An interfaith collective has condemned hostile reaction to the opening of a new Islamic centre.

Faith representatives from across the borough wrote an open letter, where they condemned any of what they believe is hostile or racist reaction to the new Islamic centre in Golders Green Hippodrome.

The forum, which comes together under the charity Interfaith Matters, have been meeting regularly for almost three years and hope to foster good inter-religious relations and promote togetherness in the community.

The letter reads: "All members of the interfaith forum look forward to welcoming the clerics of Markaz El Tathgheef El Eslami, the new Islamic Centre at Golders Green Hippodrome, to our interfaith meetings.

"At our last meeting members expressed every confidence that Barnet Council would address and resolve all legitimate concerns relating to additional traffic, less parking and the centre’s use.

"However, as clergy and faith representatives we unanimously deplored and condemned the hostile and, at times, racist response to the new Islamic Centre’s opening.

"It is our firm conviction that those that attend the centre are as entitled to suitable and sufficient facilities as are enjoyed by all other faiths in Barnet, including Golders Green. "

The forum also agreed that the new Islamic community will contribute to the neighbourhood's character, harmony and safety, as well as offering to host the next interfaith forum meeting in the New Year.

The letter was signed by 27 faith members of the community and the director of charity Interfaith Matters.