The mobile mosque will start operating by the end of next week, providing a free service requested by the faithful by an order submitted online or by phone, Kasimov told Russian news agency Interfax. The initiative, supported by crowdfunding, aims to address the lack of mosques in the Russian capital.
Currently there are only four mosques in Moscow where nearly two million Muslims live, about one-fifth of the population. The mosque is essentially a bus with two separate areas: one for ablutions and one for prayers, with space for up to seven people. Kasimov clarified that if the project was well received, a fleet of mobile mosques would be launched, some of which could service the streets and others stationed outside shopping malls. The number of Muslims living in the whole of Russia is estimated at around 20 million, although there are no official statistics to confirm the number.