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London mosque reopens after deadly fire

On the afternoon of Saturday 26th September 2015, a huge fire engulfed the Baitul Futuh Mosque in Morden, London.

I was shocked and saddened to hear the news.

I was at the venue only a few days previously taking many photos of the building at an event attended by over 3000 people. The fire occurred a day after Eid.

The mosque was opened in 2003 and has a capacity to house as many as 10 000 devout people. It is the largest mosque in Western Europe. Many visitors come to take a tour and view the impressive architecture.

As the fire quickly took hold, black smoke could be seen for many miles over the London skyline.

The excellent London Fire Brigade’s response was fast and efficient. Over 70 firemen and 10 fire engines were in attendance. By the evening time the massive fire was controlled.

Fortunately the prayer areas of the mosque were unaffected but two community halls and some administrative offices were gutted.

Luckily people were quickly evacuated from the building and no one was seriously injured.

The cause of the fire is still being investigated.

Immense support was offered by the local community and members of all religions came together to assist.

A week after the unfortunate incidence the mosque was re-opened and Friday prayers were commenced as usual.

Government ministers, local civic leaders, MPs, councillors and emergency services representatives attended the re-opening, offering their kindness and support.

After reflecting on the terrible incident this week I realised that when difficulties occur there are wonderful people around, of all faiths that will extend a hand of friendship and assistance. The love of community spirit is strong and alive. It confirms my faith in human nature and that differences between people and communities can be overcome in any place.

Sometimes as communities and individuals we go through hardship and stress but the virtues of patience and faith get us through to a better outcome in the end.

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