A Finnish shopping mall is trying to find a solution for Muslim shoppers.
A central Espoo library operating out of the Entresse shopping mall has arranged a partition for an isolated prayer space for Muslims.
-This is a temporary arrangement for the period of Ramadan. There is not going to be a permanent place of prayer for them here, regional library director Terhi Nikulainen declares.
He points out that of the loyal customers who enjoy the library, more than half are Somalis.
Large numbers of immigrants live in this area of Espoo, and there are many Muslims among them.
There are dozens of Muslim women who go to the gym.
“Some of them have very weak language skills, and they deal with membership issues through an interpreter. The ones that have lived here longer have adapted to our customs”, Nordensved says.
The shopping mall does not have a meditation room where the Muslims could hold their daily prayers. “Might there be a room in the public library to which they could be guided?” Nordensved ponders.
He plans to take up the matter next Tuesday at a meeting of shop owners at the mall.