Plan for Is­lamic school

Fundrais­ing to en­able mosque ex­pan­sion

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - AN­DREW BACKHOUSE an­drew.back­house1@news.com.au

THE Townsville Is­lamic So­ci­ety is plan­ning to dou­ble the size of its mosque with am­bi­tious plans an­nounced to pur­chase neigh­bour­ing land.

The project in­volves build­ing a house for the mosque’s imam and the es­tab­lish­ment of an Is­lamic school.

The so­ci­ety is ask­ing for $ 450,000 in do­na­tions from the public to fund the project and launched a GoFundMe page in Au­gust which out­lines the plans.

The ap­peal stated its com­mu­nity in Townsville had ex­pe­ri­enced sub­stan­tial growth in re­cent years with an in­flux of refugees as well as Mus­lims from var­i­ous pro­fes­sions mov­ing to Townsville.

The mosque is lo­cated at 183 Ross River Rd, Mund­ing­burra, and the so­ci­ety aims to pur­chase the neigh­bour­ing prop­erty at 185 Ross River Rd.

“At­tempts have been made over the past cou­ple of years to de­velop the cur­rent premises to cater for the grow­ing num­bers fre­quent­ing the Townsville Mosque,” the ap­peal stated. “The small ex­ten­sions to the side and front to add ex­tra space, ex­tra toi­lets and ablu­tion fa­cil­i­ties were added in 2015.

“But while th­ese ex­ten­sions have been just ad­e­quate, we are still fac­ing some is­sues.”

The so­ci­ety noted ca­pac­ity con­straints and an in­abil­ity to pro­vide wor­ship­pers with ba­sic com­forts were most ev­i­dent dur­ing large re­li­gious congregational gath­er­ings through­out the year but most no­tably dur­ing Jumu’ah ( Fri­day) and Eid ( spe­cial feast) prayers.

De­mand for space has also been fu­elled by the growth in ac­tiv­i­ties the so­ci­ety of­fers.

“An ex­am­ple of this is dur­ing week­end classes for chil­dren,” the ap­peal stated.

“Th­ese classes have at­tracted the at­ten­tion of Mus­lim par­ents who in turn pro­moted the mosque to oth­ers, re­sult­ing in an in­creas­ing de­mand for places within the … school.

“Fur­ther in­creases are ex­pected as a con­se­quence of the suc­cess of the cen­tre and the grow­ing de­mo­graph­ics of the Mus­lim pop­u­la­tion in and around the Townsville re­gion and be­yond.”

The so­ci­ety plans to ex­pand the mosque’s main build­ing to cater for more wor­ship­pers.

“We would also like to house a per­ma­nent Imam in the near fu­ture, as well as es­tab­lish an Is­lamic school with ad­e­quate space and proper fa­cil­i­ties,” the ap­peal stated.

The so­ci­ety plans to raise $ 450,000 in the next three months and has so far col­lected $ 1890.

The Bul­letin con­tacted three peo­ple listed on the ap­peal but they all de­clined to com­ment.

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