1. ITV Report

Arrest over Muslim community centre controversy

A man's been charged after racist comments were allegedly scrawled on the wall of a former pub in King's Lynn.

The West Norfolk Islamic Association wants to convert the Queen's Arms into a multi-faith community centre and venue for Friday prayers.

But hundreds of people have signed a petition against the plan.

The derelict Queen's Arms on London Road has no doubt seen some heated arguments in its time.

But nothing like the debate raging since it closed a year ago, led on the one side by the British Freedom party.

Stephen Tweed, from the British Freedom Party, said: "Everywhere they congregate the refuse to integrate, they form enclaves and then they force out the native Britons.

"Some people are going say you're tarring all Muslims with the same brush and you're inciting hatred. We've got to inform people, they need to be forewarned."

There are around 80 Muslim families in the West Norfolk area who currently meet in community centres earmarked for closure by council cuts.

Jahangir Azam, from the West Norfolk Islamic Association, said: "There's a lot of people with misguided views.

"I myself didn't know there was so much animosity towards Muslims in this area. I've been brought up in King's Lynn, I went to school at Wisbech grammar school. It's a multi-faith centre. We have good relations with other communities in King's Lynn and the wider area. "

Since proposals were put to the council a 44-year-old man has been charged with writing racially aggravating comments on the walls of the pub.

Planners meet on Monday and it's hoped their decision will dampen down the fires of debate in this town.

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