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Published: Friday June 11, 2010 MYT 5:56:00 PM

Mosques nationwide to be turned into community centres

PUTRAJAYA: Mosques nationwide will be turned into one-stop centres where Muslims can go, not only to worship and deepen their knowledge on Islam, but also seek advice and counselling from family and religious experts in times of trouble.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said one-stop centres in mosques would also be equipped with libraries, computer facilities, classes for adults and children as well as shelter or temporary accommodation for travellers.

“It is also the government’s intention to use mosques to unite Muslims and this can be achieved if its management remain independent, professional and free from political elements,” he said Friday at the opening of the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque.

The mosque, second to be built in the federal administrative capital after Putra mosque, was officiated by the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin.

Also present at the ceremony were Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Islamic Development Department (Jakim) director-general Datuk Wan Mohamad Sheikh Abdul Aziz.

The construction of the RM200mil mosque located at Precinct 3, started in 2004 and was handed over to the Islamic Development Department (Jakim) in August last year following its completion.

The uniqueness of this mosque, which can accommodate 20,000 worshippers, is that it is built using 6,000 tonnes of iron, hence being nicknamed “the Iron Mosque”.

Jamil Khir said the government would encourage non-Muslims to be involved in social activities organised by mosques to strengthen racial harmony and co-operatiopn among Malaysians of different religious background.

“Mosque management must plan activities that can attract the surrounding community. The mosques, its facilities and programmes need to be people-friendly to enable to attract the society to come to visit such places,” he said.

Later, Tuanku Mizan and Najib joined the congregation for Friday prayers at the Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin mosque where the sermon was conducted by Jamil Khir.

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