Kanouté helps raise $1m to build Seville mosque

19th Jun 2020
Kanouté helps raise $1m to build  Seville mosque

(Photo credit: Ahmed J Versi/Muslim News)

Elham Asaad Buaras

Former Mali international footballer Frédéric ‘Freddie’ Oumar Kanouté, 42, helped to raise over $1.2 million (€1.1 m) in a crowd funding campaign to build the first mosque in Seville, Spain, in over 700 years.

The amount raised will be donated for the total project cost, estimated at € 12 million.Kanouté, a France-born footballer, played for West Ham, Spurs, Lyon and Seville. ‘Thank you and may Allah reward for you for all those who participated in the campaign,’ Kanouté tweeted on May 19.

His LaunchGood page said, ‘This will be the central (Jami’) mosque of this European city, hence the high cost. So, if you see that we’re continuing to ask for help, it’s still very much needed!’

Seville, the capital city of Andalusia attracts millions of international visitors annually, a large percentage of them Muslims.

The Muslim population of the city is around 30,000 and although there are several converted small spaces in the city for Muslims to pray, there is no purpose-built mosque to allow the Muslims to worship in a dignified way.

Kanouté first helped the Muslim community of Seville by purchasing a musallah – a converted commercial unit, 13 year ago. However, as the community grew so did the need to have a central mosque.

‘The great legacy of Islam in Spain is still present in every city today, and which attracts millions of visitors every year,’ the campaign page added. ‘The contribution of this period of history (Al-Andalus), to the sciences, arts, philosophy, and society in general, are remarkable.

‘The context is now obviously different, and this Mosque and Islamic Cultural Centre will be a positive contribution by both serving the religious needs of Muslims and be open to all members of the community, including non-Muslims, thus, helping to dispel misconceptions about Muslims and Islam.’

Kanouté, who converted to Islam at the age of 20, won two UEFA Cups and two UEFA Super Cups with Sevilla in 2006 and 2007 and became one of the top scorers in the 2004 Africa Cup of Nations with his nation.

 

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