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Leicester House Fire: One Year On

Its one year since Dr Muhammad Taufiq Sattar’s family were wrongly targeted in a revenge attack on their home, killing his wife, and three children.  Shehnila Taufiq and her children Zainab, Bilal and Jamil died in the fire at their home in Wood Hill on September 13 last year.



Dr Taufiq who worked in Dublin at the time of the tragedy as a neurosurgeon, now lives there full time.  He returned to work after just 6 weeks and has opened a mosque, community centre and school in his families memory in Dublin.


He describes how hard it has been for him since the ordeal; “It has been a difficult time, but Alhamdulillah, Allah SWT has given good strength that I did survive and continue both jobs in the hospital as well as in the community centre – the work which my beloved family and my beautiful children have left for me to continue and carry on. This legacy has kept me surviving and kept me functioning.”


His and his family’s vision for the centre was to bring the Muslim and Irish community together so that they can be integrated within the society and feel like they are at home.  The centre is busy seven days a week.


A community centre member comments: “It’s a great blessing here because there is not much facilities in Dublin”.


A student comment states: “I know the Muslim community more, we come together every weekend and we just have fun and we learn lots.”


Named after his daughter, Zainab, he opened a school that was initially supposed to be established by her and her mother in September of this year. The school teaches both the Irish and religious curriculum from a junior level and is the first ever private Islamic school in Ireland.


Dr Taufiq plans to do more with the centre in the years to come, aiming to build a mosque and a new building for the school.


Dr Taufiq admits that he visits Leicester regularly, but doesn’t visit the street his house was on. “It’s too painful” he tells us.


In response to the killers of his family, he wishes they realised what crime they have committed.


“They knew their intention was to kill someone.”

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