A Halifax architecture firm has put a lien on the city’s new mosque. Kassner/Goodspeed Architects Ltd. has launched a lawsuit against the Maritime Muslim Academy over an unpaid $36,194 bill for its work on the Ummah Mosque and Community Centre. The architecture firm registered a lien against lands at 2510 St. Matthias St. and 6225 Chebucto Rd. The last work the architecture firm did on the project was on April 1, according to the statement of claim made public Wednesday in Nova Scotia Supreme Court. “Any applicable period of credit for payment has expired,” said the lawsuit. Kassner/Goodspeed is looking for the Maritime Muslim Academy to make good on the unpaid bill, plus the cost of the legal action. “In the event of a default of payment,” the architecture firm wants a judge to order the property sold to cover the academy’s bill, according to the lawsuit.Andrew Wolfson, a Dartmouth lawyer who represents the architecture firm, admitted it was odd to place a lien on a mosque. “Yeah, it’s different,” Wolfson said. “I’ve never had to do that before.” Dan Goodspeed, who designed the project, refused to comment Wednesday. Hadi Salah, principal of the Maritime Muslim Academy, said Wednesday he couldn’t speak about the matter. “I really don’t have the time now,” Salah said. Last year, he told The Chronicle Herald that the $6-million project would be completed without borrowing a penny. Salah said in an April 2010 interview that the mosque was being constructed without the traditional sort of North American mortgage obtained by most businesses, institutions and individuals undertaking big construction jobs. “In Islamic tradition, it is prohibited to deal with interest,” Salah said at the time. “This project is built mostly by fundraising and the community has been quite generous.” But Imam Jamal Badawi, professor emeritus of religious studies at Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, said Wednesday that the unpaid architect’s bill has nothing to do with that tradition. “It’s something much more complex than that,” said Badawi, who refused to elaborate. “It has nothing to do with the question of interest. It is a matter before the court of law and it would not be appropriate ethically or legally to make any comment at this point.”The mosque is slated to take up about one-third of the 25,000-square-foot complex, which includes a gymnasium, library and cafeteria. The province contributed $767,000 toward the construction cost of the gym. Donations for the construction project are still being solicited on the mosque’s website. “The envelope is completed and we are getting closer to the final stage,” according to www.ummahmasjid.ca. “To date, approximately 70 per cent of the needed work toward the project completion has been done.” An overview updated this month indicates that $5,263,640 in donations have been promised for the project, with $4,238,858 collected.
Dr. Badawi is a leader in many of the most important organizations of the global Muslim Brotherhood including the Islamic Society of North America, the Council on American Islamic Relations (Canada), the Fiqh Council of North America, the Muslim American Society, and the European Council for Fatwa and Research. He recently retired from an academic position at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and continues to be one of the most widely traveled North American Muslim Brotherhood leaders. An earlier post discussed his role in the top leadership structures of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood.