ABERDEEN – After almost two decades, the Muslim community’s dream of having a new mosque in Aberdeen, northwest Scotland, gets a big boost as the council’s city growth committee sanctioned a lease to the Aberdeen Islamic Charitable Trust (AICT).
“The council has approved the terms of a lease for the site at the beach for the new Aberdeen mosque and community center to the Aberdeen Islamic Charitable Trust,” Abdul Latif, the project director of the new Aberdeen mosque and community center project, told The Press And Journal on Wednesday.
“The center will be a landmark building with stunning, iconic, modern and innovative architecture and design to be delivered through an international architecture competition.
“It will also be a center of excellence with state-of-the-art facilities and a glowing asset for the city and its citizens.
Plans for the new Islamic center, which is intended to be a community facility for Muslims and non-Muslims alike, were first approved in 2011.
However, community leaders could not agree on a planning application and after being taken off the agenda it did not re-emerge until 2008.
In 2013, a 130-strong protest, including about 30 members of the far-right National Front, took place in opposition to the plans.
The good news finally came after members of the city council agreed unanimously to award a lease to the Aberdeen Islamic Charitable Trust (AICT) for a site close to King Street where a new mosque and community center.
“We have worked closely with the council to achieve this and would particularly like to mention the unfailing support that we have received from councilors, council officers, Lord Provosts, MSPs, and MPs,” Abdul Latif said.
Aberdeen Labour councilor Tauqeer Malik, who is prominent in the city’s Muslim community, has been working to help deliver the project for the past 20 years.
He said: “I am delighted there is now an opportunity to build a new Aberdeen mosque and community center at the beach.
“This new mosque will have community facilities and will be open to all faiths and none. I look forward to working with the trustees of the mosque and the council to build a much-needed community facility for the area.”
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn hailed the move as “fantastic news”.