Brixton Mosque
The Brixton Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre (the "Brixton Mosque", or "Masjid ibn Taymeeyah") is a mosque
A mosque is a place of worship for followers of Islam. The word is likely to have entered the English language through French , from Portuguese , from Spanish , and from Berber , ultimately originating in — . The Arabic word masjid literally means a place of prostration...

 located in Gresham Road in the Brixton area of South London, England. The mosque has facilities for both men and women and space for 500 worshippers during prayer and is currently expanding to accommodate over 1000 worshippers. It also has the largest number of converts for a mosque in the United Kingdom.


Opened in 1990, Brixton Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in South London. The mosque provides religious, social, and financial support to its members. It follows the Salafi tradition in seeking to practice Muslim life as it was during the earliest years of Islam. Worshippers wear traditional Islamic dress. Its congregation is young and multiracial, with an average age of about 30. The mosque works to help rehabilitate recently released prisoners, and is managed by Black British
Black British
Black British is a term used to describe British people of Black African descent, especially those of Afro-Caribbean background. The term has been used from the 1950s to refer to Black people from former British colonies in the West Indies and Africa, who are residents of the United Kingdom and...

 converts. In 2004, the mosque's imam, Omar Urquhart, himself a Black convert to Islam and a graduate from the Faculty of Hadith
The term Hadīth is used to denote a saying or an act or tacit approval or criticism ascribed either validly or invalidly to the Islamic prophet Muhammad....

 Studies at the Islamic University of Madinah
Islamic University of Madinah
The Islamic University of al-Madinah al-Munawarah was founded by the government of Saudi Arabia by a royal decree in the year 1961 AD in the Islamic holy city of Medina.-History:...

, said that 60 percent of the mosque's 500 members were Black converts.

Abdullah el-Faisal

Abdullah el-Faisal
Abdullah el-Faisal
Abdullah el-Faisal is a muslim cleric who preached in the United Kingdom until he was convicted of stirring up racial hatred and urging his followers to murder Jews, Hindus, Christians, and...

, a radical Muslim cleric who preached in the UK until he was imprisoned for stirring up racial hatred and in 2007 deported to Jamaica, was associated with the Brixton Mosque in the early 1990s, preaching to crowds of up to 500 people. In 1993, he was ejected by the mosque's Salafi administration who objected to his radical preaching. In 2007 the London Evening Standard published an apology for referring to el-Faisal as the "Brixton Mosque preacher" on 12 April 2007, and clarified that el-Faisal only preached at Brixton Mosque in the early 1990s and not after 1994.

Richard Reid (the shoe bomber)

The mosque made international headlines when it was reported Richard Reid
Richard Reid (shoe bomber)
Richard Colvin Reid , also known as the Shoe Bomber, is a self-admitted member of al-Qaeda who pled guilty in 2002 in U.S. federal court to eight criminal counts of terrorism stemming from his attempt to destroy a commercial aircraft in-flight by detonating explosives hidden in his shoes...

, the so-called "shoe bomber", had attended the mosque from 1996 to 1998 after converting to Islam in jail. Abdul Haqq Baker, former chairman of mosque, told the BBC
The British Broadcasting Corporation is a British public service broadcaster. Its headquarters is at Broadcasting House in the City of Westminster, London. It is the largest broadcaster in the world, with about 23,000 staff...

 that Reid came to the mosque to learn about Islam, but fell in with what he called "more extreme elements" in London's Muslim community. "We have been in contact with the police numerous times over the last five years to warn of the threat posed by militant groups operating in our area," said Baker in December 2001 after Reid's arrest. He had warned that terrorist "talent scouts" prey on mosques like the Brixton mosque in search of the young and unstable. Baker warned the congregation, "The recruiting has got out of control. Beware. It's your sons, your teenagers who are plucked into these extreme groups." A Time
Time (magazine)
Time is an American news magazine. A European edition is published from London. Time Europe covers the Middle East, Africa and, since 2003, Latin America. An Asian edition is based in Hong Kong...

magazine article in 2002 said: "The Brixton Mosque is an ideal hunting ground for terrorist talent spotters since it attracts mainly young worshipers, including ex-convicts it helps rehabilitate."

Zacarias Moussaoui

Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui
Zacarias Moussaoui is a French citizen who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the US as part of the September 11 attacks...

, who was convicted of conspiring to kill citizens of the USA as part of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, frequented the mosque between 1996 and 1997. Some sources report that it was during this period that he met Richard Reid, though others are less certain. Moussaoui was expelled from the mosque after he began wearing combat fatigues and a backpack to the mosque, and pressured the cleric to provide him with information on how to join the jihad
Jihad , an Islamic term, is a religious duty of Muslims. In Arabic, the word jihād translates as a noun meaning "struggle". Jihad appears 41 times in the Quran and frequently in the idiomatic expression "striving in the way of God ". A person engaged in jihad is called a mujahid; the plural is...


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