THE WORLDPOST
06/08/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

'Mosques' Used For Target Practice, Claims British Muslim Group

The British Ministry of Defense has apologized after a Muslim group complained that structures used on a firing range closely resembled Islamic mosques.

The seven structures, which critics say resembled mosques, had been erected on a range at Bellerby, Catterick Garrison, North Yorkshire to prepare British soldiers.

The chairman of the Bradford Council for Mosques (BCM) demanded the structures be removed immediately.

"The shape of the structures, the color of the dome - the green dome - symbolizes an Islamic place of worship," said Ishtiaq Ahmed of the BCM. Ahmed said it was "obvious" the structures were based on Mosques

"What angers me very much is that we are conditioning the young British to say that mosques are a place where you are going to find danger and a place to target," said Ahmed.

The Ministry of Defense claimed the structures were "generic Eastern buildings" and were not used as target practice.

"We apologize for any offence that we may have caused. It was never our intention for these generic structures to look like or replicate mosques, only to provide a setting similar to operational environments in which our personnel could train."

"We are seeking a meeting with representatives from the Muslim community to hear their concerns in order to discuss the way forward."