Turkey's Erdogan opens eco-friendly mosque in Britain


Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan opened an eco-friendly mosque on Thursday in the eastern English city of Cambridge.

Erdogan spoke against rising Islamophobia at the inauguration of the Cambridge Central Mosque, which was partly funded by Turkish organisations and calls itself on its website "a British mosque for the 21st century."

"A Muslim cannot be a terrorist and a terrorist will not emerge from Islam... We do not and will not accept the label of 'Islamic terror'," Erdogan said in a speech that was broadcast live via his Twitter account.

"I think this place of worship will be the best response to rising anti-Islamism," Erdogan said.

He said the complex, which can accommodate 1,300 worshippers, was "Europe's first environment-friendly mosque."

Erdogan was reportedly invited to open the mosque by veteran folk singer Yusuf Islam, better known as Cat Stevens, who also attended the event.

The mosque said it has installed "everything from solar panels and grey water harvesting to state-of-the-art heating and cooling technology." It uses an architectural design "featuring advanced technology that gives it a near-zero carbon footprint and honouring natural forms and materials with its forest-like vaulting."

A recent survey by the Muslim Council of Britain (MCB) suggested Islamophobia was the biggest issue for Muslims voting in next week's British general election.

The MCB urged all political parties to commit to tackling "Islamophobia and all forms of racism", accusing Prime Minister Boris Johnson's Conservatives, in particular, of failing to do so.    (dpa)

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