Page last updated at 06:35 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 07:35 UK

Muslim community looks for home


Wrexham's Muslims search for new home

A growing Muslim community is looking for a site for a mosque and cultural centre to replace the small, makeshift building currently used.

At the moment worshippers in Wrexham use a portable building, which is part of the town's Newi college. But it is unsuitable for women and children.

The local Muslim association want a site where they could invite other people to learn more about Islam.

Other faith groups have said it would be an asset for everyone in the town.

The temporary mosque in Wrexham
The makeshift Mosque gets very full during Friday prayers

The makeshift mosque in a corner of the North East Wales Institute (Newi) can only hold a small number of worshippers, and gets very full during festivals and Friday prayers.

Dr Farookh Jishi, secretary of the Wrexham Muslim Association, said: "We started here about 20 years ago with only half a dozen people coming together to pray - then gradually the numbers have grown."

For women, the situation is even worse. Their prayer room is only 2m x 1.5m and has no windows or ventilation.

One worshipper, Howida Elkhawad, said they wanted to repay the hospitality of others: "People, they invite us for Christmas and we can't invite anyone to come celebrate with us that's because we don't have a proper place."

Other faith organisations in the town are supporting the association.

Chris Pilsbury, who is from Together Creating Communities, a broad-based organisation made up different faiths and secular groups said: "Everybody is behind it.

"The Muslim community here has been tremendously supportive of lots and lots of initiatives in the Wrexham area over the years.

"Everybody recognises the need, and what a valuable asset it would be to Wrexham."


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