In Luxembourg, a Muslim group called Le Juste Milieu (LJM) is engaged in a fund-raising drive to
collect €1.8 million ($2.3 million) to purchase the ground floor of a building that currently houses a
makeshift mosque in downtown Luxembourg City. The building is mostly residential; localresidents are opposed to the mosque.The purchase is generating controversy because of concerns over how LJM will raise the cash itneeds. In August 2012, the German-language newspaper
reported that the Qatar was
paying €2.2 million ($2.8 million) to establish a mosque and madrassah [Islamic religious school]
that would cater to the 10,000 Muslims who have settled in Luxembourg.In Scotland, St. John's Episcopal Church in Aberdeen has become the first church in the UnitedKingdom to share its premises with Muslim worshippers.The church now welcomes hundreds of
Muslims praying five times a day in their building because the nearby mosque was so small thatworshippers were forced to pray outside.According to the rector of St. John's, Isaac Poobalan, "Praying is never wrong. My job is toencourage people to pray. The mosque was so full at times, there would be people outside in thewind and rain praying. I knew I couldn't just let this happen, because I would be abandoning whatthe Bible teaches us about how we should treat our neighbors."The bishop of Aberdeen, Robert Gillies, says that by handing over sections of the church to themosque, the church has accomplished "something of global significance on a local scale."In Spain, Muslims inaugurated a new mosque on March 21 in the northern Basque town of
Portugalete. The mosque has been resoundingly opposed by local residents, but city officialsapproved the building permit in order to "promote the integration of Muslims into the localcommunity."A recent study commissioned by the Basque government found that one in four Basques reject
the idea of having a mosque in their neighborhood, and one in five do not want a Muslim as aneighbor.The Basque Country is home to more than 50,000 Muslims, 70 Muslim groups, two dozen officiallylicensed mosques and hundreds of unofficial Islamic prayer rooms and cultural centers. Muslimsin the Basque region, who hail mostly from Algeria, Morocco, Pakistan and sub-Saharan Africa,have become increasingly assertive in recent years.Residents of the Basque city of Bilbao are finding their mailboxes stuffed with flyers in Spanishand Arabic from the Islamic Community of Bilbao asking for money to build a 650 m² (7,000 ft²)
mosque costing €550,000 ($735,000).
Until recently, the Islamic Community of Bilbao had the following statement posted on its website:"We we
re expelled [from Spain] in 1609, really not that long ago. … The echo of Al
-Andalus stillresonates in all the valley of the Ebro [Spain]. We are back to stay, Insha'Allah [if Allah wills it]."(Al-Andalus was the Arabic name given to the parts of Spain ruled by Muslim conquerors from 711until 1492.)In Valencia, the third-largest city in Spain, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community inaugurated a new
mosque on March 29 -- which also happened to be Good Friday, the day when Christianscommemorate the crucifixion of Jesus Christ and his death at Calvary.