Lon­don mosques given listed sta­tus to cel­e­brate Mus­lim her­itage

Arab News - - INTERNATIONAL -

LON­DON: Two Lon­don mosques were given spe­cial listed sta­tus Tues­day in recog­ni­tion of their ar­chi­tec­tural and his­toric im­por­tance, in a move a gov­ern­ment min­is­ter said cel­e­brated “the rich her­itage of Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in Eng­land.”

The Lon­don Cen­tral Mosque and Is­lamic Cul­tural Cen­ter in Re­gent’s Park, cen­tral Lon­don, and the Fazl Mosque in the south­west of the Bri­tish cap­i­tal, were both listed as Grade II build­ings by the gov­ern­ment’s cul­ture de­part­ment.

The Grade II sta­tus is awarded to just 5.8 per­cent of about 500,000 listed build­ings in Eng­land, mark­ing them out as par­tic­u­larly im­por­tant sites and giv­ing them greater pro­tec­tion.

“By list­ing these beau­ti­ful mosques, we are not only pre­serv­ing im­por­tant places of wor­ship, but also cel­e­brat­ing the rich her­itage of Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties in Eng­land,” said Her­itage Min­is­ter Michael Ellis.

A fund to es­tab­lish a cen­tral Lon­don mosque was set up in 1910, but the Re­gent’s Park lo­ca­tion was only se­cured in the 1940s and build­ing work was fi­nally com­pleted in 1977.

The Fazl Mosque in the South­fields area is the head­quar­ters of the Ah­madiyya Mus­lim com­mu­nity and was Lon­don’s first pur­pose-built mosque when it opened in 1926.

Al­though there are around 1,500 mosques in Bri­tain, fewer than 20 per­cent are pur­pose­built ac­cord­ing to Her­itage Eng­land, which com­piles the list­ings.

The coun­try’s first pur­pose­built mosque opened in Wok­ing, a town south­west of Lon­don, in 1889.

Mus­lim men at­tend prayers on Eid Al-Fitr at the Re­gent’s Park Mosque in Lon­don. (Files/AFP)

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