The largest mosque in the UK has reopened after a fire in 2015

The Ahmadiyya community’s five-storey Baitul Futuh mosque in Morden, South London, can accommodate up to 13,000 worshippers.

The huge prayer hall survived, but the administrative building of the mosque, which housed the functional rooms, burned down.

According to mosque officials, it was rebuilt using light-colored stones imported from Portugal at a cost of P20 million. £23 million (approx. €23 million), which was fully paid for by members of the community.

Mohammed Nasser Khan, vice-president of the UK Muslim Association Ahmadiyya, said that the new complex will provide better conditions, including for the education of children.

“But for me personally and I think it’s even more important for many members of the community that our neighbors and all the people who visit these premises have a facility they can be proud of,” he told AFP.

Around 1,500 people were expected to attend the opening, including British politicians, diplomats and religious leaders.

The Ahmadiyya sect has around 35,000 followers in Britain out of an estimated four million Muslims.

Most of them are in Pakistan, where they are considered heretics and persecuted.

A 16-year-old teenager was accused of intentionally setting a mosque on fire in London, but was acquitted of arson at a trial in 2017.

The Ahmadis, known as pacifists, are particularly opposed to a military interpretation of jihad (holy war). “Love for all, hate for none” is written at the entrance to the Morden complex.

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