Didsbury Mosque

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Didsbury Mosque
Didsbury mosque.jpg
View from the intersection of Barlow Moor Road & Burton Road
Basic information
Location England 271 Burton Road, West Didsbury, Manchester, England[1]
Geographic coordinates 53°25′22″N 2°14′49″W / 53.42278°N 2.24694°W / 53.42278; -2.24694Coordinates: 53°25′22″N 2°14′49″W / 53.42278°N 2.24694°W / 53.42278; -2.24694
Affiliation Salafi/Ikhwan[2]
District West Didsbury
Leadership Sheikh Mustafa Abdullah Graf[3]
Website http://www.didsburymosque.com/
Architectural description
Architectural type Chapel
Completed 1883 / 1965
Capacity 950 (including women)[1]
Dome(s) 0
Minaret(s) 1

The Didsbury Mosque, and the Manchester Islamic Centre,[1] are co-located on Burton Road, West Didsbury, in Manchester, England. The building was originally the "Albert Park Methodist Chapel", which opened for worship in 1883,[4] but in 1962 the chapel closed and was later converted into a mosque. It has an attendance of around 1,000 people.[5] The mosque Sheikh is Mustafa Abdullah Graf.[3]


The Didsbury Mosque and Manchester Islamic Centre says of itself it, "represents a wide range of the Muslim community of various origins and/or Islamic schools of thought".[6] The mosque holds open-days providing, displays, talks, Q & A sessions and guided tours.[7]

The mosque has a Sharia Department which issues Fatwas, oversights family affairs, assists with Zakat calculations and provides financial transaction advice and mediation.[8]

The mosque broadcasts, with radio coverage over most of South Manchester, adhan, prayers, Friday sermons, daily reminders as well as talks and lectures given in the mosque prayer hall.[9] The Manchester Islamic Centre is registered as a charity with the Charity Commission.[10]


There are strong Libyan ties within the mosque,[11] with various people from the mosque having been involved, in Libya, in the civil war.[12] In 2011, the (current) mosque imam travelled to Libya, where he aided moderate rebel groups to help topple Gaddafi.[12] Another person from the mosque was described variously as a "member" and a "senior member" of the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group.[13] A regular worshipper at the mosque, Abd al-Baset Azzouz, al Qaeda operative left Britain in 2009 to join the terror group’s leader Ayman al-Zawahiri in Pakistan, before heading to Libya to run an al Qaeda network in the east of the country.[14]

At least two British recruits of Islamic State also worshipped at the mosque.[2] Rapper and ISIS soldier Raphael Hostey worshipped at the mosque together with Salman Abedi, who went on to set off a suicide bomb at Manchester Arena in 2017. Hostey travelled to Syria where he was killed.[15]

In December 2017, mosque attendee Mohammed Abdallah, was jailed for 10 years for being a member of Islamic State, where he was listed as a "specialist sniper".[16]

Manchester attacks and response[edit]

The attacker of the 2017 Manchester Arena bombing was identified as Salman Ramadan Abedi. He attended the mosque.[17][18][19] His father, Ramadan Abedi (also known as Abu Ismael), called the adhan at the mosque,[20][21] and his older brother, Ismail Abedi, was a tutor in the mosque's Qur'an school.[22] Both men were arrested.[23] [24]

The mosque released a statement condemning the terror attack.[24] The mosque also held a moment of silence to remember the victims of the bombing.[24]

However Muslims[who?] opposed to militant Islamic ideologies have said that the mosque must bear some responsibility for Abedi's radicalization because of the conservative Salafi brand of Islam it espouses.[2] Rashad Ali, senior fellow at the Institute for Strategic Dialogue and counter-terror expert, told Vice News the mosque preached a "fairly radical, puritan" brand of Salafist Islam and was "effectively taken over at certain points by various Libyan militia groups, including ones associated with the Muslim Brotherhood." He said the Abedi family subscribed to a radical political strain of Salafism – a background which suggested the bomber would have had a shorter pathway to radicalization than others.[25]

One attendee said in 2017 that allegedly, "every other Friday khutba [sermon] at Didsbury was about how bad ISIS are" and that the bomber allegedly, "hated the mosque."[26], whereas another attendee said Salman Abedi «"learned the Qur’an by heart"» at the mosque.[27]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Didsbury Mosque and Islamic Centre". Muslims in Britain. 25 April 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Dettmer, Jamie (29 May 2017). "Manchester Bomber's Mosque Comes Under Scrutiny". Voice of America. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  3. ^ a b "Sheikh Mustafa Abdullah Graf". 2017. 
  4. ^ France & Woodall (1976). A New History of Didsbury. E.J. Morten, 203. ISBN 0-85972-035-7
  5. ^ South Manchester Reporter: News: True meaning of Islam Archived March 10, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "About Us". 
  7. ^ "Manchester Islamic Centre and Didsbury Mosque". 3 August 2016. 
  8. ^ "Didsbury Mosque, Sharia Department". 10 January 2011. 
  9. ^ "Didsbury Mosque". 
  10. ^ "327235 - The Islamic Centre (Manchester)". 
  11. ^ "Born in Britain, forged in Libya: the Manchester suicide bomber's story". 22 November 2017. 
  12. ^ a b Jones, Sam (27 May 2017). "Terrorism: Libya's civil war comes home to Manchester". Financial Times. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  13. ^ Trew, Bel (25 May 2017). "Worried parents took Manchester bomber Abedi to Libya and confiscated passport". The Times. Retrieved 31 May 2017. 
  14. ^ https://news.vice.com/story/the-manchester-bomber-grew-up-in-a-neighborhood-struggling-with-extremism
  15. ^ "The baby-faced ISIS recruiter who knew Manchester bomber". Mail Online. Retrieved 2018-04-07. 
  16. ^ Karia, Sejai (7 December 2017). "British jihadi with links to Manchester Arena bomber Salman Abedi jailed for being Islamic State member". ITV News. 
  17. ^ "Everything we know about Salman Abedi, the Manchester suicide bomber". 25 May 2017. 
  18. ^ "Manchester attack: Who was the suspect Salman Abedi?". BBC News. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  19. ^ Parveen, Ian Cobain Frances Perraudin Steven Morris Nazia (23 May 2017). "Manchester Arena attacker named by police as Salman Ramadan Abedi". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  20. ^ "Manchester Arena attacker named by police as Salman Ramadan Abedi". The Guardian. 23 May 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2017. 
  21. ^ "Salman Abedi & Didsbury Mosque: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". 23 May 2017. 
  22. ^ "The face of hate': Manchester Arena attack suspect Salman Abedi's home raided, disturbing book found". 24 May 2017. 
  23. ^ "Ismail Abedi: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know". 24 May 2017. 
  24. ^ a b c "Didsbury mosque distances itself from Manchester bomber". 
  25. ^ Hume, Tim (25 May 2017). "Road to radicalization". Vice News. 
  26. ^ "Manchester's Libyans react to killer in their midst". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved 26 May 2017. 
  27. ^ Ian Cobain; Frances Perraudin; Steven Morris; Nazia Parveen. "Salman Ramadan Abedi named by police as Manchester Arena attacker". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2017. Salman and his brother Ismail worshipped at Didsbury mosque, where their father, who is known as Abu Ismail within the community, is a well-known figure. “He used to do the five and call the adhan. He has an absolutely beautiful voice. And his boys learned the Qur’an by heart. 

External links[edit]