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 STORY SO FAR
- Mosque arson attacks 'will not divide Toowoomba'
- Police minister outraged over mosque arson attack
- CCTV focus of Toowoomba mosque attack investigation
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.
There will also be a guided tour to the Garden City Mosque.
Speakers include Queensland Police Commissioner Mr Ian Stewart, Imam Akram Buksh, Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane, USQ Vice-Chancellor Professor Jan Thomas, and Rev Dr Jonathan Inkpin of the Goodwill Committee.
Activities will include a jumping castle for children, decoration for women, an information service, a visit to the mosque and attractive food from different parts of the world.
The arson attacks on the mosque remain unsolved despite a long investigation.
Anyone with information about the two attacks, which took place on January 23 and April 17 last year, are urged to call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.
A $25,000 reward is available for information.
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