Mosque’s fundraiser nears £5,000 as city rallies after arson attack
PUBLISHED: 16:07 18 August 2020 | UPDATED: 16:38 18 August 2020
An Islamic community in Norwich says dozens of well-wishers living nearby have dropped in to donate funds and say hello since its mosque was hit by an arson attack almost a month ago.
At the end of July, fire crews were called to the former King Edward VII pub on Aylsham Road, which is currently undergoing a £1m revamp by the East Anglian Bangladeshi Islamic Trust to turn it into a new mosque and community café.
A fire had been started at the site, and police confirmed earlier this week they have arrested a 54-year-old man from the Norwich area in connection with the incident.
The blaze, which happened in the early hours of Monday, July 27, saw messages of support pour in for the mosque community, and a fundraiser set up to both help them get back on their feet and continue with the major redevelopment.
So far, it has already raised more than £4,600, and Sirajul Islam, secretary of the Norwich Central Mosque and Islamic Community Trust, said they were still awaiting more details of an insurance claim.
The fire damage was largely contained to the site’s extension, toilets and storage space, and Mr Islam said they had been able to use the rest of the centre as normal.
You may also want to watch:
He said they had been touched by how the community had rallied around them, with new faces popping by to say hello and offer their sympathy.
“The fundraising has mostly been from the local community,” he said, “various individuals. The support has been enormous.
“People have come to say hello and give their apologies and donate.
“We didn’t expect it but these things always bring out the good. It’s a really nice feeling when you see that surrounding you.”
Mr Islam has previously said the attack is “devastating”, adding that it could leave the facilities out of action for the next few months, delaying the overall project.
Norfolk police confirmed the man who has been arrested has since been released on bail until September 11 while investigations continue.
To donate or for more information, visit uk.gofundme.com/f/norwich-central-mosque-and-community-cafe
If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the Eastern Daily Press. Click the link in the orange box above for details.