Islamic Society plans for an Islamic centre in Gladstone

THE Islamic Society of Gladstone plans to build a new 'Islamic Centre' in Gladstone --- to provide a central meeting point for more than 150 Muslim people in the region, according to one member of the group.

Syed Quadri, who is a member of the city's local Islamic Society, said the proposed centre would act as a conduit for breaking down the perceived cultural barriers between Muslims and the wider community.

Despite the recent backlash over mosque openings in Australia, Mr Quadri says he is optimistic about the support from the community because the new Islamic Centre in Gladstone will not resemble a mosque, he said.

"We want to gel with the public so we don't want to limit ourselves by building a mosque," he said.

As well as regular Muslim prayer services the centre will offer community programs to facilitate a smoother transition for new arrivals.

With a growing Muslim population The Islamic Society of Gladstone want to establish the Islamic Centre in the near future; they say that will enable a permanent and lasting presence in the region.

"The Muslim population has probably tripled since I came to Gladstone so with the new centre we hope to reach out to more Muslims in the area," he said.

"This is a win-win situation for everyone because we will have a place to interact and gather. We will know who is who and who is new."

The society is still looking for a property they can convert into the centre.

"It all depends on the council but we're pretty confident," Mr Quadri said.

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