LONDON, KOMPAS.com - Muslims in Great Britain might breathe a sigh of relief, as lockdown restrictions in the country are eased in time for them to worship communally in mosques during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan.
But for Indonesian Muslims in London, that joy is dampened by the awareness that they do not have a mosque of their own.
However, they hope to make a difference in this year's Ramadan, as they carried out a concerted effort to raise funds to build a mosque and Indonesian Islamic Centre (IIC).
The need to build a mosque came about, as Indonesian Muslims in the British capital realized that the current IIC in Wakemans Hill Avenue in North London can only accommodate up to 100 people.
Since its founding in 2003, the two-story house has become a place for the community to gather, carry out weekly praying recitations, provide religious education for children, interpret the surahs, and be an outlet for the arts.
However, the growing community became aware of the need for their own mosque in London.
"The existing facilities in Wakemans Hill Avenue are no longer adequate," said IIC construction committee chairman Eko Kurniawan said in a press release dated Thursday, April 29.
"Since it is a house located in a residential area, the permit is limited to residential activities, not for the public or communities. As a result, we cannot make the most of social activities in this community."
Hamim Syaaf, an Indonesian who has lived in London for decades, said the number of Indonesians in Britain continues to increase. "We clearly need a place that can accommodate the growing Congregations,” he said.