Fred Oumar Kanoute, the former football star has successfully raised one million dollars for the construction of a Mosque in Seville, Spain. Seville had no formal Mosque or Islamic centre in the last 800 years.
Knaoute who converted to Islam when he was 20 years old undertook a campaign a year ago on LaunchGood, a crowdfunding platform for Muslims. He gathered the donation from all over the world and through his Kanoute 4 Seville mosque campaign.
The estimated cost for the construction of the Mosque and Islamic centre is around 12 million Euros roughly equals to $13.1 million.
The Seville Muslim community is very much happy with this crowdfunding as they had no purpose-built mosque and Islamic centre for around 800 years.
Kanoute who previously played for Seville FC last year teamed up with the Seville Mosque Foundation (SMF) to build the mosque. He had to find for places to pray while he was in Seville and he is well aware of the problems of the local Muslims.
Spain has around 2 million Muslim population out of which 30,000 lives in Seville. Moreover, it is also famous for its rich Islamic heritages and history but it lacked a formal mosque.
The Muslims of Seville comes from different backgrounds; some are Spanish converts, some are Moroccans and others are from various African countries like Algeria, Morocco, Senegal and Mali.
Kanoute himself is of Malian origin and a French national. He tweeted and thanked everyone who took part in this blessed work.
In 2007, Kanoute, a Spanish and UEFA cup winner, bought a musalla, or prayer space, in Seville that was on the verge of closing down after the contract of the premises was set to expire. Kanoute has previously described that space as a “temporary mosque”.
Apart from timely prayer; the mosque complex will be able to provide workshops to Muslims on different topics, a health clinic would be set up for primary treatment of locals along with an institute which will teach Arabic and Quran to children.
“He is a very highly respected figure in Seville not only for his football but how he is as a person,” Ibrahim Hernandez, the SMF director.
“When you have someone like Oumar beside you, people want to hear your stories, they want to know about you, what you are doing,” he added.