The Urban Environment Division of the City of Helsinki has unanimously decided reject a proposal to build a grand mosque in Helsinki.
“The division unanimously decided to recommend to the city board that the grand mosque project should be abandoned. This is a good decision in light of the numerous problems and ambiguities related to the project in question,” Atte Kaleva, a member of the Urban Environment Division, wrote on Facebook on Tuesday.
The Urban Environment Division thus decided contrary to the proposal of the rapporteur to recommend that the city board should not reserve a land plot for conducting a further assessment of the proposal to build a grand mosque and activity centre in Hanasaari, Helsinki.
“The scope of the project under consideration and the open questions and uncertainties surrounding it – namely, the origin of the funding and the possible effects of the sources of funding – do not form a sustainable basis for carrying out the proposal. The division has therefore determined that the preconditions for proceeding with the project are non-existent,” it explained.
Bahraini royals have reportedly offered to fund the construction project.
The proposal to deny the project the land-use permit was tabled by Deputy Mayor Anni Sinnemäki (Greens), the chairperson of the Urban Environment Division.
Pia Jardi, the project manager of Helsinki Grand Mosque at the Oasis Foundation, says she was not surprised by the decision.
“You could expect no other outcome based on the political discussion. I’ve yet to have a single rational discussion with a policy maker,” she retorted to Helsingin Sanomat on Tuesday.
Jardi said, however, she is not planning on giving up on the project but will analyse the statement of grounds for the decision before proceeding – possibly in another city in Finland. “If Helsinki doesn’t have the willingness, why should we help [it] with this kind of a project,” she explained.
Aleksi Teivainen – HT
Photo: Roni Rekomaa – Lehtikuva
Source: Uusi Suomi