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Mosque counts cost of devastating blaze

Sandwell | News | Published:

Worshippers were today counting the cost of an arson attack which destroyed their Black Country mosque.

Worshippers were today counting the cost of an arson attack which destroyed their Black Country mosque.

Leaders now face a challenge to find a replacement meeting place for Cradley Heath Mosque and Islamic Centre, which was set alight late on Boxing Day.

It is the second time the Plant Street building has been targeted and arson is believed to be the cause of Saturday's fire.

The Islamic education centre next door to the mosque was also burnt out.

The mosque is used by around 400 worshippers from the local community who are now desperate to find a new base. Leaders are currently building a new mosque adjoining the site, but work is not expected to finish on the new site for years.

Vasharat Ali, secretary of the mosque and Islamic centre, said: "This is not the first time we have been targeted. There was a similar attack four or five years ago.

"The building is completely destroyed and all the books that we use with the children in the education centre next door have been damaged by the water."

Mr Ali added: "The new building is still under construction, it is a shell inside.

"It is due to open in a few years. The roof is on, but inside there is nothing there - we are relying on public donations before we can complete the work.

"We don't know what we are going to do at the moment. We are thinking about hiring portable cabins, but that will be a lot of expenditure," Mr Ali said.

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