A COMMUNITY centre destroyed by an arson attack six ago has reopened – thanks to the dedication of local Muslims and Jews.
The Somali Bravanese Welfare Association centre in Muswell Hill, North London, was burnt down in an apparent hate crime in June 2013.
The Somali Bravanese Welfare Association centre destroyed by an arson attack six ago has reopened[/caption]
The letters ‘EDL’ – which stands for the English Defence League – were sprayed on the inside of building.
Nobody has ever caught for the blaze, which happened two weeks after the killing of Fusilier Lee Rigby in Woolwich, South East London.
Since the fire, synagogues in the area have opened their doors to the Somali Bravanese, who came to Britain as refugees during the Somali Civil War in the 1990s.
Finchley Reform Synagogue has been open every night during Ramadan for the past six years so the Somali Bravenese could pray there.
What sends the greatest message that hate won’t win are events like today
Lord James Younger
The local Jewish community also provided free legal support and helped the campaign for the new centre.
Faith minister, Lord James Younger, opened the new building in East Finchley and said: “What sends the greatest message that hate won’t win are events like today.”
Rabbi Miriam Berger, of Finchley Reform Synagogue, said: ‘’It has been such a pleasure hosting the Somali Bravanese.
“We have loved having them as guests, but I’m even more pleased that they now have their own community centre back, and we look forward to them becoming our neighbours”.
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Abubakar Ali, Chair of the Somali Bravanese Welfare Association., said: “We are so delighted that the children will have a home again.
“Many of our community fled war, and so seeing our building go up in flames…it was hard.
‘’But now our community reopens, with new friends, and we want to thank everyone who helped us get to this point”.