A plot in eastern Moscow has been reserved for this purpose long before news about the development of Islamic temples started stirring controversy among a large number of Muscovites.
The land on 28 Shosse Entuziastov has been waiting for a mosque construction plan since 2003, a source in the city government told RIA Novosti on Monday.
The construction is not going to start without a public hearing where locals will have the chance to have their say, the source said. In this case, however, a change in the initial plan is not expected, he added.
“[The public hearing] is most likely to be formal because no residential developments are anywhere near this site,” he told the news agency.
Earlier this year, hundreds of residents of Moscow’s neighborhood of Mitino staged a protest against an Islamic cultural center construction site in their far-flung district.
Two years ago, similar news in the Tekstilshchiki area in the city’s eastern part saw residents up in arms to defend a park from the construction of a mosque.
The city’s 1.5-million-strong Muslim community is not going to give up, and its representatives have voiced more plans to give believers in Allah more places for prayer, as well cultural and educational needs.
“There will be a mosque in [Moscow’s areas of] Butovo and Lyublino, where we have the Moscow Islamic University, and on Shosse Entuziastov, where we plan to build an Islamic cultural center,” Ravil Gainutdin, head of the Russian Mufti Council told Izvestiya.
Three plots of land, including the one on Shosse Entuziastov, have been agreed on with city authorities, according to the publication.
Negotiations of three more sites are ongoing with officials, according to the Spiritual Agency for Muslims of the European Part of Russia.