New Islamic centre in Golders Green will 'forge ties with Jews'

The Centre for Islamic Enlightening bought the former El Shaddai Christian Centre. for £5.25million


Representatives of an Islamic centre opening in the heart of north-west London’s Jewish community have said they are looking forward to forging strong links with local Jews.

A charity called the Centre for Islamic Enlightening bought the Grade II-listed Hippodrome building, in Golders Green, for £5.25million earlier this year.

Spokesperson Ahmed Al-Kazemi confirmed this week that the building would now house the Hussainiyat Al-Rasool Al-Adham mosque and Islamic centre serving the Shia community in north-west London.

Mr Al-Kazemi said: “This is a great move for us and we are very pleased and excited to be in Golders Green in such a diverse area.

“We can’t wait to get to know our neighbours and plan to welcome them at an open day sometime in December.”

The centre, which as well as providing a prayer space will host classes and community activities, opens this weekend.

Mr Al-Kazemi said he had been in touch with interfaith group Interfaith Matters to discuss setting up meetings with other communities in the area.

“We don’t know people yet but want to get to know them. We will be reaching out to the local churches and synagogues so we can build strong ties with the community,” he said.

The building was built by the acclaimed theatre architect Bertie Crewe in 1913 and was originally a 3,000-seat music venue.

It became a BBC television studio and concert hall in 1969 and hosted live concerts and recordings. The first two episodes of Monty Python’s Flying Circus series were also recorded at the venue in 1969. In later years it was the home of the El Shaddai Christian Centre.

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