SOLO, KOMPAS.com – The United Arab Emirates will literally raise its profile in Indonesia, as the country is donating a grand mosque in President Joko Widodo’s hometown in Central Java.
“The Mohammed Bin Zayed Grand Mosque will be built in Solo, Central Java, as a gift from Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed to the Indonesian people,” said Religious Affairs Minister Fachrul Razi on August 19.
“We hope the mosque can bolster religious tolerance there and in the rest of Indonesia.”
“The mosque will be built on a three-hectare site formerly owned by the Pertamina state oil company. The complex is also big enough to hold an Islamic center,” Fachrul said, adding the house of worship will be the biggest in Central Java on its completion.
Indonesians will have much to look forward to if the mosque is based on its original structure in Abu Dhabi, he said.
“I have been to the [Abu Dhabi] Grand Mosque, and it is an extraordinary structure. Very large and beautiful,” said the former deputy Indonesian Armed Forces commander.
“The Crown Prince will pay for the construction of the mosque, which is built on land owned by the Pertamina state oil company,” Fachrul said, adding that the permit to begin construction of the land will be issued soon.
“Its construction will start in December 2020. It is expected to take two years to complete.”
Fachrul added that bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the UAE extend beyond the mosque. “Indonesia and the UAE will carry out an exchange of imams in religious schools between both countries.”
Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Zayed’s credentials as a reformer, philanthroper and patron of the arts won him international accolades, not least from the New York Times and Time.
(Writer: Labib Zamani, Solo Contributor | Editor: Khairina)
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