The Midnight Sun Mosque in the Arctic

by Saira Rahman, Nilufer Rahman

Ich und alle anderen (Ausgabe IV/2016)


The Midnight-Sun Mosque in Inuvik, Canada. Photo: Snow Angel Films

About 200 kilometres beyond the Arctic Circle lies the northernmost mosque in the western hemisphere, the Midnight Sun Mosque in Inuvik in northwest Canada. It is the last place in the Arctic that can be reached by car all year round. Alternatively, the best way is to travel by plane or ship. This is also how the mosque found its way here.

The building was completely assembled in Winnipeg in the Canadian prairie. It was then transported 4,000 kilometres over land and water to Inuvik. The mosque was a charity project by Winnipeg‘s Muslim community. They found that it would be cheaper to send a prefabricated building than to construct a new structure on the site. The mosque’s journey lasted about three weeks and we chronicled it in our documentary film "The Arctic Mosque". The carpet in the prayer room also had a long journey behind it. It comes from Dubai. Today the Midnight Sun Mosque serves as a place of worship for the approximately one hundred-strong Muslim community of Inuvik. However, the majority of the city's 3,500 inhabitants belong to the indigenous tribes of the Western Canadian Inuit and Gwitchin, as well as the Métis, who are descendants of European fur traders and Indian women. While building a mosque often causes fear and strife in non-Muslim countries, the Midnight Sun Mosque in the Arctic was welcomed with open arms.

Translated by Jess Smee

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