Sunday, 28 February 2010

Telling half the story on the proposed mosque near Sandhurst

On Sunday 21 February, both the News of the World and the Mail reported on Ministry of Defence 'concern' over plans to build a mosque with two minarets near Sandhurst Royal Military Academy.

Although that concern about any tall structures overlooking the training academy was genuine - a copy of an MOD letter to the Council is shown in this BBC film - the tone of the newspaper coverage was that them Muslims were going to be atop the minarets and up to no good.

Yet at the end of the News of the World story, there was this quote:

A Surrey Heath Council spokesman said: 'The submitted plans state that there will be no access to the minarets above the roof level of the building.'

So, no problem then?

The next day, the Express and Telegraph also covered the MOD 'concern'. They included the 'no access to the minarets above the roof level' quote that the Mail conveniently left out.

Yet the very same day, local journalist Mike Wright reported that:

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has said it has no serious reservations about plans to build a traditional mosque in Camberley, close to the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Following previous security concerns relating to the two 100ft minarets proposed for the building, the MoD said in a statement on Monday that the issue had now been addressed.

'Addressed' in the way the Surrey Council spokesman explained on Sunday: there will not be access to the top of the minarets.

Or, as one of the men behind the plans for the mosque said:

If you are Spiderman, you can go up. Otherwise you can't.

So there it is: MOD concerns about the minarets had been resolved.

Surely the News of the World, Mail, Express and Telegraph would tell all their readers about that new development so they're not left with the wrong impression, wouldn't they?

Er, no.

They've not said another word about it.

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