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After 50 years of hurdles, Slovenia opens its first mosque

Slovenia's first mosque. / DR
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Slovenia opened, Monday, its first mosque in Ljubljana, the country’s capital city, Step Feed reports. The initial bid to build the place of worship was submitted in the 1960s while Slovenia was still part of Yugoslavia.

It took decades to have the mosque built, allowing the country’s Muslim community to practice their faith. The community received the permit to build the mosque 15 years ago and construction works only started in 2013 due to financial hurdles, the same source recalled.

The opposition of Slovenia’s right-wing politicians was also one of the obstacles that slowed down the process. Indeed, in 2004 and 2009, the project was halted but the constitutional court «denied requests» that contradicted the construction of the mosque.

«Slovenia is the last former Yugoslav state to get a mosque, making Ljubljana a capital rather than a provincial town on the edge of the world», Mufti of the country's Islamic community Nedžad Grabus said in a press conference. «[It’s a turning point», in the lives of Muslims in Slovenia, he added.

The Mufti explained that the construction of the new mosque cost around 34 million euros, with most of the money being donated by Qatar.

The mosque can host 1,400 people and is «surrounded by six buildings that are now host to a full-fledged Islamic Cultural Center».

It also includes «community's offices; an education center, which includes a library; a restaurant; a basketball court; housing for the Muslim clerisy; and a 40-meter (131 feet) high minaret», the same source added, quoting Arab News. 

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