Posted in Daily Islam
Before the first mosque in Canada opened in Edmonton in 1938, faith groups including local Christian and Jewish communities joined Muslims in fundraising, while the mayor at the time helped secure land for the new building.
As Edmonton muslims prepare to mark the 75th anniversary for the Al Rashid Mosque, they’re inviting some of the same groups back to celebrate.
Edmonton Mayor Stephen Mandel, Calgary Mayor Na-heed Nenshi and members of Edmonton’s Christian and Jewish communities are expected to be among the 400 guests at a launch Tuesday evening for the Al Rashid Mosque’s 75th anniversary.
Several events will be hosted over the next few months to celebrate the milestone, culminating with a gala in November.
“We want to send a message to the whole community, to thank them for what they did for Al Rashid Mosque from the beginning,” said Khalid Tarabain, president of the Canadian Islamic Centre and Al Rashid Mosque.
Tarabain said Canada’s first Muslims arrived in the 1870s, emigrating from Lebanon and Syria. In 1931, the census of Canada registered 645 Muslim residents.
Edmonton’s Muslim community began work on a new mosque in the early 1930s, when a group of Muslim women approached then-mayor John Fry to buy a plot of land.
About 20 Muslim families started fundraising to get $5,000 to purchase the land next to the Royal Alexandra Hospital, at 102nd Street and 108th Avenue.
“If it wasn’t for the mayor of Edmonton, it would have been impossible for us to start it,” Tarabain said.