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Last Updated: Tuesday, 12 August, 2003, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
City mosque abandons Saddam's name
An inner city mosque named after Saddam Hussein has abandoned the title after public criticism that it honoured a tyrant.

The committee of the President Saddam Hussein Mosque in Aston, Birmingham, has decided to rename the building as the Jame Masjid.

Treasurer Ahmed Kasi said the committee believed the name change was advisable to be "sensitive to British feelings".

The structure, built in 1988 after a 2 million gift from the now deposed Iraqi ruler, was the subject of an arson attack during the 1991 Gulf War causing 15,000 damage.

The mosque was also the target of malicious phone calls and at least two attempted break-ins in April this year, which officials blamed on far-right groups.

The money from Saddam Hussein followed an appeal to embassies of countries, including Saudi Arabia and Libya, who often give money to places of worship.

Iraq agreed to donate the money, and the mosque was named after Saddam Hussein as a mark of gratitude.

Mosque may change name
04 Apr 03  |  England


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