17 September 2010
The foundation stones for the first purpose-built mosque of the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in Ireland have been laid in Galway by Mirza Masroor Ahmad, world leader of community, during his first visit to the country. The Masjid Maryam (Mary Mosque) is only the third purpose-built mosque in Ireland and the first in Galway.
Ahmadi Muslims have been living in Ireland for more than three decades. Several hundred members of the Ahmadi community were present at the foundation stone laying, which was followed by a civic reception which local religious leaders from different Christian churches and politicians attended.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was founded by Mirza Ghulam Ahmad in 1889, and it is estimated that there are several million followers worldwide, mainly in a number of African states, Pakistan and Indonesia. Ahmadi Muslims face severe discriminations in several Muslim countries, such as Pakistan where they have been banned from identifying themselves as Muslims since the early 1980s.