ISLAMIC SECT PLANS £27M NEW FAITH SCHOOL NEAR OLYMPIC STADIUM An Islamic sect is planning to build a giant madrassa school minutes from the new Olympic stadium Sunday January 24,2010 By Ted Jeory A HARDLINE Islamic sect that supports hate cleric Yufuf al-Qaradawi is planning to build a giant madrassa school and Muslim centre a few minutes from Britain’s new Olympic stadium. The nationwide Dawatul Islam group, which has links with the militant Islamist Jamaat e Islami movement in Bangladesh, has lodged the proposals for an 11-storey, boys-only boarding school and Muslim community centre in east London with the local council. It will cost £27million and involves the demolition of an historic Victorian schoolhouse it bought for £377,000 in 1998. The £1million-a-year charity was awarded £32,000 of Government “Preventing Violent Extremism” cash last year, despite the controversial views of its vice-president, Hasan Mueenuddin. He has described Britain’s ban on Egyptian cleric Dr al-Qaradawi, who defends suicide bombers, as “deplorable”. He called Dr al-Qaradawi “one of the most progressive thinking Muslim scholars of the 21st century”. <table style="clear: both; float: none;" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="0"> <tbody><tr> <td> </td> </tr> <tr> <td class="moreImagesCaption"> A bird's eye view of how the new madrassa will look if it gets the all clear </td> </tr> </tbody></table> Mr Mueenuddin, who is senior member of the Muslim Council of Britain, invited Dr al-Qaradawi to speak at a Metropolitan Police-sponsored conference he helped organise at Wembley Arena in 2004. But the cleric, who has called for the destruction of the state of Israel and has said husbands can beat “disobedient” wives, was eventually forced to withdraw after objections from Scotland Yard. The same year, Dr al-Qaradawi said suicide attacks on Israelis were “martyrdom in the name of God”, adding that it did not matter if women and children were killed. He was banned from Britain two years ago after a successful campaign by Conservative leader David Cameron. The latest plans by Mr Mueenuddin’s charity have caused deep concern among moderate Muslims in the area. If approved by Tower Hamlets Council in March, the new building would replace a smaller madrassa and create a 300-student private secondary school, prayer rooms and a community centre. Conservative MP Paul Goodman, a former Shadow communities minister, said: “Enlarging mosques or madrassas often makes a lot of sense. However, big new Islamic institutions which give cover to extremism and which may have a negative impact on older, established local mosques or madrassas are obviously unwelcome.” A spokesman for Dawatul Islam said the group strongly condemned violence and had parted ways from Jamaat e Islami “a long time ago”. He said: “We are a community organisation, not a movement. The plans are for a large centre for the community.” The spokesman promised that Mr Mueenuddin would call to explain his views but he did not. Another fundamentalist sect, Tablighi Jamaat, has shelved proposals for a 12,000-seat “megamosque” in the shadow of the Olympic Park.