CAIRO - India has opened its first glass mosque and the biggest in the northeast Meghalaya state that is expected to draw hundreds of tourists to the marvelous worshipping house.
The mosque will mark the unity of all religions, Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Vincent H Pala told The Times of India.Pala also highlighted the uniqueness of the mosque and its spirit.Built in Shillong city, the capital of Meghalaya state, Madina Masjid is the first glass mosque in India.
The four-storey building - 120 feet high and 61 feet wide stands inside an Idgah Complex in the city's Lahan area and is close to the garrison grounds along the Umshyrpi River.
At night, the mosque's glasswork glows and glitters.
Being the biggest mosque in the area, the 120-feet Medina Mosque will allow women to offer prayers and also house an orphanage.
It also includes a new theological institute that would host Islamic teachings and a library that would have books on comparative religious studies.
Attending the inauguration event, legislator Syeedullah Nongrong, who is also president of the Shillong Muslim Union, praised the new mosque role in attracting new tourists to the city.
The mosque will also be a tourist attraction, Nongrong said.
Muslims account for 160 million of India's 1.1 billion people, the world's third-largest Muslim population after those of Indonesia and Pakistan.
Indian Muslims have long suffered decades of social and economic neglect and oppression.
They are under-represented in public sector jobs, register lower educational levels and hit by higher unemployment rates.