Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister:
This staggering statement by the deputy First Minister yesterday in the Assembly requires urgent clarification from the First Minister:-
“The First Minister is on the public record as saying that he believes that it would be appropriate, and I agree with him that, if necessary, public funds could be used to provide assistance with regard to the construction of a mosque in Belfast.”
“Whatever flap Stormont may have got itself into over comments about the Muslim community, there can be no justification for the novel departure of taxpayers money being used to construct a mosque. Indeed it would be of questionable legality. Any religion that requires a place of worship must pay for it itself. It is no function of the state to sponsor or fund any religious sect.
“I am therefore fundamentally proposed to any suggestion that a mosque should be built in Belfast with public money. I am calling on the First Minister to urgently clarify his position. If McGuinness was distorting the OFMDFM position, then, the First Minister needs to clear this up quickly.”