Toowoomba’s Mosque was badly burned last year by arsonists. Plans are afoot to rebuild the mosque and make it larger so it may accommodate more worshippers. These plans are welcomed by the community in Toowoomba.
AN ARSON attack reduced the Garden City Mosque to rubble in April last year and the building has been derelict ever since.
But if the arsonist hoped to close the mosque they have clearly failed.
Plans for the new Garden City Mosque have been released and it will be bigger and better to meet the growing needs of worshippers.
Although not the official plans and still subject to review, they show a two-storey building with a mezzanine level at one end.
The old mosque, which had been a church, didn’t have the facilities of a modern mosque but the new building will address that problem.
It will cost about $700,000 to build, with the less than half of that to come from insurance and the rest paid by fundraising.
Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world and city leaders hope the new building will accommodate new settlers and converts to the region.
Previously it could house about 200 of the faithful but it is hoped the new mosque will accommodate up to 300.
Founding President of Toowoomba Islamic Society Professor Shahjahan Khan said plans had changed slightly after community feedback.
After being the victims of two arson attacks in one year, the Muslims are determined to ensure the mosque is in harmony with the overall look of the neighbourhood in Harristown.
“Since we have the land to expand and can include all essential facilities like toilets, an ablution area, and a proper space for women, the committee has decided to make provisions for those,” Mr Khan said.
“This expansion will meet the need for the growing community for many years to come. This is purely based on the need.”
The burned building has been cleaned and washed professionally to prepare the site for reconstruction.
Mr Khan said the mosque has acted as a central point for members of the community to enquire and learn about Islam.
Local schools and community organisations have already requested speakers from the mosque to discuss and learn about the religion.
The Toowoomba mosque has also organised an annual international food festival and mosque open days, with the third to be held on Sunday, April 10 from 11am-4pm at the Clive Berghofer Recreation Centre at the University of Southern Queensland.
Toowoomba Chronicle Editorial:
EDITORIAL: It is heartening to see plans for a new mosque in the city.
If nothing else it will show that we will not let arsonists and racists affect they way people live in our city.
The resilience of the city’s Muslims is to be admired.
It would have been easy to leave the burned wreck of the mosque as it was.
Instead they have put up a design and a plan for a bigger mosque.
The old mosque did not have the facilities of a modern mosque.
However the new building will address that problem.
The new mosque will cost about $700,000 to build, with the less than half of that to come from insurance.
The rest of the finance will come from fundraising.
It is hoped the new building will accommodate new settlers and converts in the region.
Previously the mosque could house about 200 of the faithful but it is hoped the new mosque will house up to 300.
The Muslims are determined to keep the mosque building in harmony with the overall look of the neighbourhood.