British Muslims Object to Mosque Targets at Catterick

Army in 'Mosque' Target Practice

A Muslim group has demanded an apology from the British Army after it emerged that replica mosques were being used for target practice on a firing range.

The chairman of the Bradford Council for Mosques (BMC) said the structures at Catterick in North Yorkshire should be taken down immediately.

The Ministry of Defence said it had "no intention" of causing offence.

The BMC said it was particularly angry as it had been assisting the army in its efforts to recruit more Muslims.

'Really disturbing'

Saleem Khan, the chief executive of the BMC, called for the Army to apologise.

"The first thing they need to do is remove this straight away," he said.

"They do owe apologies to the Muslim community and it is the mind set which needs changing."

There are seven of the structures on the range at Bellerby, which are made of bricks and have green domed roofs. Ishtiaq Ahmed of the BCM said that they were undoubtedly meant to resemble mosques.

"The shape of the structures, the colour of the dome - the green dome - symbolises an Islamic place of worship," he said.

"Anyone looking at it will think about mosques and Muslims and think about them negatively."

He accused the Army of reinforcing negative perceptions of Muslims.

"What angers me very much is that we are conditioning the young British to say that mosques are a place where you are going to find danger and a place to target," Mr Ahmed said.

"That is really disturbing."

An MOD spokesman said that the range had been designed in response to feedback from Afghanistan.

"Providing the best training facilities for our armed forces ahead of deployment to operational theatres is a priority for us," a spokesman said.

"Facilities at Bellerby have been upgraded in response to operational feedback from Afghanistan as it is crucial that our armed forces train at ranges that replicate the environment they will be deployed to.

"We have no intention of offending religious sensibilities."
Story from BBC NEWS:

Published: 2010/04/08 04:59:43 GMT

I've read that mosques are off limits in Afghanistan, so maybe they're there so our troops can avoid hitting them?


Book Reviewer
Cuddles said:
I'll get those "new pattern" figure 11s cancelled then shall I? Shame, we spent ages getting the turbans right.
and the beards, not to mention the over-size hooters I've been painting on.


Book Reviewer
There have certainly been Churches in training areas and FISH facilities for many years - look at Copehill down for a start. I also remember plenty of churches - and 'buildings with minarets' - on the old Landscape Targets, in all their pre-war glory. So why the fuss? If something is part of the landscape then it should - must - be included.

By the way, are they still available on-lineanywhere? I'd love to see some of those again, source as they were of generations of FCOs and Bushy Top Trees :)
Interesting, since there is no strict rule for what a mosque has to look like. It can be a room, a square marked out on the sand, or anything really!
Interestingly, any building can appear like these "mosque" targets in theatre/Asia. The bobbly bit in the middle is not a minaret it is a vault to improve the ambient temperature. However in the West, a lot of mosques are built in this style, to highlight they are in fact "alien" and mosques.
Hugh_Jardon said:
Interesting, since there is no strict rule for what a mosque has to look like. It can be a room, a square marked out on the sand, or anything really!
after using the ranges recently, one of the lads mentioned how the buildings look like the trafford centre....
Was this story published on April 1st and only just found?

How the hell is that a mosque. It is simply a middle to far eastern building design.

And if we did have mosques they surely would be there to fight around - as we have it drummed into us repeatedly that LOAC means we can't attack religious or cultural buildings.
Yep because that is exactly what mosques look like in Helmand.

Not at all like a compound with a mud brick building inside. Just like almost all other non-commercial buildings. The only recognition feature is a pole with a PA on top.

So Mr Outraged of Bradford, stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Your ignorance makes me smile.

Now froth off!

Edited to add why did the Bradford Council of Mosques become abbreviated as BMC? Fecking illiterates.
It looks like it's on a moving target range anyway. The point being to shoot the target once he's come running out of the mosque rather than when he is inside it. Good thinking that range warden!