Mosque journeys to Canadian tundra


The world’s northernmost mosque is on its way to Inuvik in the Northwest Territories — by barge.

A truck carrying the prefab mosque arrived in Hay River, NWT, late Thursday, just in time to make the last barge of the season carrying supplies, equipment — and the mosque — down the Hay and Mackenzie Rivers to Inuvik.

Had the mosque missed Friday’s barge, it would have had to wait until the river shipping season resumes next June, CBC News said. There are only three barge runs each summer.

The mosque was built by a Winnipeg-based Islamic charity for the small Muslim community in Inuvik, which has used a converted one-bedroom trailer for prayers for the past decade.

The town, located in the Mackenzie delta about 200 km north of the Arctic Circle, has about 100 Muslims in a total population of about 3,500.

The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation spent about $300,000 to build the mosque in Winnipeg and ship it north. The building fund is still short about $76,000 short, foundation spokesman Hussain Guisti said last week.

The mosque began its 4,000-km journey on Sept. 1 and went by road first to Edmonton and then to Hay River before being loaded on the barge for the final 1,850-km river leg of its odyssey.

When it reaches Inuvik and is set up, the 1,554-square-foot building will be the world’s most northerly mosque.

Most Muslim families in Inuvik had previously sent their children south to live with family or friends because there had been no mosque or Islamic education centre in town.

Earlier this year, Guisti said Inuvik’s Muslim population includes architects, engineers, business owners — and cabbies.

“Every single taxi driver is a Muslim,” said Guisti, who said he had counted 24 cabbies in Inuvik.

The Zubaidah Tallab Foundation was established to build a mosque for the Muslim community in the northern Manitoba city of Thompson.

Since then the foundation has branched out into a broad range of charitable activities, but returned to its mosque-building roots when a board member heard about the Inuvik Muslim community’s need.

photos sourced from google images


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