Front Page







World Summary

On Air


Talking Point


Low Graphics


Site Map

Wednesday, January 14, 1998 Published at 19:33 GMT


Mecca bingo hall drops name after Muslim protests
image: [ Muslims said naming a bingo hall after a sacred city was profane ]
Muslims said naming a bingo hall after a sacred city was profane

A bingo chain will remove its century-old name, Mecca, from one of its halls after Asian community leaders said it was an insult to their religion.

The local Islamic community was angry that the name of their holiest city was associated with gambling.

Senior management from the Rank Group decided to rename its bingo hall in Luton, Bedfordshire, after holding several meetings with the town's Asian community leaders.

It is not yet known what the hall will be known as and a Rank spokeswoman would say only that an "amicable agreement with the local community" had been reached.

Muslims in the town were furious when Rank, which owns 135 bingo outlets across the country, took over a Top Rank hall last month and changed its name to Mecca.

[ image: Several windows at the Luton Mecca building were broken]
Several windows at the Luton Mecca building were broken
Bricks were used on Christmas Day to smash 15 of the 20 windows at the building, which lies in the centre of Luton's Muslim community, causing up to £3,500 worth of damage.

Meanwhile, Muslims in Bradford are also calling for a Mecca bingo hall that has been operating since the 1970s to change its name.

Khadim Hussain, General Secretary for Bradford Council for Mosques, said: "It would be greatly appreciated if the name could be changed.

"I am sure the community would appreciate it."

David Fitch, who runs the Interfaith Education Centre, in Listerhills Road, Bradford, agrees that the time may have come for a change. "I think they have a point.

"It is their holiest city worldwide and to have that city associated with gambling is a matter for concern."


Back to top | BBC News Home | BBC Homepage


  Relevant Stories

03 Dec 97 | Business
Bass calls time on bingo

  Internet Links

Rank Group

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites.
In this section

Next steps for peace

Blairs' surprise over baby

Bowled over by Lord's

Beef row 'compromise' under fire

Hamilton 'would sell mother'

Industry misses new trains target

From Sport
Quins fightback shocks Cardiff

From Business
Vodafone takeover battle heats up

IRA ceasefire challenge rejected

Thousands celebrate Asian culture

From Sport
Christie could get two-year ban

From Entertainment
Colleagues remember Compo

Mother pleads for baby's return

Toys withdrawn in E.coli health scare

From Health
Nurses role set to expand

Israeli PM's plane in accident

More lottery cash for grassroots

Pro-lifers plan shock launch

Double killer gets life

From Health
Cold 'cure' comes one step closer

From UK Politics
Straw on trial over jury reform

Tatchell calls for rights probe into Mugabe

Ex-spy stays out in the cold

From UK Politics
Blair warns Livingstone

From Health
Smear equipment `misses cancers'

From Entertainment
Boyzone star gets in Christmas spirit

Fake bubbly warning

Murder jury hears dead girl's diary

From UK Politics
Germ warfare fiasco revealed

Blair babe triggers tabloid frenzy

Tourists shot by mistake

A new look for News Online

UK Contents

Northern Ireland