Country’s first mosque celebrates 10-year anniversary
Czech Muslims are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first mosque ever built in the Czech Republic which opened in 1998 in the city of Brno. While ten years ago, the Islamic Foundation in Brno had to face protests and their mosque had to do without a minaret, today the community is thriving and even planning to build a new, greater mosque in the Moravian capital.
On July 2 1998, the first mosque in the Czech Republic and the rest of central Europe opened in the Moravian city of Brno. Today, ten years later, the local Muslim community is celebrating the occasion in Brno’s central square Náměstí Svobody. Muneeb Hassan Alrawi is the head of the Islamic Foundation in Brno and one of the mosque’s founders.
But back then, the relations between the Muslims and Czechs were everything but a bed of roses. Some locals protested the idea of having a mosque in their neighbourhood and tried to bar the Muslim community’s efforts by signing petitions. Mr Hassan says relations are much better now.
“We are trying to build a new, bigger mosque, because the current mosque has become too small. We have many activities both for our community, for Muslims, and for the public. The current mosque is too small – I think that no such small mosque has ever attracted so much attention. But that’s because it was the first mosque in the Czech Republic and in Central Europe.”