There will be a mosque in Whitehorse in the near future.
This week the Yukon government announced it’s giving $75,000 to the Yukon Muslim Society through community development funding. The funding is to help convert the old Canadian Freightway building on 2nd Avenue into the Whitehorse Islamic Community Centre and Mosque.
The Muslim society is currently in the process of purchasing the building and they are confident that they will have the property by September, said Muhammad Javed, the society’s organizer.
Purchasing the property is a milestone for the society. It will still have to raise more funds to help with the renovations but the money from the government helps, said Javed.
With the extra funding, the society plans on having the community centre and mosque ready by March 2018.
“This is not only a mosque, this is a community centre we’re building,” he said.
It will be a little bit different than a regular mosque, said Javed. The space will be open to non-Muslims too, and the society is working with other organizations to set up a soup kitchen and a food bank.
“We’re open to anything that we can do to make the community a better place,” said Yusuf Legere, a volunteer with the society.
The Yukon Muslim Society currently rents an office space on Front Street that is not very visible. Javed hopes that once they are on 2nd Avenue it will help them integrate further into the community.
The society has been working with Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, a Manitoba-based Islamic charity to help with fundraising for the mosque and community centre. The foundation has also helped set up mosques in other northern communities.
The hope is that having a mosque in the territory will help build the Islamic community in Whitehorse by offering would-be residents a place for their children to get cultural and religious education, said Javed.
“It gives the opportunity for people to move here, but not only move here but stay here,” he said.
Contact Jamie-Lee McKenzie at firstname.lastname@example.org