The sect behind the mega-mosque is Tablighi Jamaat, which originated in South Asia and has particularly harsh views on the position of women (as well as the Infidel). This is what Mr Craig has to say and he is not inaccurate:
Originating from South Asia, Tablighi Jamaat is the most successful Islamic missionary group on the planet and the UK is one of their prime missionary targets. During the recent public inquiry into the use of their West Ham site, the sect’s trustees explained how they reconcile their active promotion of wedding ceremonies with the fact that theirs is a male-only mosque. At the ceremony the marriage contract is signed solely by the bridegroom and the father or brother of the bride. The bride does not sign it. She does not even attend her own wedding.When shall we hear from the feminist organizations of this country about this outrage. Or about the other one Mr Craig writes about on his blog, the bullying of a Bangladeshi Christian pharmacy assistant?
The Planning Inspector, blinded and biased by his profession’s multi-cultural mores, subsequently reported (here) merely that “the highest standards… of inclusion for women… are not being achieved” at the male-only site (yes, he really wrote such tripe, check it out: para 77) and that the all-male mosque is “generally an inclusive environment”! Troglodyte Saudi authorities that bar female car drivers within the regressive Kingdom can eat their hearts out: this bride-ban is happening in 21st century London apparently with the active connivance of UK authorities.
My own association with Mr Craig is through work on Baroness Cox's Arbitration and Mediation Services (Equality) Bill about which I have yet to write. Mea culpa. I am delighted that he has a blog of his own as well as a column in The Church of England Newspaper. I strongly recommend the blog to my readers though I know that not all will agree with everything Mr Craig says. He would be the first to support people's right to disagree. Go for it.
ADDENDUM: Alan Craig disagrees with me on one important point and says this:
Actually the battle against the mega-mosque is far from lost; in a sense the battle proper has yet to begin - when we see the full plans published later this year.Well, he will have the full support of this blog. A city that has as many mosques as London does, has no need of a mega-mosque, let alone one where women are not allowed to sign their own marriage agreements.
However we have lost a preliminary planning skirmish - which no doubt has encouraged and emboldened the mosque proposers. We won the argument but lost the decision - this time round.