Muslims of Manitoba billboard sponsored by the Islamic Social Services Association. Similar billboards are on display throughout Winnipeg, the capital of the Canadian province of Manitoba.
TMO Editorâ€™s note: There are approximately 850,000 Muslims in Canada, out of which about 5,000 live in the Canadian mid-western state of Manitoba. The following article is a Canadian Broadcasting Service feature about an interesting project by Winnipeg Muslims.
Winnipeg Muslims are building a little mosque on the Prairie, and plan to ship it to the Arctic.
Dozens of Muslim families in Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, currently send their children to live elsewhere in Canada because the community doesnâ€™t have a mosque or Islamic education centre.
A Winnipeg-based charity plans to change all of that.
â€˜It is very important to this community â€” really important.â€™â€”Abdalla Mohamed, Inuvik resident
The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is raising money to build a mosque in Winnipeg then ship it 4,000 kilometres by truck and barge to the northern community.
Abdalla Mohamed, who lives in Inuvik but sent his children to live in Edmonton, said he cannot thank the Winnipeg group enough.
â€œThis project will help us along for planning, and putting some curriculum in place and putting some schooling in place. It is very important to this community â€” really important,â€ he said.
Right now, the business owner travels between Inuvik and Edmonton to visit his children as often as possible.
â€œItâ€™s really tough, but sometimes you do what you have to do,â€ he said.
About 100 Inuvik Muslims
The Muslim community in Inuvik has tried raising money for a mosque, but itâ€™s just too small to do it on its own â€” only about 100 members, Mohamed said.
What it has raised it will contribute to the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, which needs almost $300,000 by September to get the mosque on the final barge of the year to Inuvik.
â€œWhat a beautiful project. Itâ€™s amazing sending a mosque [almost] to the North Pole,â€ said Hussain Guisti, who heads the foundation.
When it arrives, the structure will be the northernmost mosque in the world.
â€œWeâ€™re looking at a very small charity thatâ€™s ready to make Islamic history,â€ said Guisti.