Church Silenced Over Muslim Neighbor's Noise Complaint

Country: United Kingdom

Date of incident: October 28, 2009

A church in London has seen congregation numbers dwindle from 100 to 30 since the local council subjected it to noise restrictions following a complaint from a Muslim neighbour.

In October 2009 Immanuel International Christian Centre lost a court appeal against the ban and is now only allowed to play music for 20 minutes on Sundays between 11.30am and 11.50am. Other neighbours say the noise is not a problem, but church leaders claim that a council official told them “this is a Muslim borough, you have to tread carefully”. The church spent £10,000 on sound reduction when it moved into its current premises in 2007. It received the OK from environmental officers and had no complaints until local resident Baha Uddin claimed that noise from the church prevented him from using his garden at weekends and disturbed his one-year-old daughter. The church says a council environmental health enforcement officer informed the church pastor that “the church had to keep the noise down so as not to offend the Muslims living in the area”. Church premises are no longer hired out for events in case noise would aggravate Mr Uddin, a move which has cost the church additional revenue. Sources: