The Kurdish community in Birmingham heard of a prominent Birmingham Church offered for sale in an auction and announced a campaign to collect one million pounds, roughly $1.2 million US, UK-based Journalist Said Hawrami told KurdSat English.
"A charity bank account was opened for the campaign and people transferred their donations to the account," Hawrami noted.
Kurdish preachers living in Birmingham announced the campaign to collect funds to buy the church on December 22, 2023. Preacher Kuri Pak said in a campaign promotion video that it is every Muslim's duty to donate to buy the church. Pak is a well-known Kurdish Islamic preacher whose videos gather thousands of views.
"Many people offered their vehicles to the campaign; one offered a $25,000 US car to the campaign," Hawrami said regarding how the money was raised.
According to Hawrami, the [Birmingham] municipality at times decommissions temples and sets a price on them for sale, and the property is open for anyone to buy, but this one was placed in an auction, and the Kurds offered the highest bid, at a million British pounds and acquired the church.
In 2021, the same group of preachers helped purchase a bar, something Islam prohibits, and turned it into a Church. "Thank god we are going to turn this 3200 square meter lot into a mosque, Preacher Pak said in a video message published on Facebook.
"The Birmingham Muslims need a mosque, and we want to turn this church into a mosque," the preacher says in the promotion video for the campaign to collect funds.
There are substantial Kurdish communities across Europe and the rest of the world as repressive regimes where the Kurds lived in the 1980s, forced many Kurds to migrate and settle in countries such as the UK.
Although there are no official figures on the number of Birmingham Kurds, our numbers suggest that over tens of thousands of Kurds are in the UK province alone.