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First woman-only mosque planned in Hong Kong

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Hong Kong (dpa) - Hong Kong could have its first woman-only mosque by next year, believed to be Asia's only female orientated mosque outside of China, a media report said Tuesday.

The mosque would cost an estimated 500,000 Hong Kong dollars (64,000 US dollars) and would be targeted at Indonesian maids working in Hong Kong, the South China Morning Post reported.

"Women do not have enough places for Muslim prayer in Hong Kong," Wanodya Indonesian Club chairwoman Titien Suprupti told the paper. "Some are praying in gardens and open spaces, and we feel this is not suitable. It is crowded and noisy and uncomfortable."

Indonesian maids believed the city's four existing mosques did not meet their needs, while mosques tend to be dominated by men even though women and men pray separately.

The Wanodya club and other groups plan to set up the mosque some time next year and pay for a religious leader to come from Indonesia.

Fatayat Nahdlatul Ulama, an Indonesian organization that aims to promote a more female-centred interpretation of Islam, is assisting in the plan.

Copyright 2006 dpa Deutsche Presse-Agentur GmbH

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