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Should a Muslim architect masterplan Mecca?

Should a Muslim architect masterplan Mecca?

12 December 2008

Yes, says Mangera Yvars’ Ali Mangera, the practical requirement for entry to the city is being a Muslim; no, says RMJM Hillier’s Gordon Hood, it’s not an issue as design skill is a universal language

Ali Mangera

Principal, Mangera Yvars Architects

Mecca is a sacred city. Non-Muslims are forbidden from entering it, and those who live and work there are required to be Muslim.
On a practical level, then, the architects working on the Mecca masterplan will need to be Muslim. More relevant, however, is the fact that those working on the scheme will need to have a profound understanding of Islam and be acutely aware that Mecca is the focal point for 1.5 billion Muslims around the world. (...)

Gordon Hood

Director, RMJM Hillier Global Education Studio

Mecca is the centre of the Muslim world, and there can be sensitivities. I can understand that some people might think that it should be a Muslim looking at redesigning Mecca.
Presumably if there is a shortlist of architects, there will be a whole series of approaches from different people and walks of life. Some of them may be Muslim. I’m for an inclusive approach.(...)
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