By Steven G. Traylor, journalist,
July 8th 2013
The Nordic country of Iceland, with an Islamic population of .02%, the 18th largest island states in the world, is soon to build a Masque, according to recent local press reports.
With but 694 Muslim’s, The Association of Muslims in Iceland are considered one of the smallest Muslim communities in the world. The population of Iceland is slightly over 320,000 people.
The Masque which is expected to be some eight hundred meters in size, will serve as a community center, a library, a large prayer hall and will serve various functions for both religions and social activities.
Chairman of the Reykjavik Environment and Planning Committee, Pall Hjaltason states that the development plan for the area has already been approved by the City Council, ”so everything will be set in motion once all the paperwork is submitted” and finalized. The exact final design will be agreed upon between the municipality and the Association of Icelandic Architects.
The earliest contact between the Islamic world and Iceland occurred in 1627 when North African ships traveled to the southwest coast of Iceland and the eastern fjords according to Yearbook of Muslims in Europe. This event is know in Icelandic history as Tyrkjajnid (the Turkish Abduction).
But today, Muslims in Iceland worship at the Reykjavik Mosque, a Sunni Mosque on the third floor of an office building located in the heart of the country’s capital. The Masque has two imans who offer daily and nightly prayer.
The proposed Masque is to be built in a prominent place in the city of Reykjavik and should stand out as a symbol of the presence of Islam upon the island nation.