!?) have led to several acts of vandalism.
The conference centre on the corner of Bristol Road South and Longbridge Lane has been a controversial addition to the site – it seems people either love it or hate it. We’ve heard it called the “sardine can” but not personally heard any rumours about it being a mosque.
Norman Cave from the college confirmed to the Birmingham Mail that it is a conference centre and not a mosque and that there have, indeed, been instances of vandalism.
The Mail quotes a post from an unidentified source on Facebook, accessed via a link from Kings Norton parish website which has since been removed:
“It is not a mosque. It is a business centre, as the Longbridge development’s publicity clearly shows. If you live locally and are able to combat the rumour with the truth, please do so.
“Share, recommend or tweet this post. Talk to your neighbours and friends. You may help to prevent thousands of pounds’ worth of mindless damage.”
[Update 20/9/11] Inspector Karen Greasley from the Northfield Constituency said: “The conference centre on the corner of Bristol Road South and Longbridge Lane has been affected by an act of criminal damage. This may have been because of rumours that the building was in fact a mosque – this is not the case. However we will not tolerate hate crime or criminal damage in any form and would encourage anyone with any information to get in touch.”
It’s surprising that this rumour has started at all and more surprising that some people seem to be believing and spreading it!
Personally, I find the fact that anyone would vandalise a new community resource very disappointing, whatever their reason. That at least some of these acts may be being carried out because of a belief that the building is a mosque is even more disheartening.
Have you heard any of these rumours? What was your response?
Read the full story on the Birmingham Mail website and leave your comments below!