Big audience for mosque opening

THE opening of the town's first mosque was watched by a huge crowd – as well as by hundreds of people on televisions across the globe.

Muslims from across the country attended the opening of Hartlepool's first mosque, in Brougham Terrace, yesterday.

The event was shown live on a Muslim television network channel, meaning people across the world could also view it.

The supreme head of the Worldwide Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Hadhrat Mirza Masroor Ahmad, started the proceedings with a special sermon, and then led prayers.

Town dignitaries such as Hartlepool MP Iain Wright and Hartlepool Borough Council's chief executive Paul Walker also were also there.

As a gesture, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, the main organisation behind the project, donated around 20,000 to local charities and causes, including Hartlepool and District Hospice, Butterwick Children's Hospice and Brougham Primary School.

Dr Abdul Bary Malik JP, the spokesman of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, said: "It was a great honour to have the supreme head here.

"People will have been watching the event in all parts of the world.

"It has been a great occasion and Hartlepool has been on the map today.

"The message of the sermon was that the mosque can only be beautiful when the worshippers also have the same qualities."

Dr Malik added that people of all faiths will be welcome to the mosque.

The mosque, on the corner of Brougham Terrace and Turnbull Street, in the Dyke House area of town cost 500,000 to build and was paid for entirely by contributions from the Muslim community.

It has been built in around seven months by the Yorkshire Construction Company.