UK: Exclusive: Khan urges PM to close places of worship as many mosques voluntarily close

10th Jan 2021
UK: Exclusive: Khan urges PM to close places of worship as many mosques voluntarily close

By Nadine Osman

London, (The Muslim News): Places of worship in London should shut immediately due to the risks of Covid-19 infection, the Mayor of London has said. Sadiq Khan’s demand was made following the closing of most major mosques in the capital despite being Covid-19 secure.

Khan warned that more than one per cent of the city’s nine million residents tested positive for Covid-19 in the first week of January, with one in 30 residents currently estimated to be infected. Under the latest lockdown restrictions, places of worship in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are permitted to remain open. The Scottish Government has ordered them closed.

In a letter to the Prime Minister, Khan has called on places of worship to close, among other measures to tackle the crisis.

There has been a flurry of voluntary mosque closures in the UK, despite being Covid secure.

Almost all major mosques in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hackney, Harrow, Haringey, Kensington, Leyton, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Westminster, to name be a few, as well as in Cambridge and Woking have closed their doors during the first week of January.

In a statement to The Muslim News the Mayor of London said the capital’s “faith communities reflect the very best of our city and have, from the earliest stages of the pandemic, provided practical help and comfort to Londoners of all backgrounds and beliefs but, with the levels of the virus circulating in our communities as high as it is, I no longer think allowing in-person gatherings is in the best interest of Londoners’ safety.

“That is why I am calling on the Government to close places of worship immediately, save for funeral services. Until that happens, I am urging all of London’s faith communities to look beyond what is technically permitted and focus on the safest course of action for all Londoners – this now means avoiding all communal worship for the time being to help reduce the risk of infections spreading ”

Boris Johnson announced a national lockdown on January 4, calling on people to stay home to control the virus, protect the NHS and save lives.

One of England’s and the capital’s largest mosques, the East London Mosque (ELM) closed on January 6, with management vowing to review the decision.

A spokesman for ELM told The Muslim News, “This decision has not been taken lightly. But just as in last March, when we and many other mosques closed even before the government announced a national lockdown, we’re putting the safety of our congregation, our staff and our volunteers above our strong desire to maintain communal worship.”

Neighbouring Brick Lane Jamme Masjid has also closed for the latest lockdown.

[Photo: Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaking at Covid-19 press conference inside No 10 Downing Street on 7 January 2021. Picture by Andrew Parsons / No 10 Downing Street]

 

Leave a Comment

What is 12 + 4 ?
Please leave these two fields as-is:
IMPORTANT! To be able to proceed, you need to solve the following simple math (so we know that you are a human) :-)

Over 120 people attended a landmark conference on the media reporting of Islam and Muslims. It was held jointly by The Muslim News and Society of Editors in London on September 15.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence 2015 was held on March in London to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to the society.

The Muslim News Awards for Excellence event is to acknowledge British Muslim and non-Muslim contributions to society. Over 850 people from diverse background, Muslim and non-Muslim, attended the gala dinner.

Latest Tweets