Again then, Ottawa didn’t have a mosque. The town’s Muslims, numbered solely within the tons of on the time, needed an area the place they might pray collectively. They turned to the Northwestern United Church, which provided them their basement.
“From day one, they’ve been very good to us,” stated Naeem Malik, president of the Ottawa Muslim Affiliation.
Within the Nineteen Seventies, the Muslim group purchased a plot of land subsequent to the church, situated within the metropolis’s west finish, and constructed the Ottawa Mosque — the primary within the metropolis and solely the second in all of Canada.
However as Ottawa’s Muslim group grew, the mosque shortly ran out of room. As soon as once more, it turned to its Christian neighbour, which occurred to be promoting the situation.
Scott MacCrimmon of the Kitchissippi United Church stated the parish had acquired a number of bids, together with ones from different Christian teams, however determined to promote to the Muslim group.
The 2 at the moment are understanding a $1.5-million, no-curiosity deal.
“In Muslim faith, we’re not imagined to pay curiosity and we’re not imagined to take curiosity on our financial savings,” Malik stated.
Members of the 2 congregations say their unlikely partnership is feasible as a result of, in contrast to what many consider, there’s extra that unites the 2 religions than divides them — one thing they discovered by means of greater than 50 years of worshipping aspect by aspect.
“They consider precisely what we as Christians consider,” stated United Church congregant Wendy Warburton.
These values embrace “being an excellent member within the society — a very good citizen, an excellent human being,” stated Ottawa Imam Samy Metwally.
The church is about to turn into a group centre that may assist new immigrants, together with Syrian refugees, adapt to life in Canada.
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