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Hundreds attend 40th anniversary open day at Redbridge's oldest mosque

PUBLISHED: 10:14 27 September 2018 | UPDATED: 10:14 27 September 2018

Cllr Muhammad Javed, World War II veterans Colonel  Mohammed Ghani is 99 years old and Raja Mohammad Nawaz Kayani and Islamic centre chairman Mr Ghazanfer Ali. Photo: Ahmad Nawaz

Cllr Muhammad Javed, World War II veterans Colonel Mohammed Ghani is 99 years old and Raja Mohammad Nawaz Kayani and Islamic centre chairman Mr Ghazanfer Ali. Photo: Ahmad Nawaz

Archant

More than 5,000 people visited the borough’s oldest Islamic place of worship as it flung open its doors to mark its 40th anniversary on Sunday (September 23).

A film chroncling the Ilford Islamic Centre’s journey to fruition was shown, illustrating its beginnings in the two front rooms of a residential address in Kingswood Road, Goodmayes in 1968.

To accomodate the growing Muslim population, the centre purchased a derelict church hall in Albert Road in 1978 and in 1986 submitted an application to build the purpose-built mosque that stands there today.

In the doucmentary chairman Ghazanfer Ali says: “This huge building has expanded beyond our expectations and beyond our dreams.”

The event also featured a photo exhibition, as well as stalls, food and children’s activities.

Redbridge Faith Forum’s annual walk of peace, which also took place on Sunday, featured a stop at the mosque along its route.

Ahmad Nawaz, the centre’s secretary, said: “I personally think it was a great day, a great sense of community and a successful day where some people learned about the true essence of Islam.

He added: “Ilford Islamic Centre will always welcome those who want to learn.

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