View Full Version : UK Army to remove replica mosques on range

04-08-2010, 09:37 PM
A staggering "own goal" by the British Army:
The Ministry of Defence has agreed to take down replica mosques which were being used by the British Army on a North Yorkshire firing range.

A Muslim group had demanded the removal of the structures at Catterick and accused the Army of reinforcing negative perceptions of Muslims. An Army spokesperson apologised and said its was "in the process of removing the offending structures". There were seven of the green-domed buildings on the Bellerby range.


Slightly different, official response:
The Army has apologised but said it was vital soldiers trained in an environment which replicated where they were deployed. A spokesman for the Ministry of Defence said the structures were ''generic Eastern buildings'' and were not used as target practice.


Someone, or more than one, clearly "took their eye off the ball".

Ken White
04-08-2010, 11:59 PM
I believe the official response to probably be reasonably accurate and see this another case of excessive political correctness. In the linked report, this:
"The shape of the structures, the colour of the dome - the green dome - symbolises an Islamic place of worship," he said. "Anyone looking at it will think about mosques and Muslims and think about them negatively."Is correct enough to pass muster for media and faithful arousal. However, it is also not totally correct (see the photos below), not even close. The buildings shown on the range in the video clip do not resemble any Mosque I saw in a couple of years in the ME.

Regardless, the problem with training is that realism is required to the maximum possible extent -- thus it seems to me that the quoted person is advocating less then realistic training and is thus increasing the potential for a troop firing on mosque incident. ;)

Unwise to not have sought 'advice' on design before construction, yep, I'll grant that simply because the cost of renovation would have been unnecessary..

Interestingly, when I googled pictures of Mosques, the only one I with a Green Dome noted in a quick several page scan was the Shah Jehan Mosque -- in Britain...

04-09-2010, 12:42 AM
Most mosques in Afghanistan are nondescript buildings with a small tower for the call-to-prayer speakers. I guess we need to prohibit nondescript buildings from our ranges.

And maybe Muslim groups who oppose these "mosques" should consider their actual role in training and not their perceived role....

04-09-2010, 03:00 AM
When I was high school, I recall our State Troopers being criticized for having black silhouettes on their firing range. Some Trooper shot a black man. Unbelievably, some group claimed that their targetry trained them to shoot at black people and this was taken seriously. My understanding is that, after that, they had to replace their targets with bullseye targets instead. Hopefully the bullseye wasn't red, lest they be accused of training to shoot Indian women.

04-09-2010, 04:53 AM
What's there to apologise for? What sort of buildings would you have in a training area for your most current theatre of operations. OK, fair enough, we trained some of our contingents heading off to South East Asia in 50s and 60s in the snows of Waiouru but that was all we had...

We will now most likely see a spurt of growth in consultants who specialise in advising on culturally-inoffensive range and training area accessories...at the same time that a number of European countries are blatantly blanket banning things like burquas and minarets on mosques...I do note however that the same whiners who complain about this have no problem with European style buildings being used...

I guess the bottom line is how dumb is UK MOD for even thinking there is a case to answer here and not telling these PC nutjobs just to take a hike...?

I don't know what makes me angrier, the original complaint or the fact that the UK MOD us upholding it!!

Geez, I'm off to open a beer...probably the first of many...

William F. Owen
04-09-2010, 07:19 AM
This beggars belief. I know of 3 UK training areas with Churches - Imber, Copehill Down and the Village on the Brecon TA.

I guess this is how the sensitive little culture vultures are setting out to break the British Army.