Shillong - Madina Mosque of the North East - was formally inaugurated by Union Minister of State for Minority Affairs Vincent H Pala in Shillong on Thursday.
Inaugurating the Mosque, Pala said, “The mosque will mark the unity of all religions in the state” while underscoring the uniqueness of the mosque and also its spirit.
However, he added that Muslims are victims of ‘suspicion’.
He said, “Muslims have a lot of problems in India because they are too kind” adding “They do not check and scrutinize the people who take shelter in their places.”
According to Pala, it was such that it has become a habit for the police to look for criminals in their places of worship and that Muslims become victims of many things.
Holding sympathy and hospitality vented out by the Muslim community towards the needy and the poor, Pala suggested that proper care should be taken in providing refuge to homeless people in the Mosque by ‘examining their antecedents’.
Madina Masjid, an imposing and resplendent structure of glass dome and glass minarets, is built at a cost of Rs 2 crores. The four-storey building stands at 120 feet high and 61 feet wide inside an Idgah Complex in the city's Laban area and is close to the garrison grounds along the Umshyrpi River. At night, the mosque's glasswork glows and glitters.
The mosque houses a new orphanage named Meherba, a library and a 'markaz'- an Islamic theological institute. Madina Masjid has a capacity of around 2,000 people and has separate space for women to offer prayers.
Shillong Muslim Union general secretary Sayeedullah Nongrum addressing the gathering dwelt at length on the contribution made by the Shillong Muslim Union and well wishers in turning the Madina Masjid dream into reality. He opined that the Masjid will also add in the growth of the state tourism sector as it is India's first glass mosque.
“It will also be a tourist destination,” Nongrum said, who is also the President of the Shillong Muslim Union.
A book entitled “History of Shillong Muslim Union” was also released at the occasion.
It may be mentioned that the Madina Masjid was scheduled to be inaugurated by the Union Minister for Minority Affairs Salman Khurshid who failed to attend the programme following his meeting with a group of Minters as well as a meeting with the editors.