clitheroe_280I learnt from Imam Ali’ one has to stand up to any injustice and that one has to make every effort to gain victory.
– Ghulumreza Takhti

‘A Street in Clitheroe’ documents the struggle of a small Muslim community and those who support them in Clitheroe, a small town in Lancashire. Their struggle is one that has lasted nearly four decades and is only now truly at a real start. The community has faced mass opposition for several planning proposals on several different sites to establish a place of worship in the town where they were born and grew up. Now they have finally been granted permission to build a mosque inside what was once a Methodist Church. The interesting paradox is that the issues facing this community of Muslims face today were the same as those faced by Methodists when they first tried to build a place of worship in what was a mainly Orthodox town. History now repeats itself, as this small community try to justify their cause and create for themselves a sense of place and an identity in the area they have always called home.

The images in this series document the individuals from both inside and outside of the Muslim community that have worked towards equality in the town through this Mosque. The diversity of the individuals involved in this project highlights the future goal of this Mosque to act as a centre for an inter-faith community. As well as looking at those involved directly, the work shows images of the children for whom this Mosque and inter faith centre is to be built. A key purpose of the Mosque project is to protect the future generations in this area from the feeling of segregation and inequality.

The Mosque building itself is at present in its initial stages of transition and whilst the building has throughout it’s history had various purposes, at this point in time it seems empty, vacuous and lacks identity. For all those that are involved in the transitional period of the Mosque building, their hard work represents a global struggle for racial equality. Small communities like the one in Clitheroe are what will hopefully one day change the way that people of other races and religions are accepted and integrated in to all society. 

Rob Rusling.