Mosque in the works for Iqaluit's Muslim community
'It's gonna be nice. It's gonna be beautiful. It's gonna stand out in the city as a nice new building'
A growing Muslim community in Iqaluit is getting help to build a mosque from the same foundation that helped establish mosques in Inuvik, N.W.T., and Thompson, Man.
It would be the first official Islamic place of worship in Nunavut.
"It's gonna be nice. It's gonna be beautiful. It's gonna stand out in the city as a nice new building,” said Hussain Guisti of the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, a Manitoba-based Islamic charity.
Guisti estimates there are currently 80 Muslims living in Iqaluit, and he expects that number to quadruple in the next two decades.
"There's been a tremendous increase in the number of Muslims in the past 20-some years in Iqaluit, and we anticipate that number to continue to grow because Iqaluit is a booming, developing city," he said.
"It's attracting people from all nationalities for economic opportunities and job growth."
Guisti says his group is working with the Islamic Society of Nunavut, founded in 2009, to construct a two-storey building.
Some of the materials are already in town and more will arrive on sealifts this summer.
They are looking at a site near the Road to Nowhere. The city says the group would have to apply to amend the zoning bylaw for the area.
The Islamic Society of Nunavut and the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation are still raising funds locally and in the south to help pay for the building and the associated costs.