Please explain, regulator orders Dalston mosque

Dome of Shacklewell Lane Mosque painted by candidate Nigel Askew 250415 ©
Mosque: political sign at Shacklewell Lane mosque Dalston London E8 280415 ©
Political? Above, sign on the mosque railings and, top, the painted dome

THE Charity Commission has made a rapid response to Loving Dalston’s story of a political advertisement covering a Hackney mosque.

The Shacklewell Lane mosque, which is run by a charity, stunned worshippers and passers-by when the dome was painted with an ad for a pub landlord standing in Kent in the 2015 general election on Thursday 7 May.

The law requires charities to be non-political.

The commission emailed Loving Dalston last night 270415: “The Charity Commission is aware of concerns raised about an advert supporting a candidate at the general election placed on a building registered to the UK [Turkish] Islamic Trust.”

“As a matter of urgency,” the commission would contact the Shacklewell Lane trust to establish the facts. Charities should not support any political party or candidate but ensure that “their independence is maintained”.

Shacklewell Mosque ad for marriage service 2015 ©
2 Become 1, Muslim-style: ad in the Dalston mosque for matrimonial services

Once the charity responded, the commission would decide  what action, if any, to take.

The dome of the mosque is emblazoned “Vote for hope”. The strapline urges the electorate to “Vote for Nigel Askew”, standing in South Thanet for the Reality Party, which was started by Mark “Bez” Berry, a northern pop star-dancer.

The mosque was set up, as the first in Britain for Turks, by Ramadan Güney (1932–2006), a former British Army Cypriot who became a multimillionaire in London and eventually took over Britain’s largest cemetery, Brookwood, in Surrey.

His ownership was controversial, attracting criticism even from the trust he set up.

Controversy continued after his death. A son was charged with having hired a gangster to kill his father’s mistress. An Old Bailey jury acquitted him.

A claim by the woman that two men stole genetic evidence about the child she said she had with Güney was described by police as a waste of time.

Diane Holliday, blonde and about 25 years younger than her lover, had gone to court for a share of his will, saying his estate was worth millions.

The trust did not reply to Loving Dalston requests to comment.

Beach theme: slippery sands?
Beached: shifting sands?

Hamish Scott 280415

* Backstory: Pop star’s party rocks the mosque 

For list of South Thanet candidates, press here.

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