Legoland rejects religious discrimination claims

LegolandLegoland Windsor has rejected accusations that it is discriminating against non-Muslims after an Islamic group hired the park for the day.

The Muslim Research and Development Foundation (MRDF) has hired the attraction on 9 March, which is prior to the park opening to the public.

Legoland said that although it was a private booking, tickets could be ordered through the MRDF website and were available to those of all faiths.

There has been considerable criticism on the park’s Facebook page, with a number of those posting appearing to be under the impression that the event was a “Muslim-only event”.

A statement from the Merlin Entertainments-operated theme park said: “The company who have hired the park are selling tickets for the event on their website which are available to anyone, of any faith.

“This is a commercial arrangement and something we do very regularly out of season – welcoming special interest, social and business groups of all sorts.”


The MRDF is headed by controversial Muslim cleric Haitham al-Haddad, who has been banned from speaking at a number of UK universities.

He has made statements identifying homosexuality as a “criminal act” and the favouring non-interference in domestic violence which have attracted controversy.

He was quoted as identifying Jews as “enemies of god” and describing them as “decedents of apes and pigs” – although he claims to have been inaccurately represented, referring to specific Jews.

The MRDF hired Chessington World of Adventures in 2013, with the event also attracting considerable controversy once news of it emerged.

Both announcements have featured in the campaigning of far-right groups such as the English Defence League and Casuals United.

The Daily Express newspaper has reported that protests against the event are planned and that Thames Valley Police would be monitoring the situation.