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Our vision is to provide a range of holistic, culturally sensitive services for the communities of London, drawing on our Islamic values and heritage, with a view to improving quality of life and enhancing community cohesion.
Our aims are to:
- Focus on the needs of the diverse Muslim community whilst ensuring services are open to all.
- Meet the needs of the local community by promoting health, education and employment opportunities.
- Provide Muslims and non-Muslims with the opportunity to learn and understand Islam, through dialogue, discussion and social interaction.
- Contribute to the social, cultural, spiritual and economic enhancement of the whole community, through policy and strategy development and service.
Serving the Community, Working in Partnership
The East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre is in the heart of Tower Hamlets, a diverse borough with a rich history, and home to the UK's largest Muslim community. It is our belief that our primary concern should be to serve the needs of the local community and to work towards the common good. In recent years there have been noticeable improvements in Tower Hamlets in education, health provision, environment, and community cohesion. Our partnerships with Tower Hamlets Council, the local Primary Care Trust, The East London Communities Organisation (TELCO), Tower Hamlets Interfaith Forum, the Metropolitan Police and many others have helped us to contribute towards these improvements. This builds on the very foundation of the mosque: a coming together of distinguished Muslims and non-Muslims to create London's first mosque.
Promoting Tolerance and Opposing Extremism
The East London Mosque works actively to promote tolerance and understanding. Along with all the local mosques, we are a member of the Tower Hamlets Council of Mosques; this binds together Muslims from different backgrounds and strands of Islam. We enjoy excellent interfaith relations - our centre is physically joined to the neighbouring synagogue - and the strength of these relationships has stood us all in good stead during the difficulties of recent years. Just a few years ago we organised a national conference on religious tolerance with representation from all the major faiths. Several times each year we open the doors of the mosque and centre, inviting people to visit and view an exhibition about Islam and Muslims.
Our Imams and community workers encourage constructive engagement in society and a rejection of extremism in all its forms. We unequivocally reject all terrorism. During the rise of extremist groups in the 1990s, who spurned cooperation with others and denounced participation in the democratic process, the East London Mosque stood firm against this distortion of Muslim beliefs and prevented them from using the mosque as a platform for promoting their views. We advise worshippers to ensure they are registered to vote and to take part in local and national elections.
Youth and Women: Encouraging Participation
The East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre offers a range of services that enable young people and women to engage in a positive and safe environment. We have one of the youngest congregations in the UK, with increasing numbers of youth actively engaging in programmes of learning and recreation, dealing with issues of anti-social behaviour, drugs, extremism and gang culture. The fitness centre and the youth lounge provide young people the 'space' to meet and take part.
Facilities are provided to allow women to access relevant services in a culturally sensitive environment, including counselling services, special events, social support, training and fitness; some of these activities are offered in partnership with local community organisations. The ethos of the East London Mosque & London Muslim Centre is to provide choice and to empower sections of our community who may feel isolated from mainstream services.