On October 10, Ben Weich reported at Jewish Chronicle that a plan to establish a Shi’ite Community Center in Golders Green, north-west London met with mounting opposition from area’s large Jewish population.
“A petition against the plan posted on Barnet Council’s website has attracted almost 4,000 signatures, with a further 186 objections lodged on the site, and only 93 comments in support,” Weich said.
One of the Jew objectors, Ms. Ayelet Avroya, wrote: “This neighborhood is affiliated with the Jewish population that has been living here for years, side by side with the English Christians and others. This is going to force the Jewish population to run away and make this beautiful neighborhood to crowded, with loads of burka’s and veils over the weekend which I find scary and changes the fine balance between the residence of this area?”
Just imagine the reaction of UK’s organized Jewry and London Mayor‘s reaction if such comments had been made by a British Muslims against building a synagogue in Muslim-majority London neighborhood.
The Center for Islamic Enlightening, a Shi’ite charity bought the old BBC Broadcasting Equipment and Memories building for £5.25million at an auction in May 2017. The charity has renamed the building Hussainiyat Al-Rasool Al-Adham, a Shi’ite community center to cater community’s religious and social events.
Alan Dein, BBC Radio4, oral historian and broadcaster lauded the sale by saying: “My gut reaction was enjoyment, enjoyment that the developing wouldn’t be converted into overprized flats. I was worried it was going to go into spoil.”
In 2007, El Shaddai International Christian Center paid £5m for building but the sale was opposed by local Jews led by LGBT rights activist John Levitt who accused the church to be anti-LGBT and anti-Feminism. El-Shaddai center was established in 2004 by Afro-American pro-Israel evangelical pastor Ramson Mumba in 2004.