CAIRO - Accommodating the religious needs of the Muslim minority, Dublin planning authority has approved the establishment of Ireland's largest mosque in the city of Clongriffin in north Dublin.
It gives a sense of positivity for the Muslim community in Ireland especially when there's so much negativity going on, particularly in the Middle East, and there's so much tension everywhere, Abdul Haseeb, project coordinator for the Clongriffin Mosque Project, told The Irish Times.
Muslims Welcomed in Catholic Ireland
It gives us a sense of belonging too.Applying for the new mosque, Muslims have been recently granted the green light to go ahead with the new mega mosque.
The decision was issued by An Bord Pleanala; an independent planning board that decides on appeals from planning decisions made by local authorities in Ireland.
According to its plans, the 3-storey mosque would be built on 5,573 square meters.
The complex is expected to welcome up to 3,000 Muslim during festivals and 550 during Friday prayer.
Ireland's largest mosque at Clongriffin, costing about â¬40 million, will serve as a new multi-purpose Islamic center that includes two minarets, a cultural centre and a prayer hall.
The development would also include offices, crÃ¨che, bookshop, library, mortuary, a six-hundred seat conference centre, restaurant, primary school, secondary school, a two-story fitness centre with an indoor swimming pool, gym, sauna and steam room and blocks of apartments.
Irish Muslims were delighted with the mosque approval.
At the same time, we are very humbled because of the scale of the project. It is so big and there is so much to do.
Built in a newly developed area, the mosque developers hope to establish an open community around the worshipping house that would welcome non-Muslims as well.
We will try and make room for everyone, Abdul Haseeb, the project coordinator, said
We are aware that there will be challenges ahead but because we got planning it gives us a good reason now to invite the local community leaders and members to come and sit down and talk to us.
So far we've mainly introduced the project to the Muslim community but now we will start inviting and sitting down with the local community.
Local Labour TD Sean Kenny welcomed the An Bord Pleanala decision.
The mosque would be welcomed generally by people in the area, Kenny said.
It would generate employment and lead to the completion of Clongriffin estate and some of the roads as well as completion of access to the dart station.
It could also lead to greater occupancy of the vacant units.
Muslims make up 1.1 percent of the 4.5 million people in Ireland, but their ranks are swelling due to immigration, domestic births, and in some cases conversion.
Two decades ago, they numbered about 4,000.
A 2011 census recorded 49,204 Muslims, including nearly 12,000 school-aged children. The numbers represent a 51 percent increase since 2006.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net