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Security increase at city mosque as rebuild starts

How the Garden City Mosque will look upon completion of the expansion. Photo Contributed
How the Garden City Mosque will look upon completion of the expansion. Photo Contributed Contributed

THE IMAM of Toowoomba's only mosque fears the building could be targeted again by arsonists.

Garden City Mosque Imam Abdul Kader said precautions were being taken to protect the building, which was left unusable after two arson attacks last year.

It comes as Toowoomba Police step up security around the mosque, with rebuilding works to start soon.

Sergeant Tony Rehn, who has been liaising with the city's Islamic community since the attacks, said police would work with the mosque's committee to maintain a high standard of security during the upcoming renovations.

He said with work to start soon, improvements to the security systems were planned.

Sergeant Scott McGrath of the Darling Downs Crime Prevention unit has consulted with committee members on the existing systems and how best to implement change during and after the renovations.

Sgt Rehn said the was ongoing work showed the high levels of cooperation and trust between all parties.

Imam Kader said while precautions were being taken, he was somewhat optimistic no further attacks would occur.

He declined to specifically outline which security measures had been taken, warning that could comprise the actions.

Imam Kader, who is attending the Australian National Imams Council annual general assembly in Melbourne on Sunday, said the mosque was now "part of the Toowoomba community".

"The mosque has been well received from neighbours.

"We haven't had any complaints in the last, almost three years, it's become part of the city."

A recent approval by Toowoomba Regional Council had restricted the number of attendees to 50 people apart from Fridays when 150 are allowed, and Imam Kader said a campaign to change the conditions would continue.

He warned the University of Southern Queensland could see a drop in numbers of international students if the conditions were not changed.

Topics:  garden city mosque mosque toowoomba



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