CITY COUNCILLORS are celebrating after a new sign was erected in east Oxford, pointing to a local mosque.

The sign, which comes as part of a £25,000 redesign of Manzil Way, points to 'Central Oxford Mosque' and 'St. Bartholomews Health Centre'.

However, it does manage to get the centre's name wrong, since it is formally known as the 'medical' centre.

Oxford's two City Councillors for the St Clement's Ward where the mosque is situated, Labour's Jamila Azad and Tom Hayes, have welcomed the symbolism behind the sign and suggested it can unite people.

Oxford Mail:

Ms Azad said: "East Oxford is the most diverse part of the city and Muslims from all over the world live, shop, and pray along Cowley Road.

"This sign will bring more Muslims together at Central Mosque."


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Mr Hayes added: "Following the redesign of Manzil Way, including the extension of the playground, in a £25,000 investment by the city council, it’s brilliant to see this new sign going up.

"We're going to be seeing even more people enjoying Manzil Way now."

The Central Oxford Mosque was reportedly first 'dreamed of' by Mohammed Ehsan, a student at the then Oxford Polytechnic, in 1974.


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At that time many city Muslims were still meeting for prayers in the cellar of a restaurant in Walton Street.

Plans for the mosque began to take shape in the late 1980s, with land formerly occupied by the Cowley Road Hospital being used, and work eventually got under way in 2001.

The near £2 million bill was footed entirely by donations.

Now home to around 500 worshippers, it is next door to the Asian Cultural Centre.

Meanwhile, St. Bartholomews Health Centre caters for patients speaking various languages from across the east of Oxford, from Sandford-on-Thames to Summertown.