Prairie Muslims build mosque for Arctic
Winnipeg Muslims are building a little mosque on the Prairie, and plan to ship it to the Arctic.
Dozens of Muslim families in Inuvik, in the Northwest Territories, currently send their children to live elsewhere in Canada because the community doesn't have a mosque or Islamic education centre.
A Winnipeg-based charity plans to change all of that.
The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation is raising money to build a mosque in Winnipeg then ship it 4,000 kilometres by truck and barge to the northern community.
Abdalla Mohamed, who lives in Inuvik but sent his children to live in Edmonton, said he cannot thank the Winnipeg group enough.
"This project will help us along for planning, and putting some curriculum in place and putting some schooling in place. It is very important to this community — really important," he said.
Right now, the business owner travels between Inuvik and Edmonton to visit his children as often as possible.
"It's really tough, but sometimes you do what you have to do," he said.
About 100 Inuvik Muslims
The Muslim community in Inuvik has tried raising money for a mosque, but it's just too small to do it on its own — only about 100 members, Mohamed said.
What it has raised it will contribute to the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, which needs almost $300,000 by September to get the mosque on the final barge of the year to Inuvik.
"What a beautiful project. It's amazing sending a mosque [almost] to the North Pole," said Hussain Guisti, who heads the foundation.
When it arrives, the structure will be the northernmost mosque in the world.
"We're looking at a very small charity that's ready to make Islamic history," said Guisti.