A British Muslim billionaire is building a three-storey mosque in one of central London’s most famous entertainment complexes.
Asif Aziz, 56, a property tycoon, is building the new mosque with the capacity of 390 worshippers inside the Trocadero, which is situated between Piccadilly Circus and Soho.
“A planning application by the Aziz Foundation to convert a part of the London Trocadero was approved by the council’s planning committee in May 2023,” a council spokesperson confirmed to The Mail on Sunday.
Expected to open within months, the new mosque will serve Muslims who work in the area as well as tourists visiting London.
Previous proposals for a 1,000-capacity mosque at the site were dropped in 2020 following a backlash from residents and far-right groups.
Others criticized the plans to build a mosque in an area filled with alcohol-serving bars, nightclubs and Soho’s gay venues, all of which Islam shuns as sinful.
Malawian-born Aziz, who owns a property portfolio of over £2billion and bought the Trocadero itself for more than £220million in 2005, is founding the mosque through his charitable arm, the Aziz Foundation.
Mosques are the beating heart of Muslim communities and stand as a physical example of the Islamic faith.
They serve for prayers, for events during Islam’s holiest month Ramadan, as centers for education and information, and also as places for social welfare.