Saskatoon: City offers field house for Ramadan prayers

From left, Dr. Nabil Asfour, Omaer Jamil and Dr. Najma Jamil, outside the Saskatoon Islamic Centre on Copland Crescent.

SASKATOON — Rapid growth in Saskatoon’s Muslim community has prompted an unconventional solution to accommodate late-night Ramadan prayers.

The Islamic Association of Saskatchewan (IAS) has come to a tentative agreement with the city to use the Saskatoon Fieldhouse for nightly prayers, to avoid disturbing the mosque’s neighbours.
After years of building tension, the IAS and the mosque’s neighbours have spent months planning for this year’s Ramadan, which begins June 29.

While fasting from sunrise to sunset for 30 days, many Muslims gather for nightly prayers. But with Ramadan starting just eight days after the longest day of the year, at Saskatoon’s relatively high latitude, it means prayers won’t begin until around 11 p.m. each night, explained Omaer Jamil, president of the IAS.

The “exponential” growth in the number of worshippers could mean dozens of families coming and going from Copland Crescent late at night, creating noise from traffic and closing car doors, Jamil said.

They’re not playing music or yelling, but Jamil acknowledges there is noise.

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While it is good that a solution to this particular problem has been found, I find it most disconcerting to read about “exponential” growth of the Muslim community.

h/t GR