Amid rising risks of COVID-19 infection, London Muslim Mayor Sadiq Khan has urged the Prime Minister to close places of worship as major mosques from across London boroughs have shut down from the first week of January.
“Faith communities reflect the very best of our city and have, from the earliest stages of the pandemic, provided practical help and comfort to Londoners of all backgrounds and beliefs but, with the levels of the virus circulating in our communities as high as it is, I no longer think allowing in-person gatherings is in the best interest of Londoners’ safety,” Khan said in a statement to Muslim News.
“That is why I am calling on the Government to close places of worship immediately, save for funeral services.
“Until that happens, I am urging all of London’s faith communities to look beyond what is technically permitted and focus on the safest course of action for all Londoners. This now means avoiding all communal worship for the time being to help reduce the risk of infections spreading ”
Khan sent a letter to the PM following a flurry of voluntary mosque closures in the UK.
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Voluntary Mosque Closures
Almost all major mosques in the London boroughs of Ealing, Hackney, Harrow, Haringey, Kensington, Leyton, Redbridge, Tower Hamlets and Westminster have closed their doors. The same applies to mosques in Cambridge and Woking.
The East London Mosque (ELM) also closed on January 6, with management vowing to review the decision.
“This decision has not been taken lightly. But just as in last March, when we and many other mosques closed even before the government announced a national lockdown,” a spokesman for the ELM said.
“We’re putting the safety of our congregation, our staff and our volunteers above our strong desire to maintain communal worship.”
Earlier this month, Muslim, Christian, and Jewish leaders in England urged caution after the government announced that places of worship could remain open.
In December, a mosque in Bristol also said they will remain closed to protect the community due to the recent spike in the COVID-19 infections.
Islam has prescribed certain guidelines to deal with infectious disease outbreaks that affect a community, or even the entire world. COVID-19 is one such case in point.
Click here to read more about: What Are the Islamic Guidelines on Dealing with COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic has infected 90,702,906 and killed around 1,943,432 people, according to the latest estimates by WorldOMeter.
The UK is grappling with over 3,072,349 confirmed cases of the new virus. The UK has reported 81,431 deaths so far.