Islamic community needs another EUR 13m to finish culture centre

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Grabus is happy that the construction even began on the centre located on Parmova street in Ljubljana city centre. "In truth we did more than we thought we would five years ago."

The foundation stone was laid in September 2013 and construction began in May 2015. The first phase of the project – the outer construction of the buildings and the minaret – was completed in 2016, but the remaining works are yet to start.

So far, the project cost EUR 22m. "It is true, the biggest share of the funds was provided by Qatar. But in this part of the world you will not find a case where believers contributed as much as Slovenian Muslims did to this construction," said Grabus, adding that community members contributed EUR 5m.

Originally, Qatar agreed to contribute EUR 15m but the architects designed a more demanding building than initially planned, also in terms of materials, which increased the price, said Grabus.

To complete it the community would need another EUR 13m. EUR 10.6 for the construction and EUR 2.4m for the equipment. If they will not be able to get funds to complete the project as a whole, they are likely to focus on the mosque, the garage and the outer terrace first.

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The completion of the mosque alone would require EUR 3m, he said. But this would allow them to stop renting out space in the Fužine borough, which costs about EUR 3000 monthly.

The interview touched on the wearing of head scarves by Muslim women, a topic also discussed in the presidential election campaign, where most of the candidates showed no reservations toward a head scarf ban.

Grabus said that the Slovenian Islamic Community leaves the decision up to the woman. However, they do discourage burqas, said Grabus, who believes that this is more of a political than a religious question.

He also told the STA that the community was thinking about founding a gimnazija secondary school. However, they first have to see whether there would be demand for such a school.

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