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Kazakhstan man puts mosque on sale

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Man wants a million dollars for a mosque in Arkalyk, Kostanai oblast, Kazakhstan, reports KTK Channel.

In an unprecedented move the Kazakh man is to become the first person ever to sell a religious facility.

According to him, to a heavy sin he is being pushed by local authorities, which 16 years ago requested him to build a mosque, but failed to pay the promised money leaving him bankrupt.

A series of lawsuits brought no success and the plaintiff seeks way to get his money back.

Bolat Abdibekov seldom displays his item of good, complaining that nobody in Arkalyk pays a little interest to his property, apparently due to the unique nature of the building-on-sale. 

Meantime, there is another mosque in his ownership located in a village near Arkalyk. It has the same story.

"I know it's a sin to sell a mosque, but I have nothing left to do. I had a small business which I have lost by now. I am forced to sell it as I need to live off something," the mosque owner laments.

The place of worship was put out to tender two years ago on the Dutch auction system. Starting price is $1 million. Negotiable. Bolat Abdibekov says even ready to make a significant discount and give the mosque off for $400,000.

Believers say such thing never happened in Islam. The Kazakhstan citizen happened to be the first to trade a religious facility.

Asset Nugmanov, Deputy Imam of Arkalyk City Mosque says Sharia laws do not allow selling mosques. Mosques are built for the sake of Allah and are given to people to come and pray. History knows no case of selling a God's house.

When approached, local government officials denied any relation to the mosque and the promises given to the contractor many years ago, claiming it was the previous akim who signed the deal with the businessman, so current administration has nothing to do with it. 

Islambek Mametekov, Vice Mayor of Arkalyk:

"All those things took place before my coming to office. I don't know a thing about that. I never heard that someone ever sold a mosque. We made an enquiry and learnt that budget even never ordered to construct a mosque."

So it happened, says Bolat Abdibekov, he had trusted officials, put all his money in to end up with two mosques as all of his remaining property. 


July 2 2013, 10:28

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