French Imam Creates a Mosque in a Box

News Agencies – September 17, 2010
In today’s busy modern world, spare time is an increasingly precious commodity, a truth that has prompted an imam in Paris to come up with an unorthodox solution. For Muslims too busy with work to attend Friday prayers at the local mosque, the imam has designed a portable mosque in box that can be used anywhere. “We can’t always drop things in an instant and go out and pray,” the imam, Hassmem Bounamcha, told news agencies.
The portable unit is meant to substitute a mihrab, or a prayer niche in the wall of a mosque that indicates the direction of Mecca. Bounachma told journalists in Paris that he has several different models, ranging from a children’s version that retails for €69 ($90), to a high-end model, complete with loudspeaker, for €450 ($588). The collapsible units are made from rigid cardboard, Styrofoam, plywood or plastic. The portable mosques could be particularly useful for Muslim women in France, Bounachma told the BBC, because the impending ban on burqas in that country could result in keeping them off the streets.