Major London mosques to reopen on July 25

London Central Mosque

Several major London mosques are planning to reopen their doors on July 25.

Last week the Coordination Committee for Mosques and Islamic Centres in London met to review whether it would be safe to reopen mosques due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation.

The committee decided that the importance of the preservation of life was the fundamental consideration, especially given the heightened risk to BAME communities.

It concluded that mosques will consider reopening for congregational prayers from July 25th July with with a phased reopening of some mosques from July 13th for limited prayers. The trial is intended to provide valuable experience to help ensure that communities are kept safe.

The decision to reopen on July 25 applies to: Islamic Cultural Centre & London Central Mosque; UKIM West London Islamic Centre; Finsbury Park Mosque; Al Manaar – Muslim Cultural Heritage Centre; Al Muntada Al Islami & WLICC; Muslim Welfare House; Mayfair Islamic Centre; Masjid Al Tawhid; Al-Nagashi Mosque & Centre.

Since the meeting East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre partially opened to the public today.

Dr Muhammmed Umar Ebrahimsa, specialist in Infectious Diseases and General Medicine, said: “Data released prior to July 4 2020 by the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE), suggests that we remain on the cusp of an increase in the number of infections in the London region, with an R of 0.8-1.1 or a growth rate of infections of between -4 and +2%.

East London Mosque

“On 4 July itself, the government put in place a further reduction of social distancing and allowed the reopening of most of businesses and venues. The impact of these changes in activity on the number of infections is likely to become apparent 2-3 weeks {i.e.by July 25th}. following their introduction.

“In view of the vulnerabilities of the community and the possibility of increasing infection in the London region and uncertainty of the impact of recent changes on the community, I would recommend re-evaluating the recommencement of congregational prayers in mosques from July 25th. Simultaneously a trial gradual recommencement of limited congregational prayers in a select number of mosques could enable us to assess what the impact of further reopening might be.”

To date more than 60,000 persons have died as a result of COVID-19 in the UK, more than one tenth of global coronavirus deaths. The daily death rate from COVID-19 continues to remain around 150 deaths a day, in excess of the death rate at the time that the lockdown commenced in the UK on March 23.

Coronavirus has also had a disproportionate impact on the Muslim community perhaps due to living conditions and the high representation of Muslims in jobs associated with a high mortality from COVID-19.

The government gave the green light for mosques around England to reopen their doors on July 4, and many mosques are indeed operating now with social distancing restrictions.

But many others have yet to open their doors and have concluded that the most effective route of reducing the risk of transmission occurring within mosques is to avoid individuals (symptomatic or asymptomatic) with COVID-19 coming into the mosque.

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