Wednesday, Oct 07 , 2015 ( Thul-Hijjah, 1436)

Updated:10:00 PM GMT

Funding Threatens Hamilton Mosque Dream

OnIslam & News Agencies

The current facility, with 35,000 square feet, was no longer able to comprise the numbers of worshipers, especially in Friday's prayers.

HAMILTON – Serving as a center for the Muslim community for years, Hamilton's downtown mosque is facing a financial challenge to buy a new land, which requires raising $4 million before October 31.

“Everybody knows Hamilton's downtown mosque,” Wahed Al-Jabry, a board member for the Downtown Mosque, told CBC on Tuesday, October 29.

“I’m going around every single corner to make sure we raise this money.”

Since 1992, Hamilton's downtown mosque has been serving the Muslim community in Canada with memberships of more than 5,000 people.

Facing the growing number of Hamilton Muslims, a new facility was needed to provide a wider prayer space, a community centre, a daycare centre and an immigrant welcome centre which would be supported by translation services.

On Tuesday, Mosque officials declared that they have raised $1 million so far, and are looking forward to boost the number by contributions from 3,000 Muslim families, if each paid $1,000.

The current facility, with 35,000 square feet, was no longer able to comprise the numbers of worshipers, especially in Friday's prayers.

Al-Jabry himself complained about finding no enough room for prayers, as he was forced sometimes to pray on stairs. Parking area was also another problem for Muslim worshippers.

Located on 221 York Blvd., the new site area is 0.6-hectare (1.56-acre) property and has space for 110 parking spaces, compared to 25 at the current building.

With deadline to raise the more $3 million before tomorrow, Al-Jabry said he is confident that Allah would help them.

“The biggest confidence I have is in God… People say I’m crazy, but I know that God will help us get the money,” he said.

Positive Influence

Neighbors of the Hamilton's downtown mosque in Beasley said that move would be a 'loss' for the providence, calling it a bad idea.

“To displace a site where hundreds of people come and go all the time with windowless walls seems like a really bad idea,” said Sylvia Nickerson, former president of the Beasley Neighborhood Association.

“The human activity developed by the mosque and their community spirit has definitely been a positive influence.”

During the past weeks, mosque officials have been holding seminars to inform members of the broader Muslim community about the fundraising.

They were also appealing to Muslims as far as Toronto and Alberta to help in raising the money.

Along with individual contributions, Al-Jabry is looking forward for help from financial institutions in the Muslim community.

Muslims are the fastest growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.

Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.

Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.

A survey has showed the overwhelming majority of Muslims are proud to be Canadian.

Related Links:
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Muslims Feed Needy Canadians in Ramadan
Canadian Muslims Feed Needy
Ontario Ramadan Spreads Compassion
Ramadan Brings New Mosque To Hamilton

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