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Imam Marok Thongyn in the tower of  the new Patong mosque

Patong Bid for Bars Ban Near Muslim Mosque

Saturday, May 9, 2009
PATONG is getting a Muslim makeover. A new landmark mosque is about a year from completion, a large halal food centre is to open soon . . .

And a request has been made to have the road downhill into Patong kept free of alcohol retailers.

This would make the stretch from the sharp turn at Wat Suwankeereewong to the beach, then right and on to Kalim Bay, an exclusion zone for beer bars.

It is anticipated that the Governor and tessaban Patong are likely to listen sympathetically to the request from Imam Marok Thongyn.

But Baan Rim Pa, the Diamond Cliff and other resorts and restaurants already along that stretch are not expected to be asked to stop serving alcohol.

Local residents will probably have a say in the decision.

After decades in the shadows, the Muslim community on Phuket is finally coming to notice, in a large way.

Tourism leaders, having recognised the potential, now strongly support the development of the Muslim aspects of the island character.

Imam Marok may have a serious side, but he was smiling broadly as he took Phuketwan on a tour of the new mosque.

It has views from the tower looking over Patong and the green hills beyond that property developers would envy.

Not only that, the recent four-day halal festival in Phuket City is leading on to the opening of a large halal food restaurant opposite the Patong mosque.

''About 3000 people from 500 families in Patong are Muslims,'' the imam told us. '' On Phuket, about one third of the local population are Muslims.''

Before Prabaramee Road becomes a no-bar zone, Imam Marok would like the people to have their chance to give their opinions on his idea.

He sees the need for Patong to have separate zones, some ''social,'' as he puts it, for entertainment, and others for religion.

''If we grow roses we should grow jasmine as well, but they always look better in separate gardens,'' he said.

As the road is already relatively quiet and nothing like Soi Bangla at night, the imam's idea will probably be accepted. He has no objection to the local convenience stores.

Patong's tall new mosque, one of the most handsome of more than 50 on the island, has been under construction for five years and will cost 35 million baht to complete.

With the mosque comes a school where between 60 and 70 children will study religion every day.

About 10 percent of the cost has been donated by overseas Muslims.

An old mosque of much less significance was on the site. Its replacement with a landmark mosque is a sign of growing prosperity for Phuket's Muslim community.

''We expect the Muslim population to continue increasing, so we needed a good-sized mosque,'' the imam said.

Interior work has just begun, and the ceilings look splendid already. A friend of the imam from Narathiwat province is the designer.

Because of its beauty, the mosque is likely to become a spot where Muslims from other countries come to pray.

It's big enough to hold 500 people on a busy Friday.

And across the street a new halal centre is being readied for an opening, sometime before the end of May.

Charin Jampada, managing director of the Phuket Fine Food Co Ltd, believes the restaurant will be the island's first 100 percent halal outlet.

He expects it to attract plenty of customers, Muslim and non-Muslim, for the quality of its produce as well as its good taste.

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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so, how much parking will there be for 500 people ?

Posted by local non-muslim on May 9, 2009 14:45

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"With the mosque comes a school where between 60 and 70 children will study religion every day. "

I hope they will learn more then just religion!

Posted by VFaye on May 9, 2009 15:20

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Don't worry about parking, you will have to compete with 2000 tuk tuk's and motorcycles. Ha Ha Ha.

Posted by Local on May 10, 2009 13:13

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very glad that in my compound has a masjid and halal food center going to open soon al humdulilah..and this ramadan inshAllah i can go visit : )

Posted by maryam on March 17, 2010 03:48

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salam.....any halal food near bangla road?

Posted by bob on April 16, 2010 00:25

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Will visit Phuket soon after Ramadhan and hope to offer Juma prayers at this beautiful mosque. Info about Halal food outlet is great.

Posted by Amir on August 4, 2013 12:56

Editor Comment:

The mosque looks even better now that when we first visited four years ago. However, I believe we did spot a bar for surfers recently, not that far away.

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I will be visiting patong soon hope allah will be kind enough to give me an oppurtunity of praying in this great symbol of god's glory

Posted by saeed jumani on May 13, 2014 16:10


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