Hong Kong should build more mosques and community centres for its growing population of Muslims, an Islamic organisation said on Wednesday.
Khan Muhammad Malik, chairman of the Federation of Muslim Association in Hong Kong, said the number of mosques in the city had remained the same although the Islamic population had grown five-fold in the past five decades.
Further, there were too few public places where Muslims can gather as a community, he said at a press conference.
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The city has five mosques, four on Hong Kong Island and one in Tsim Sha Tsui. Malik said new mosques should be built in the New Territories because there are many Muslims living in Tuen Mun, Yuen Long.
Malik estimated there were about 200,000 Muslims in Hong Kong, five times of the population in the 1960s, when he first arrived. “There’s not enough places to pray. There’s always a big crowd,” he said, adding that it was inconvenient for the Islamic population in the New Territories to go all the way to Tsim Sha Tsui to pray.
He also said the government should set up community halls for the Islamic population, where they could gather and tutor their children. Rents in Hong Kong were too high for the community to rent places on their own, he said.
“The children have nowhere to go,” he said. “We could teach them better if there were community halls in Hong Kong.”