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Passion Islam I August 2010

Cambridge UK Site of Europe’s First Eco-Mosque

The historic city of Cambridge, UK will soon be home to Europe’s first real eco-mosque.

Designed by Marks Barfield, the same design firm known for the London Eye and the Kew Gardens Treetop Walkway, the £13 million project will be built on a 0.4 hectare brownfield that was purchased two years ago, just for the purpose of building a new structure that hopes to inspire other mosques to abide by the long-standing environmental principles originally laid out in the Quran.

“Islamic civilization has been

based on the rejection of waste as an under-estimation of God’s blessing,” says Tim Winter (also known as Abdul Hakim Murad), chairman of the trust responsible for funding the project. “So in the construction of the new mosque here in Cambridge, we were very much in the forefront of the local environmental movement in that we are using the latest heat pumps, conservation technology and green roofs so that we’ll have an almost zero carbon footprint.” Featuring its own green roof, natural lighting provided by beautiful skylights, and energy locally generated by ground-source

A human rights group called for the removal of the judge leading an inquiry into torture allegations against the UK’s security services.

UK Prime Minister David Cameron appointed former appeal court judge Sir Peter Gibson as chairman of the investigation into claims of British complicity in the abuse of detainees abroad since the 9/11 attacks on the US. But legal charity ‘Reprieve’ wrote to Sir Peter asking him to disqualify himself because his impartiality was “fatally compromised” as a result of his connections to the security services. As Intelligence Services

Commissioner since 2006, Sir Peter is the official watchdog for Britain’s spy agencies. Reprieve said, in its letter released, he should not be the judge of whether his own work in overseeing the security services was effective, adding

heat pumps, the mosque will also be faced in brick - allowing it to complement the existing buildings in the neighbourhood. The design will be Europe’s first true eco-mosque, preceded by a partially eco-friendly mosque in Levenshulme that was completed in 2008, but did not use renewable energy and materials sourced from India. Cambridge’s mosque will accommodate up to 1,000 people with dedicated areas of worship (ablution, teaching, children’s area and morgue) in addition to its cafe and meeting rooms for both Muslims

that he should be a witness to the inquiry rather than its chairman. The group’s director, Clive Stafford Smith, said: “Welcome though the torture inquiry is, the current structure is a sham. “Sir Peter Gibson was perhaps the least appropriate judge to evaluate the security services.

The Government must get serious about learning the mistakes of the past, rather than try to cover them up, or we are in for a long, hot summer.” Reprieve highlighted former foreign secretary David Miliband’s revelation in a recent BBC interview that Sir Peter had already carried out a secret inquiry into the torture complicity allegations. It also noted that each of Sir Peter’s annual reports as Intelligence Services Commissioner had described all members of the security services as “trustworthy, conscientious and

and non-Muslims.

The design draws its inspiration from ‘the Garden of paradise’ and water - the source of all life to create a calm ‘oasis’, with the ‘trees’ set out on a generous 7.8 x 7.8 metre grid forming the main mosque structure. The prayer hall is the heart of the building, organized around the mihrab with the principal dome above it. Between the structural ‘trees’ within the prayer hall, soft natural light filters in through circular glass domes. Twenty new cypress trees creating a new permeable green edge around the building.

Torture inquiry chairman ‘’fatally compromised’’

dependable”, which it said “entirely prejudged” the issues before the new inquiry. In his letter to Sir Peter, which was copied to Cameron, The inquiry was announced by Cameron on July 6 after mounting pressure following claims by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Binyam Mohamed that he was tortured with the knowledge of the British security services while held by the CIA in Pakistan. A number of other former detainees have since brought legal action against the British Government, claiming they were subjected to similar mistreatment with the knowledge of the security and intelligence agencies, MI5 or MI6. Allegations have also been made of UK involvement in the extra-judicial transfer, or rendition, of terror suspects between countries in the aftermath of 9/11. Sir Peter served as an appeal court judge from 1993 to 2005.

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