The journey to the new mosque so far

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One of the many questions that we receive, is how has the donations been used so far and what has the money been spent on. Sometimes this is from new members to the community or members who can’t regularly attend the mosque. This information has been widely published and distributed, it is also displayed on the Mosque notice board as well. For new and old members that don’t know the history we have decided to do a series, of articles over the next few months, on the build to date.

Kent Muslim Welfare Association was formed in the early – mid 1970s and its primary purpose was to provide worship for the Muslim community of Kent. The members of the organisation acquired an old Irish drinking club in the 1970’s and renovated it to form the Mosque, which we still use today. It has been expanded and renovated over the years to utilize all the existing land space and we have now reached a point where we cannot expand the Mosque anymore.

The Board of Trustees had continually approached the local authorities, requesting relative improvement in the provision of facilities to cater for their social and cultural needs.

A report was commissioned by the late Syed Ikram Ali, which explored the possibility of expanding the existing Masjid or moving, the conclusion was that we had to move and that the building could not be expanded. The council would not for example allow us to build another floor on top.

The first presentation was to the Kent County Council Commissioners for Social Services on 27 September 1994 at the current Mosque. The plan was accepted and referred to the Finance and Scrutiny Committee. The Finance and Scrutiny Committee approved the proposal on 22 October 1995 and the Commissioners gave their final approval. They also allocated emergency funds for hiring an additional premise to supplement the deficient facility while search for a suitable site/building continued. The case had been put to the Mayor and any other dignitaries but this had little impact.

It was the late Ali Sahib that spearheaded this plan. Although it proved unfruitful in the end, it was pivotal in starting the motions and conversations that KMWA needed to have.

In the year 2000 the Medway Council became proactive and the search for an appropriate site/building was vigorously resumed. It remained on the agenda of monthly meetings of the Community Cohesion Committee headed by the Chief Executive of the Council. KMWA served as a full member on the committee.

Read the full article in KMWALTR #004

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