Gather round kids it’s time to tell you a story, the story of a floating mosque. As strange as it may seem there is a mosque floating down the mighty Mackenzie River as we speak bound for the small community of Inuvik in the Canadian Arctic.
What started as a little mosque on the prairie, Winnipeg to be specific, has become a sort of anti-hate rallying point. The town of Inuvik, located high in the Canadian Northwest Territories is home to a small population of about 100 Canadians of the Islamic faith.
For years they have found space to meet for prayer in trailers and other ad hoc locations. Wanting a proper space to conduct prayers and educate their children was an essential motivation to raising close to $300,000 it’s taken to get the mosque built and moving northward.
The trip itself has been fraught with danger. As you can imagine hauling a prefabricated structure from Manitoba, through Saskatchewan and Alberta over muddy northern roads has been quite the adventure. Almost being lost in a ditch and getting stuck on a bridge in the Northwest Territories has been a harrowing experience for the crew racing to meet a barge that will bring it further north where no roads exist.
Raising money through the Zubaidah Tallab Foundation, Canadians of all stripes have given generously to see this feat accomplished. It is especially heartwarming to see people working together through the anniversary of 9/11. Instead of fighting over what divides us culturally Canadians are coming together helping one another and hopefully learning from the experience.
While debate rages on south of the border on if a mosque should be built in the shadow of the twin towers. Canada’s arctic is poised to become home to the world’s most northern house of Islāmic worship. Somehow to my mind working together and building trust just makes great sense.