Newfoundland town working with Muslim community to build a mosque and retain doctors

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ST. JOHN'S, N.L. — The central Newfoundland town of Gander is working with its local Muslim community to establish the town's first mosque — and to retain Muslim doctors.

Gander Mayor Percy Farwell and Dr. Mohamed Barasi, director of the Central Newfoundland Islamic Community, said in interviews today they hope a mosque will encourage Muslim doctors to stay in the region.

Barasi, an orthopedic surgeon, says his community has been working with the town for over a year on the project, adding that they have identified a plot of land for the mosque.

He says his group is now stuck in the paperwork process of establishing itself as a registered charity so it can begin fundraising to buy the land.

Farwell says there are several internationally trained Muslim doctors working in Gander, and that in the past, the town has had difficulties convincing them to stay.

Barasi says building a mosque would provide Muslim physicians and professionals, as well as their families, with a much-needed space to gather and practise their faith.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Aug. 17, 2022.

The Canadian Press