Saudi Arabia Funds Mosque Building at North Pole

Saudi Arabia donated funds for the construction of a mosque in the northern Canadian town of Iqaluit.

About 100 Muslims reside in the town of 6,699. reported, via Religion of Peace:

An Islamic community near the North Pole has inaugurated a new mosque in Iqaluit, in the region of Nunavut, Canada, becoming the second mosque built at the North Pole after a Saudi journalist arranged for the construction of a mosque in the Canadian town of Inuvik in 2010.

The new mosque, inaugurated on Friday, will reportedly serve as a place of prayer and a community center in Iqaluit, where about 100 Muslims reside, as well as offering a place to learn about Islam. There are also plans to operate a food bank at the site.

When the idea of the mosque was first proposed in 2009 there wasn’t much enthusiasm among the local Muslims. “People said, ‘A mosque is not required here, we’re a transient society, we come and go,’” said Syed Asif, the Pakistani native who spearheaded the project.

In that same year, Asif established the Islamic Society of Nunavut and began fundraising for the mosque as well as negotiations with the territorial government over land acquisition and zoning.

“By establishing this mosque, we are saying one thing: we are now a part of the Iqaluit community,” said Hussain Giusti, general manager of the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, which together with the Islamic Association of Nunavut built the mosque at a cost of $800,000.

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