London's landmark building dotted with strip clubs, gay venues to turn into mosque

By India Today World Desk: A giant mosque is set to come up in the heart of London’s entertainment quarter. The area is also known for its concentration of bars, nightclubs, gay venues and strip joints – all of which are considered sinful in Islam. The decision to build the mosque in such a location has sparked a row.

According to a report in The Mail, the three-storey mosque, which may be called ‘Piccadilly Prayer Space’, will be established inside the Trocadero, situated between Piccadilly Circus and Soho.

The work is being undertaken by 56-year-old Asif Aziz, a Muslim billionaire and a property tycoon, popularly known as ‘Mr West End’.

Though previous proposals for a 1,000-capacity mosque on the site were withdrawn in 2020, a planning application for a smaller development was approved at the end of May by Westminster Council.

According to the report, the mosque will fill the space left vacant when a Metro cinema closed down in 2006 and will have a capacity of 390 worshippers.

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It is being claimed that the mosque could be opened within months.

However, the decision to build the mosque has also sparked a debate, with critics questioning its “sleazy” location.

Nonetheless, Asif Aziz, originally from Malawi, remains steadfast in his plans and is spearheading the project through his charitable foundation, the Aziz Foundation.

Image shows a rendering of what the remodelled building could look like as a mosque (Credits: Aziz Foundation)

Image shows a rendering of what the remodelled building could look like as a mosque (Credits: Aziz Foundation)


The Trocadero, built in 1896, is a historic entertainment complex with a renowned baroque facade. It has undergone various transformations over the years, including being home to the UK’s first 3D IMAX cinema in 1997.

However, despite attempts to boost visitor numbers through sponsorships from companies like Pepsi and Sega, the Trocadero faced challenges and eventually experienced a decline in popularity.

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Asif Aziz’s property company, Criterion Capital, purchased the Trocadero in 2011 and proposed redevelopment plans, leading to the current mosque project.

The Aziz Foundation believes the mosque will cater to both local Muslims working in the area and tourists visiting London.

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