The Malta Independent 21 November 2018, Wednesday

Mosque In St Paul’s Bay

Malta Independent Sunday, 18 November 2007, 00:00 Last update: about 5 years ago

From Mr M. Scicluna

I refer to the comment by the legal office of Mepa that appeared on Maltastar.com on 9 October with reference to ENF00585/07.

“Once worshippers move into an apartment and some individuals declare to be residents of the place, they could not be stopped from accepting guests for prayer meetings inside their home.”

So one can invite others to join one for praying in one’s home. It is one thing if this is once in a while, or for an occasion, but when it happens on a regular basis, four times a day, then this is out of line and it becomes illegal, especially when the apartment is registered with Mepa as a residence (abode), and the person who rents it does not live in it. At times there are 50 men in two rooms in an area of 27.50 square metres.

It is also being used as a transit place, where some men have been brought in with luggage, have stayed overnight and then have been taken away the next morning. This does not make it residential.

Praying starts at 4.00 in the morning, disturbing other residents, and the landing is occupied with shoes, which is unhygienic. The back yard is covered with a nylon mesh, but as a common area of the block, it should not be covered. What are they hiding, if they do not wish to be seen?

In addition, they are making the residents vulnerable from a security aspect, living in a tense environment where the front door is opened from the outside by anybody who rings the doorbell, and they also park their vehicles haphazardly in our streets – all in the eyes of the law.

This apartment in St Paul’s Bay is being used solely as a mosque and, occasionally, also as temporary accommodation to accommodate people just overnight. This is illegal due to a change of use from a place of residence, and there are no permits for a change of use nor do the men using it have any residential title to it. Therefore Mepa should do its duty on the grounds of illegal use and due to the vulnerability of the residents – Maltese Citizens who live in the same block and in the area.

This mosque has been in use for a year already. Which authority will take action and enforce the Enforcement Notice by Mepa ENF00585/07? How long must we wait for someone to take action so that the residents of the block and of the area can live a normal life without the tension and vulnerability caused by this intrusion?

M. Scicluna

QAWRA

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