Croydon Mosque & Islamic Centre (CMIC) started in a small ground-floor hall in West Croydon in the early 1970. The local Muslim community commenced raising funds and in due course a large Victorian House was purchased, eventually demolished and the Mosque evolved, over several phases and over a period of 20 years, into the structure today. CMIC contains 7 large halls and has the capacity to accommodate 3,500 people currently, with construction plans to increase this capacity to 4,000.
CMIC is well attended with over 9,000 people passing through the Mosque during an average week; this increases to over 30,000 people per week during Ramadan. CMIC serves a diverse Muslim community in and around the London Borough of Croydon which numbers 20,000 and includes Muslims of Pakistani, Indian, Bangladeshi, East African, Somalian, Turkish, Afghan, Middle Eastern and Bosnian origin amongst others.
The management of CMIC is divided between the strategic management (i.e. what we should be providing) and the operational management (i.e. how we should provide the services) through the Executive Committee and the Management Committee respectively. A robust decision making process is in place which ensures that decisions once made are collectively implemented. CMIC also maintains written procedures for all it statutory and regulatory compliance processes.
Apart from all the prayer facilities, CMIC is particularly strong on the services it provides with an emphasis on education. The madrassah is attended by over 500 children where the Quranic syllabus is supplemented with behavioural, community and citizenship issues. Adult education classes to include English are also held and CMIC also provides extra tuition for mainstream Science, Maths and English GCSE courses. The Social & Welfare function of CMIC caters for youth programmes, welfare for the elderly and a marriage introductory service to include nikkah and civil marriage registration facilities. Several lectures are held weekly on Islamic issues and also on contemporary lifestyle issues which include specialist speakers. CMIC also hosts full mortuary facilities and also provides a comprehensive funeral service which has been agreed within the framework of the Muslim Burial Protocol with Croydon Council for swift burials.
On the community front, CMIC is fully participative in all local events (and interfaith groups) and hosts annual Islamic exhibitions and Islamic awareness courses for local authorities.
School visits (to CMIC and also by CMIC to the schools) are undertaken and the Centre maintains a firm presence on the local SACRE committee. A small example is the collection that is undertaken during Ramadan to provide presents for the neighbours around CMIC and for toys to the children's wards in the local hospital. CMIC also hosts Radio Ramadan Croydon where amongst other programmes, local officials are invited on air to answer live question and lifestyle issues are also discussed with professionals.
CMIC also hosts legal and medical surgeries and also a police surgery on a monthly basis. A confidential counselling service is also available to anyone in the community with the Imam and CMIC maintains a presence on all local advisory services to the local authorities. CMIC officials do not interfere in any manner with the delivery of religious services in the mosque which is the domain of Mufti Yusuf Danka and Moulana Inaam-ul-haq Malik; however, CMIC has been a primary driver in trying to influence the local mosques in uniting on issues such as moon sighting. CMIC officials maintain a regular diary of meetings with all affected local authorities to ensure that the Muslim community's views are present within local decisions.
Future plans at CMIC include the provision of creche facilities and further construction to increase the Centre's capacity. On the provision of services to the community and on the community cohesion front, CMIC will continue to build upon it considerable strengths to improve further the services it provides and also continue with the successful non-profit making Hajj and Ummrah tours that were successfully run during 2006.