'Mosque on Christian site' - rumour quashed

AN internet story claming a mosque was being built on a Christian-run centre has turned out to be fake.

More than 1,500 people protested on a Facebook page opposing ‘plans’ to demolish the YMCA building, in Lisieux Way, Taunton, to build “a giant mosque”.

But the YMCA, which owns the building, and the landowners say the Christian charity is there for the long haul.

And a colleague of the man purported to have started the rumour said the site was a ‘clone’ and nothing to do with him.

A YMCA spokesman said he was aware of the Facebook group and concerns about the future of the facility, which hosts sports, activities and meetings, including Islamic worship.

He added: “We’d like to reassure the community there are no plans to demolish Taunton YMCA.

“It owns outright the premises and currently has 67 years remaining on the lease of the land, owned by Taunton Deane Council.

“We haven’t been approached by them with plans to demolish the building.

“Taunton YMCA will continue supplying its valuable services.”

Fr Julian Lawrence, Taunton YMCA chairman of the board, said: “The rumours are completely false and somewhat spurious.

“Maybe they’re more to do with the originator’s attitude towards Islamic worship on the site.

“We’ve been in negotiations with the council about expanding - we’re certainly not closing.”

A council spokeswoman said it had not been approached about a change of use of the site.

A colleague of the man named as establishing the website said: “It’s nothing to do with him – someone’s cloned him and he’s reported it to Facebook.”

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