A HOAXER who spread a false rumour that a mosque was being built on a Christian-run centre has been accused of stirring up racial and religious hatred.

More than 1,500 protestors on a cloned Facebook page criticised ‘plans’ for “a giant mosque” on the site of the YMCA, in Lisieux Way, Taunton.

The claims were rubbished by the YMCA, which owns the building, and landowner Taunton Deane Council.

Now Jimmy Higgerson, who was falsely named as the site originator, has hit back.

“Somebody’s started setting up Facebook groups using my name,” said Mr Higgerson, a club doorman who works for a builders’ merchant.

“It’s a bit of an annoyance – I’m the victim.

“The site doesn’t reflect my views and isn’t something I approve of.

“I’m not anti-Muslim, but this person has started racial and religious tensions.”

Meanwhile, a local man says fellow Muslims would love to build a mosque in town – but not at the YMCA.

“It would be too expensive,” said Osama Elogab.

“Muslims often buy up old pubs and convert them into mosques to make something good out of something they perceive to be bad.

“Muslims in Taunton say they’re looking for a place, but there are financial implications because we haven’t got the population – at Friday worship in a room in the YMCA there are only 30 to 50 people.”

Referring to the Facebook hoax, Mr Elogab added: “That sort of thing will only incite hatred between the communities.

“In actual fact, there is little difference between Christianity and Islam, but some people try to cause divisions.”