QC set to open largest Islamic centre in Europe

QC set to open largest Islamic centre in Europe

6/16/2016 |

Qatar Charity is in the process of opening the largest Islamic centre in Europe, which will be located in north-east France and benefit 150,000 Muslims in France, Switzerland and Germany.

A delegation from the governing council of the centre, overseen by QC UK, is currently visiting Qatar to talk about the centre and the progress of its completion work, in addition to mobilizing voluntary contributions in order to complete construction.

The delegation includes three French women; Islamic preacher Khadijah Halfiah, board member of the Muslim Association of Alsace and supervisor of Al Noor, France, Beyout Ogheili (a recent revert to Islam), director of one of the banks, financial adviser to the Muslim Association and Al Noor France supervisor and Hind Al Mohafidh, member of the Muslim Association of Alsace and supervisor of Al Noor, France.

The new Al Noor centre will be the largest integrated Islamic centre in Europe and is a project from the ‘Ghaith Initiative’, which serves Islamic projects around the world.

At the beginning of the holy month of Ramadan QC launched the ‘Al Noor initiative’, which will contribute to the fund-raising of the centre.

QC chairman HE Sheikh Hamad bin Nasser bin Jassim Al Thani said that the centre stems from the organisation’s eagerness to strengthen the Islamic identity of the Muslim communities in Europe, supporting the idea of ​​peaceful coexistence between different cultures, promoting a proper understanding of the values ​​and principles of Islam and reflecting a moderate interaction with Muslim communities.

“The Al Noor Centre is a quantum leap in terms of projects in Europe and Qatar Charity is incredibly proud that it has contributed to the creation of this edifice which will serve thousands of Muslims, thanks to the generous support of Qatari donors,” said Salah Al Hammadi, Deputy Chairman of QC, UK.

“The project will ignite the light of knowledge in minds hungry for knowledge, and we hope to open the centre next Ramadan, if we received enough support to complete the project,” he concluded.

The centre will be strategically located in the border region between France, Germany and Switzerland, in an area of north-east France called Milos, where Muslims constitute more than 20% of the city's 256,000 population, mostly French nationals, meaning that the centre will serve around 50,000 Muslims living in Milos and a further 150,000 Muslims from the surrounding areas, with a total capacity of around 5,550 people.

The centre will cooperate fully with all local authorities and institutions working for the public benefit and fighting against Islamophobia, racism and incitement to hatred, contributing to Muslim community service, helping them to practice their religious duties, meeting their cultural needs and activating the spirit of active citizenship and positive partnership and commitment. It will also teach Arabic language and Islamic education to more than 800 children and young people - including Quran memorization - and incorporate a regular school which will accommodate 300 students, providing them with a good level of education which will allow them to ultimately enter the most prestigious local universities.

The project will cost 27 million euros, equivalent to 110 million Qatari riyals, and to date more than 55% of the construction has been completed, with the remaining value being 16.8 million euros, equivalent to QR 70 million Qatari riyals, which QC is hoping to raise through a number of initiatives.

The centre is being built on a land area of ​​4,600 square meters, and the building area exceeds 10,200 square meters, which is spread over four floors, and is characterized by its potential for the addition of three further floors in the future. It will incorporate a mosque, a regular school, a da’wa centre, an Institute for Arabic Language Teaching and another for the teaching of the Holy Qur'an, a cultural centre, as well as waqf facilities, and a Faculty of Islamic Sciences. It is the first religious building to use a sustainable development approach as the building is environmentally friendly, using solar and groundwater energy for cooling in summer and heating in winter.

The centre has been supported by the local French authorities and the parliament of Milos City and the province of Alsace, and from the State of Qatar, the Ministry of Awqaf, Islamic Affairs and Public Administration of Awqaf.

The ‘Ghaith Initiative’ comes in the context of QC’s desire to expand its charity work, and its eagerness to create cultural and educational centres. It is a natural extension of the projects that have been established over the last few years under the supervision of the Qatari preacher Sheikh Dr. Ahmed Al Hammadi, which have included the creation of 138 Islamic centres across Europe, which aimed to introduce Islamic culture and strengthen its presence in the private and public world within Western communities, utilizing sustainability of the economic resources of educational and Islamic cultural institutions, professional marketing and diversification of programs that keep pace with future requirements and developments.

In conjunction with its Ramadan program (Your Giving Saves Lives) , QC has launched the ‘Al Noor’ campaign, which seeks to raise QAR 8 million to complete the construction of the Al Noor centre.

You can donate to the Al Noor centre project at QC offices, by calling +97430010025, or by making a bank transfer to Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB), IBAN QA11QISB000000000108205200016.