Big mosque on the Prairie opens in Calgary
Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Liberal Leader Stéphane Dion and Calgary Mayor Dave Bronconnier will be attending a banquet Saturday celebrating the opening of the biggest mosque ever built in Canada.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim mosque in Calgary took two years to build and cost $15 million. (CBC)
The $15-million Baitan Nur mosque in northeast Calgary covers 4,500 square metres, or 48,000 square feet, and was constructed largely through donations from the city's small but rapidly growing Ahmadiyya Muslim community.
The Ahmadiyya movement of Islam was founded 100 years ago, originating with the teachings of Indian villager Mirza Ghulam Ahmad and is renowned today for promoting a peaceful coexistence with people of all faiths and cultures.
One of the contributors, taxi driver Ijaz Ahmad, said he sold his house and moved his family into a basement apartment in order to donate $100,000.
"Children broke their piggy banks, people sold their houses, they donated the money and moved to basements, some people obtained second mortgages," Khan said at Friday's dedication ceremony.