London, Jan 29: A millionaire Muslim businessman in Britain has been ordered to remove an Islamic message from the side of his luxury house as council officials say it is like advertising, a British daily reported Tuesday.
Mahmood Ali, 54, painted the Arabic saying “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his messenger” in two-foot-high green lettering outside his eight-bedroom home in Newport, South Wales, the Daily Mail said.
But the city council said he did not have the right planning permission to display the message across the home’s stone archway.
Ali is now facing a legal battle with planning officials, who classed it as the same as an advertising hoarding.
“The message is simply there to bless the house. The symbols are not an advertisement in any sense of the word’s use in daily life,” Ali told the daily.
Ali has also applied for permission to illuminate the sign in low voltage lighting.
A family member said: “It’s our home and we should be free to do whatever we want.”
“We’re suppose to have freedom of speech in this country and be allowed to express our faith however we please.”
The Newport Council guidelines say an advertisement includes any word, letter, model, sign, placard, board or notice used for advertising, making an announcement or direction.
A council statement read: “The property is domestic property and is not a mosque where such signs might be expected.”