Two London mosques were given special listed status recently in recognition of their architectural and historic importance, in a move a government minister said celebrated “the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England”. The London Central Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre in Regent’s Park, central London, and the Fazl Mosque in the southwest of the British capital were both listed as Grade II buildings by the government’s culture department. The special Grade II status is awarded to just 5.8 percent of approximately 500,000 listed buildings in England, marking them out as particularly important sites and giving them greater protection. “By listing these beautiful mosques, we are not only preserving important places of worship, but also celebrating the rich heritage of Muslim communities in England,” said Heritage Minister Michael Ellis. Although there are around 1,500 mosques in Britain, fewer than 20 percent are purpose-built according to Heritage England, which compiles the listings. The country’s first purpose-built mosque opened in Woking, a town south-west of London, in 1889.
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