Is this an act of God?
Seventy firefighters in south London are battling an enormous blaze which engulfed western Europe’s largest mosque.
Ten fire engines were dispatched to deal with the fire at the Baitful Futuh mosque in Morden, which started burning around midday.
A man has been taken to hospital for smoke inhalation, but community leaders have said they do not believe anybody else was affected. The cause of the blaze is not yet known.
Shocked onlookers gathered opposite the mosque, watching a dark plume of smoke billowing out of the building’s roof before they were ushered behind a police cordon. The fire was reported by a member of the public just after midday.
The enormous building sits on a 5.2acre site and can hold 10,500 people. At the time of the fire, however, only a handful of worshippers were inside, and were quickly evacuated. Nobody was at prayer when the fire broke out.
Read more: Daily Mail
UPDATE: May 30, 2017
The rebuilding of the mosque will make it even BIGGER than before.
Also known as Morden Mosque, it was damaged in a large fire in 2015, which left one building in total disrepair. Reconstruction has begun, and volunteers arrive early on site to ensure Friday prayers don’t cause a traffic pile up for local residents.
As Naseer tells the Standard, it’s a busy operation running a mosque which serves several thousand people every day…
…“Demolition is going on at the moment because we had that fire back in September 2015 and, of course, we’re now in a massive rebuilding programme to build something quite spectacular.”
Besides being a space for prayer, Baitul Futuh Mosque also has its own 24-hour radio station, TV studio providing a live feed of Friday prayers, and space for the wider community to meet.
Read more: Evening Standard UK
Is it too late for the U.K.?
Has the demographic shift gone too far?