Mosques & Islamic Centres

As with synagogues a century earlier, it can be hard to keep track of the constantly-changing use of a variety of small premises for a mixture of Islamic worship and teaching. In fact, despite the parish's demography, it does not have many mosques and centres. This is in part because the very large East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre is a focal point for much activity. It was conceived in 1910 and established in 1941 at 82-92 Commercial Road (outside the parish) - see here for the significant involvement of Earl Winterton MP, a local landowner, in its establishment - and more recently there have been major building programmes on the site. As well as providing a centre for worship, with 5,000 or so at Friday prayers each week, it operates a wide range of programmes for men, women and children. Though it appears to have harboured occasional fundamentalists, it is inclusive in style and engaged in community affairs (providing several local councillors) and is an active participant in the Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum. It is Deobandi in theology, and Bangladeshi in management.

 Within the parish are:

Darul Ummah Masjid, also known as
Darul Ummah Jamme Mosque, and Da'watal Islam, located in a former school in Bigland [formerly Lower Chapman] Street. As well as worship, it runs a boys secondary school (Jamiatal Ummah) and a range of projects, including some for women and children. It too is in the Deobandi tradition. See here for the future of this building.

East London Markazi Masjid
(also known as Tabligh Markaz) at 9-11 Christian Street, in a building of 1929 on the site formerly occupied by the Commercial Road Talmud Torah Synagogue from 1898 until its closure. It opened as a mosque in 1980
[pictured - rear view entrance on Pinchin Street]; it is Deobandi, with Bangladeshi management, and can accommodate 1300 (including women).

Madrasah-E-Darul Qirat Masjid, very c
lose to St George's in two former houses at 46-48 Cannon Street Road. Formerly this housed a boys private independent Qur'an and shariah school which is now relocated to Cornwall Avenue E2; is then re-opened as Latafiah Girls School, a secondary school run on similar lines. The girls dress in black with white veils, and take their recreation breaks in St George's Gardens.

Hessel Street Masjid, on Hessel Street - a Moroccan Salafi mosque accommodting 100 (men only at present).

(At 25 Hessel Street there is also a Tayyibun Tarbiyyah centre.)

For a time there was a small Tamil mosque at 16 Batty Street, but this is now a private house; see here for details of a Victorian murder on this site (the houses were demolished and rebuilt.)

There was another Tamil mosque at 141 Leman Street - now the Empress of Bengal restaurant [pictured left].

Just outside the parish are mosques in Ford Square, and in Shadwell Gardens and Shadwell Place.

See the Tower Hamlets Religion and Place map for some, though not all, of these sites, and for more information about local inter-faith contacts and activities, the website of Tower Hamlets Inter Faith Forum

Ansar Ahmed Ullah & John Eversley Bengalis in London's East End
(Swadhinata Trust 2010) is an informative illustrated introduction to the Bengali presence in the area which can be read online.

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