Soon to be Teesside's biggest mosque
Teesside's new mosque
Work is well underway in Stockton on the region's biggest purpose-built mosque. The foundation stone was laid in June 2007 and now the steel superstructure and three floors are in place, but the credit crunch has slowed proceedings.
You could be on one of scores of roads in Stockton. People stroll past the terraces, corner shops and hairdressers about their daily business. On this street, though, they are also strolling past a three storey mass of blue painted steel girders.
When it is complete, the mass of girders will house not just the usual ablution rooms and prayer spaces you would expect with a mosque, but also classrooms and a library, which will be open to anyone.
It is a source of excitement and inspiration for Mohammed Riaz from Hartington Road mosque, which will eventually be replaced by the new mosque, when it's done.
He says, "What we want is for the local community to come into the mosque, have a look at the mosque and learn about Islam. We're not saying, 'convert to Islam', but there are plenty of myths, particularly after 9/11... Islam is a very peaceful religion, even though many people don't believe that. We want people to come in. We want people to live in harmony."
The £2.2 million pound project is being built entirely with money raised by local people, but with six hundred thousand pounds already spent, the credit crunch has bitten and donations have dropped by around 70 per cent.
"The affect is that, in the past, when we would probably collect around eight to ten thousand pounds a week, now we're collecting two to three thousand pounds."
They're now having to put things on hold until they can raise more cash and the hope is that the holy month of Ramadan will persuade people to dig deep and get the building work back on track.
last updated: 25/11/2008 at 13:21
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