Lisbon’s New Mosque Will Benefit the Community According to Neighborhood Association

Written By Manuel Poças

The construction of a new mosque in Lisbon’s Mouraria neighborhood, between the streets of Palma and Benformoso, has been a topic of discussion for the last 10 years. Mouraria is one of Lisbon’s most multicultural neighborhoods, and there is a strong Muslim presence.

Last week, Associação Renovar a Mouraria, a neighborhood association focused on social and urbanistic renewal, publicly stated that the execution of the project will be very beneficial for the community of Mouraria. The association spoke at a public hearing held at Lisbon’s Municipal Assembly, and proclaimed that the construction will only bring improvements for the whole community, not just for those that would frequent it.

According to the Association, and in response to certain assumptions and claims that have been publicly raised and shared, the neighborhood’s problems have nothing to do with religion or the recent migratory waves and fluxes. Instead, they are, in fact, due to drug use and abuse.

Furthermore, the Association believes that, instead of potentially being a risk, the construction of the mosque would only do good and be beneficial. It would be a dignified space for those of the Muslim faith, and its existence would bring women, who are usually always inside the house, out into the streets.

Besides that, it would significantly improve the neighborhood’s organization, as it would enable the reopening of two streets, Rua da Palma and Rua do Benformoso, that are currently being used as adapted spaces for prayer and worship because there is currently not enough dedicated religious space in the area. 

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