The Malta Independent 19 November 2018, Monday

Islamic Call Society asks government for help to find land for a new mosque and school

Neil Camilleri Friday, 7 August 2015, 10:57 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Islamic Call Society in Malta has asked the government for help identifying a site, preferably somewhere in the north, on which to build a much needed second mosque, this paper has learnt.

Earlier this week Imam Mohamed Elsadi uploaded a picture of himself with Prime Minister Joseph Muscat and Qatari Ambassador Ali Alkhirgi and said they had met to discuss “the building of a new school and mosque.”

The Imam is understood to be abroad and could not be reached for comment yesterday. However, from comments he posted beneath the picture it is understood that while the government was asked for help in identifying a suitable tract of land, construction of the mosque would be financed by donations. “The new mosque will be administered by Maltese Muslims not by governments. We accept unconditioned donations only. We thank anybody who would like to help,” Mr Elsadi wrote. This comment by the Imam seems to have come in response to a particular comment by a person who criticized the presence of the Qatari ambassador and claimed that Qatar “supports Israel and terrorism.”

But Mr Elsadi replied that the mosque would not be run by any government. “That is what we agreed with the (Maltese) government. When obtaining the earth (direct translation) from the government we will accept donations from all sides without conditions.”

A source from within the Muslim community told The Malta Independent yesterday that the meeting has simply discussed the possibility of a much needed mosque and school – in the context of the ever growing Muslim population – but said there was “no direct commitment” by the Prime Minister.  The government was asked to direct the Islamic Call Society toward a suitable plot of land or to help it identify a site.

“Over the past few years a number of unofficial prayer meetings have been set up, including in San Gwann and Bugibba. But these are not proper mosques and, in some places, these gatherings could lead to parking problems and so on. During the meeting the need for a second mosque, preferably in the north where there is a large catchment area, was discussed.”

The source also said that the Mariam Al Batool School in Paola was becoming congested. The school currently hosts around 200 students.  “They spoke about the previous proposal to build another school next to the Paola mosque or if an old school could be renovated for the purpose.”

The source also insisted that the presence of the Qatari ambassador for the meeting did not mean that Qatar would be financing the mosque and school. Qatar is one of a number of Arabic countries that give small contributions to the Islamic Call in Malta, it was explained. 

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