11:28 - December 12, 2020
News ID: 3473375
TEHRAN (IQNA) –  A new day dawned for Queenstown’s Muslim community yesterday as the first Friday prayers were held in its new mosque.


The community took possession of its own space, in the Gorge Road Retail Park, on Thursday, just in time for the 2pm prayers yesterday, led by Sheikh Amjad Ali, who had travelled down from Auckland for the occasion.

He said it was "very special".

"We hope that this place will become a place of peace and tranquility, becomes a place for people who are frustrated to come and relax, for the people to get help and a place of unity."

The Sheikh admitted, however, there was still an element of fear among the community following last March’s terrorist attacks in Christchurch, which killed 51 people and left 40 injured.

"But I guess we have to carry on."

The premises has been bought by the Queenstown Islamic Trust, which was established in 2015 by Mohammed Nadheem, a Queenstown resident for 13 years.

He said for the entire time the Muslim community had been looking for a permanent place to worship.

"It’s been a long run, but it’s worth it; it’s a beautiful place.

"You have no idea [how good it feels].

"I can’t sleep a couple of nights just thinking we achieved it."

He paid special tribute to the Queenstown Lakes District Council and wider Whakatipu community for its support.

The trust managed to raise the $43,000 deposit required for the purchase of the building within just 10 days.

It now has until next December to fund the balance of $367,000.

Mr Nadheem said there were about 70 members in the Muslim community in Queenstown, representing many nationalities, including South African, Malaysian, Singaporean and Indian.


Source: Otago Daily Times



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