YORK – York’s Muslim community invited people from across the county to visit their new mosque this weekend, celebrating the fulfillment of their long awaited dream.
Hosted by the imam Abid Salik, the mosque will hold an open day on Sunday afternoon, to which the people of York – of all faiths and none – were being invited, York Press reported on Thursday, July 14.
The free event would take place between 3 and 6pm, with speeches at about 3.30 from guests including the Lord Mayor of York, Cllr Dave Taylor.
The guests would include the former MP for York Central, Sir Hugh Bayley, whom he said had been a great help, and the Reverend Jane Nattrass, vicar of several city centre churches.
Several activities would also be served such as face painting and henna tattoos, and food.
He asked people to come on foot or bike if at all possible, because of traffic problems in Bull Lane, which is single-track in places.
The long awaited mosque completed its first stage earlier, welcoming visitors over the past weeks.
Mosque president Mebs Surve said the old building had been used for more than 30 years and was inadequate to accommodate the average of 300 who turned up for prayers on Fridays nowadays.
The new mosque had been available to use for the past few weeks, although additional work was needed to complete the project.
The project needed a total £1.5 million cost, about £1,050,000 had been raised so far, a majority of it by York members, families and supporters, but with additional support from across the country after TV appeals and visits to other Muslim communities.
There had also been individual fundraising efforts by members such as Ali Zafar, 45, who rode a five-year-old’s bicycle around the mosque grounds and raised £300 in sponsorship in ten minutes.
As for the old mosque, Surve said there were no plans to demolish the old mosque building, which might be used for social activities.