The Lancashire Council of Mosques (LCM) has responded to claims made by some mosques they were being ‘unfairly targeted’ by Covid rules.

It follows a joint statement sent by Jaame Masjid, Cumberland Street and listing 30 imams and mosque representatives where Blackburn with Darwen Council is accused of failing ‘to provide adequate and correct guidance to places of worship’.

The council said on Friday they were very ‘disappointed to receive the letter’ and their ‘overriding concern is to ensure the safety of all our communities and get the virus under control.’ The council said they would be responding to all the issues raised in detail soon.

The statement from the mosques was released after letters were sent to mosques from the Council’s Public Protection Team about ‘concerns about some places of worship lacking Covid security measures’.

Imams say ‘mosques have been unfairly targeted’ by covid rules

The LCM said this weekend: “The LCM is regularly making every effort to work with, consult and develop relationships with the Council (and other statutory bodies) on behalf of all Masjids and Madrasahs in how best to manage and implement Covid-19 guidelines effectively and practically throughout the pandemic within our communities.

“In light of the current situation, LCM have requested an urgent meeting with the Council representatives to address this particular issue and is seeking clarification on the concerns that have been raised and will represent the views of Mosques, Madrasahs, delegates and the Muslim community as it has been doing all throughout the pandemic, tirelessly. Whether the issues are in relation to burials, funeral rituals, Madrasahs and Masjids.

“LCM would like to reiterate our role in supporting the Masjids, Madrasahs and the Muslim community in whichever capacity possible. In order to do this, we urge all to approach, consult and make us aware to help us take action and resolve matters effectively."

And in a further development the national Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) has called for the issue to be taken ‘seriously’.

Zara Mohammed, Secretary General of the MCB said: “The MCB has many affiliates within the borough of Blackburn with Darwen, these include mosques, Islamic centres and schools. Some of these affiliates have raised to us serious concerns regarding their recent interaction with the Council. They have expressed an issue relating to unfair targeting with the application of the Government Guidance on COVID-19.

“The MCB recognise the exemplary leadership which mosques across the country and in the borough of Blackburn with Darwen, have shown during this pandemic.

"They have ensured robust safety measures have been in place to support local communities. It is essential for this work to continue with sustained partnership from all. I trust that you will take this issue seriously and I await to hear what course of action will be taken to remedy this matter.”