Muslim centre welcomes EastEnders mosque rumours – but not ‘extremism’ storylines

Rumours: East London Mosque welcomes idea, but with concerns
Rumours: East London Mosque welcomes idea, but with concerns

Rumours a mosque could be coming to TV soap EastEnders were welcomed by the borough’s biggest mosque – so long as it avoids “negative stereotypes” about Muslims.

The East London Mosque on Whitechapel Road said the idea of a mosque being built into the set of the popular BBC drama, reported by The Sun with the headline “Halal-bert Square”, could give a more realistic picture of life in London’s east end.

But it expressed worry over possible storylines about “extremism” which could “further denigrate the Islamic faith” and misrepresent British Muslims.

Salman Farsi, spokesman for the ELM and affiliated London Muslim Centre, said: “The idea of having a mosque built into the set of EastEnders would truly provide a realistic insight into the communities of East London.

“There is a great opportunity here to dispel misconceptions about Muslims and their faith, and we know that EastEnders has done this in the past through its Muslim characters.

“However, there is a worry if this set is built to pursue a particular storyline along the lines of extremism, which would in fact further denigrate the Islamic faith and play into the hands of negative stereotypes that are unrepresentative of the majority of Muslims living in Britain.”

The fictional Albert Square in EastEnders is said to be based on the design of Fassett Square in neighbouring Hackney.

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