Mobile Muslim Prayer Areas Proposed

Moscow's city parks may soon see 100 mobile prayer areas to compensate for a lack of mosques in the capital.

The worship platforms will accommodate 100 to 150 Muslim believers, Izvestia reported.

Urban planners proposed the sites be built in time for Islamic holidays this fall, particularly the festival Eid al-Adha in October.

The platforms, about 15 meters by 20 meters, will be easy to disassemble so as to be used only during prayer times, Tigran Arutyunyan, author of the project, said.

Screens next to each platform will broadcast prayers from the imam at the Cathedral Mosque near Prospekt Mira.

Arutyunyan added that the prayer areas will decrease traffic around the Cathedral Mosque on major Muslim holidays.

The draft proposal is now being considered by the Spiritual Board of Muslims for the European Part of Russia, which is involved in the preparation of street celebrations.

In recent years the city had planned new mosques in Mitino and the south-eastern Tekstilshchiki district, but canceled the projects after local protests flared anti-Muslim sentiments.

In Moscow, there are currently four mosques, one undergoing renovations, for a population of over 10 million people and an estimated 2 million Muslims. In comparison, London, with 8.3 million people, has 100 mosques for 1 million followers of Islam.