The Malta Independent 13 November 2018, Tuesday

OPM says there are no plans for a new mosque on AUM Marsascala campus, no request was made

Neil Camilleri Thursday, 27 August 2015, 09:06 Last update: about 4 years ago

The Office of the Prime has reacted to a report published in The Malta Independent yesterday and insisted that there are no plans for the construction of a mosque in Marsascala.

This newsroom revealed how the Social Impact Assessment on the Zonqor site suggested the inclusion of a mosque on campus seeing that the majority of students attending the American University of Malta are expected to be Muslim. It did not suggest a new mosque for the Coscpicua campus since students would be able to attend the Paola mosque.

The report, by Dr Marvin Formosa and Mr Joe Gerada, also called for a multicultural education campaign for residents of Marsascala. This paper never implied that a mosque would be built but simply stated the facts that emerge from the document, which was disseminated to the media by the OPM last week.

The news report generated wide interest, with many opposing the idea of having a mosque in Marsascala.

In reaction, the OPM spokesperson said the idea of building a mosque on campus was never discussed or requested by the developers of the project, the Sadeen Group.

This is the OPM statement in full: "Reference is made to the article titled ‘Most AUM students will be Muslim, SIA urges construction of mosque in Zonqor’ published on Wednesday 26th August, 2015. Government can confirm that there are no plans for a new mosque at Marsascala. 

The AUM never requested or even discussed the inclusion of a mosque at either of its two campuses. Besides the fact that a new mosque was never a pre-requisite for this investment, AUM are committed to attract 4000 students from different countries, practising different religions, beliefs and cultures.    

In regards to a place for worship, the SIA, as noted in your same article, highlighted that ‘students who may profess the Islamic religion may attend religious services at the Muslim Mosque at Corradino which is 20 minutes away by car from Marsascala’.

The public artistic impressions clearly show there are no plans for a mosque at Marsascala. If this newspaper had sought comments from the Government before publishing the story, this issue would have been clarified immediately. 

The Social Impact Assesment analysed possible benefits and consequences for both sites. It is then up to Governemnt to take decisions, where deemed necessary."

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