The small volcanic island of Reunion is predominantly Roman Catholic - yet it now boasts a new Mosque which has been hailed as the finest in the Indian Ocean area.
SV PULL BACK TO GV: Mosque dome.
SV: View of Mosque through fence.
GV TOP VIEW PAN: Domes of mosque.
SCU: Sign outside mosque.
SV: Stained glass window.
SV EXTERIOR: Mosque.
SV INTERIOR: Mosque. (TWO SHOTS)
GV ZOOM INTO SV: Man winding clock above doorway.
GV PAN INTERIOR: Dome showing various stained glass windows.
SV: Seats for sitting on while washing feet before entering mosque.
SV: Inside mosque. (TWO SHOTS)
SV EXTERIOR: Lattice work.
GV ZOOM INTO SV: Man entering mosque.
SV: Man pulling shutters down.
SV: People entering mosque.
SV INTERIOR: Men washing feet and hands (THREE SHOTS)
SV: men praying.
GV & SVS GENERAL VIEWS OF: Mosque AND bathing area. (FOUR SHOTS)
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Background: The small volcanic island of Reunion is predominantly Roman Catholic - yet it now boasts a new Mosque which has been hailed as the finest in the Indian Ocean area.
SYNOPSIS: The island was occupied in the 17th Century and became a French overseas department in 1946. Most of its half-million population is descended from coffee plantation slaves of African origin, and is Christian. But there are also some 9000 Arab and Indian Muslims on Reunion and it was for them that work began on this new mosque five years ago (1972). Now only a 138 ft (42 metre) minaret remains to be built and that work should be completed next year. The new building is Saint-Pierre and can accommodate around 1,000 worshippers. It replaces an inadequately-sized mosque built in 1913. Local Muslims raised funds for the new building with the help of Christian fellow-islanders and Moslems in Arab and African countries.
Intricate carvings took two years' work by two Muslims from the Comoros Islands.
The mosque's total cost is around GBP350,000 ($595,000 US). Visitors have compared it favourably with those on neighbouring islands and even in Dar es Salaam, Nairobi, and South Africa. Muslims came to Reunion in 1870 to work as domestic staff and cooks. They later turned to commerce and now nearly all the island's Muslims are shop-keeping families. One of Reunion's problems is serious over-population, and immigration from India was stopped in 1950. The Muslim's obligatory worship of God consists of five daily prayers preceded by necessary oblations. Each service is led by a spiritual leader drawn from teachers at a nearby Koranic school.