A new mosque was inaugurated in Belize City today; two years after construction began on a property acquired by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Belize on the George Price Highway. The event was attended by several area representatives and ministers of government, as well as church leaders from various denominations. News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.
Isani Cayetano, Reporting
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Belize officially opened the doors of its first mosque, Masjid Noor, this morning at its new location on the George Price Highway. The inauguration of this Muslim place of worship saw the attendance of high-level government officials, as well as representatives of the Belize Council of Churches.
BISHOP LAWRENCE NICASIO
Bishop Lawrence Nicasio, Roman Catholic Diocese
“I am happy that we can join forces with our brothers and sisters here at this mosque, in this space of prayer, where we can pray for each other, where we can lock arms with each other and to be able to serve each other. In our journey the Holy Father has called us to, it’s a journey to reach out to all people.”
And it’s with that spirit of community that Masjid Noor is being embraced by the church religious authority.
BISHOP MOSES BENGUCHE
Bishop Moses Benguche, Methodist Church
“I join this afternoon with the ecumenical church body in our participation and in our active support of the opening of this sacred building and in sharing what represents the spirit of ecumenism now and what it will mean for us in the future as we collaborate, one with another.”
The work of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in the intervening time since its establishment is noteworthy. It has assisted in social development in various areas, including sports and education. Belize City Mayor Bernard Wagner was among the many guest speakers at today’s event.
Bernard Wagner, Belize City Mayor
“In Belize, the Ahmadiyya Muslim community is not numbered in the tens of thousands perhaps, not as yet, but despite that, what you have been able to accomplish in Belize so far is nothing short of amazing and I wish for everyone here today to give you, your families and your supporters a rousing round of applause. Can I hear that? Our ciy appreciates our warm and fruitful partnership and we recognize you for your stellar contribution in sports, education, social work and community development. We congratulate you on this signature accomplishment.”
Imam Naveed Mangla is the President of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Belize. He has been instrumental in erecting the first mosque of its kind in the country. His efforts are commended by Minister of Home Affairs, Kareem Musa.
Kareem Musa, Minister of Home Affairs
“I must commend you and thank you for inviting me to this inauguration of the Masjid Noor here in Belize City and if I may quote your caliph, Mash Allah, a very beautiful masjid has been constructed and might I say very speedily Naveed, because when he told me a couple years ago when were laying the first bricks that this will take no time at all. I thought to myself, Naveed must be crazy because I saw the size of the project but look at us here only a year or two later, Naveed so you were true to your word.”
The significance of the new mosque is not lost on the leadership of the religious community.
LAL KHAN MALIK
Lal Khan Malik, President, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at, Canada
“Due to the mosque, God has opened so many different avenues for us. It’s amazing to see that by the grace of God everyone who would like to establish contact with the community now comes to the mosque and takes pictures with the state-of-the-art facility. Alhamdulillah, again, all praise belongs to God. The people of Belize, for the most part, now believe in one God. The country that’s dominated by ninety-five percent of the Christian faith has now come to terms with what Islam stands for.”
Isani Cayetano for News Five.
Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.