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Reuters: Top News

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Giant mosque for 12,000 may be built at London Olympics (Great News For Great Britain)

London Markaz 2012

A Mega Mosque that will hold 12,000 worshippers is being proposed beside the Olympic complex in London to be opened in time for the 2012 Games.

The project’s backers hope the mosque and its surrounding buildings would hold a total of 70,000 people, only 10,000 fewer than the Olympic stadium. But the Mosque Developement committee denied these allegation saying it untrue. They said that the current plan can hold only 12,000 at any one time. Its futuristic design features wind turbines instead of the traditional minarets, while a translucent latticed roof would replace the domes seen on most mosques. The complex is designed to become the “Muslim quarter” for the Games, acting as a hub for Islamic competitors and spectators.

“It will be something never seen before in this country. It is a mosque for the future as part of the British landscape,” said Abdul Khalique, a senior member of Tablighi Jamaat, a worldwide Islamic missionary group that is proposing the mosque as its new UK headquarters.

Tabligh Jamaat sees its duty to revitalize the Muslim community, especially those it believes are in danger of losing their Muslim identity. It emphasizes Muslim practice and participation in the Muslim community, which some critics say goes to the exclusion of other communities. It gathers its members in meetings wherever its established and aids in community activities such as mosque building and education. It should be noted that Tabligh Jamaat does not consider its self a sect. People from The 4 main school of thoughts also attend Tablighi Jamaat gatherings.
Defenders of Tablighi Jamaat say that it is not political and confines itself to humanitarian work. It was founded in India under the British Raj and has many members in Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The east London complex would have by far the largest capacity of any religious building in Britain. The biggest at present is the Baitul Futuh in Morden, Surrey, which holds about 10,000 worshippers. Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral, the largest Christian place of worship, has a capacity of 3,000.

The new building will be called the London Markaz (Arabic for centre) and will be built in place of an existing mosque on a 10-acre site 500 yards from the Olympic development.

The three-storey mosque will be designed to accommodate more than 12,000 worshippers. Its sweeping roof is intended to evoke tented cities. The complex would include a garden, school, library and accommodation for visiting worshippers.

Islamic calligraphy would cover the walls and ceilings, the washing areas would have cascading water to mimic a stream, and the complex’s buildings would be adapted to allow extra worshippers during festivals such as Eid, accommodating a further 30,000 visitors.

Ali Mangera, the London and Barcelona-based architect who was first hired before Allies and Morrison to design the mosque, said: “People in this country build mosques with fake domes and plastic minarets to look like the mosques back home. Islam has traditionally been at the forefront of technology and change. The Markaz will reflect this. It will be more than a mosque. The whole idea behind it is to break down barriers.”

Sunil Sahadevan, a planning officer at Newham council, said: “We are working towards the mosque application with the organisers and discussions are ongoing. The application will be finalised over the next year.”

It is estimated that the project would cost more than £100m and donations are being sought from Britain and abroad.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This design is not the one being developed and the capacity will be 12,000. Please look at www.abbeymillsmosque.com

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