Muslims face huge cost to rebuild Garden City mosque

Mosque president Professor Shahjahan Khan says the unity, solidary and brotherhood of the community is no less important than financial support.
Mosque president Professor Shahjahan Khan says the unity, solidary and brotherhood of the community is no less important than financial support. Kevin Farmer

WORSHIPERS at the Garden City Mosque are facing a massive bill to rebuild after their mosque was burnt down by an arsonist earlier this year.

Mosque president Professor Shahjahan Khan said advice from builders and architects suggested they would need to raise $700,000 to demolish and rebuild the mosque.

"We appeal for donations as we need money to rebuild but the unity, solidary and brotherhood of the community is no less important than financial support," he said.

Professor Khan said it was important to correct the negative image about Toowoomba that had been spread following the second arson attack on the building this year.

Inside the Garden City Mosque after last week's arson attack.
Inside the Garden City Mosque after last week's arson attack. Darren England

"The fact that the community is behind this project and the reestablishment of the mosque will be a testament to that," he said.

Mr Khan said the two arson attacks on the mosque were likely committed by the same person.

"The person needs to be caught and if he continues to be on the loose we cannot rule out future attacks on the mosque," he said. "It's important that this person is held to account by the legal system."

Following the attack the mosque has received visits and messages of solidarity from numerous community groups and individuals from Toowoomba and beyond and Mr Khan thanked those people.

THE STORY SO FAR

Currently worshippers are using an adjacent meeting room as a temporary facility for prayers. But they need a purpose-built facility which can satisfy the worshipping requirements of both men and women.

They require proper washing and ablution facilities under the same roof.

The overall cost will be more than $700,000 but claims from insurance companies will partly offset that.

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Police are still investigating the two arson attacks and as yet no one has been charged.

Residents can donate at the Commonwealth Bank, account name Toowoomba Islamic Charitable Org. account number 10341586 BSB 064459.


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