Photo: Onislam
Russian Muslims are leading a new fundraising campaign to fund a fleet of trailer cars to serve as mobile mosques in the capital Moscow. (Photo: Onislam)

Moscow, 24 Rabi’ul Akhir 1436/14 February 2015 (MINA) – Complaining about lack of enough worshipping houses for the growing religious minority, Russian Muslims are leading a new fundraising campaign to fund a fleet of trailer cars to serve as mobile mosque in the capital Moscow.

“Today 2 million Muslims in Moscow are forced to content themselves with only FOUR functioning mosques in the city,” writes Alsu Khafis, the author of the Mobile Mosques project posted on the popular Boomstarter website, Onislam quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting, Friday.

“The rhythm of the modern city and the small capacity of mosques do not allow practicing Muslims always to perform their regular prayer.”

The Russian capital is home to an estimated two million Muslims.

Facing a sharp lack of proper mosques, many Muslims were forced to pray in business centers, Muslim homes and warehouses.

Moreover, the building of new mosques has been facing protests, including comments given by Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin in November 2013 that the Russian capital has enough mosques.

In a bid to overcome the rising problem, a new crowdfunding initiative was posted online to raise funds to buy a fleet of trailer cars.

The cars, which have them transformed into mobile places of Muslim worship, will accommodate a mini-prayer space, and also be fitted with a special ablution compartment for Muslims to make wudu’.

The mobile mosques will then travel around the capital, serving Muslims who summon them, free of charge.

The project aims to raise 850,000 rubles and hopes to resolve Moscow’s mosque conundrum by stationing six trailer-mosques at business centers around the city.

Two trailer mosques will be available for summoning by clients via a special website.

The project has so far raised a somewhat modest 20,000 rubles, with 56 days left to raise the remainder.

Ildar Alyatdinov, Moscow’s chief mufti, called the proposal “definitely rather interesting,” but cautioned that mobile mosques would not be a substitute for the atmosphere of a real mosque.

There are some 23 million Muslims in the Russian Federation concentrated in the north of the Caucasus, representing roughly 15 percent of its 145 million population.

Islam is the country’s second-largest religion, behind the Russian Orthodoxy.

According to Russia Today, experts say that, by 2050, Muslims will make up about half of Russia’s population, making it one of the world’s largest countries.(T/P008/P3)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)