A NEW mosque has opened in Hillingdon.
More than 400 worshippers and special guests were at the grand opening of the Baitul Aman Mosque in Royal Lane, a place of worship for the minority Ahmadiyya Islamic Community.
Followers were honoured to have the movement’s world leader, His Holiness Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, inaugurate the mosque and unveil a commemorative plaque on March 4.
MPs John McDonnell (Lab, Hayes and Harlington) and Virendra Sharma (Lab, Ealing and Southall), Indian High Commission minister Amithabth Mathur, and Chief Inspector Keith Lunson of Uxbridge police were among visitors.
Mr McDonnell, addressing guests, said the opening was ‘a truly historic occasion’, and he gratefully received a £2,500 cheque from the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association (AMA) of Hayes and Hillingdon for the Barra Hall Commuity Development group.
AMA president Sohail Qureshi said that the mosque would welcome schools and other community functions in the future, and added: “It has taken over two years of hard work, but now we finally have our own mosque which will make a huge difference for our members, and be an attraction for the borough.
“We hope to set a good example for young people, and teach them respect.
“It was fantastic to have our leader come to open the mosque.”
There are about 600 Ahmadi muslims in the west London area. Ahmadis have a slightly different belief system to orthodox muslims, and as such suffer persecution in some parts of the world.
The building was previously home to the Hillingdon Irish Centre.
The AMA was refused permission to change the use of the site and establish the mosque last November, with the council citing extra traffic and car parking problems, but an appeal was upheld last month.