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In Grand Opening, Victoria’s Biggest Mosque Welcomes Everyone

Fulfilling a decade-old community dream, Melbourne’s newest and biggest mosque has opened its doors to the public after countless hours of planning, fundraising, and building.

The Melbourne Grand Mosque in Tarneit will seve the fast-growing Muslim community in the west.

“Everyone is hugging and they’re expressing their pleasure,” Rifai Raheem, the president of the Werribee Islamic Centre, told ABC.

“This was a project that started in 2008 … In all the achievements in my life, this is the best achievement I had.”

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The $8.5 million mosque was entirely funded by community donations. There are plans for a hall and sporting center as well.

As hundreds of people flocked to the mosque on Sunday in the first public open day, the Muslim community leaders confirmed that the doors of the mosque will remain open to people from all walks of life and faiths.

“We’re going to have wellbeing events, we’re going to have counselling, we’re going to have education, we’re going to have activities and play areas for youngsters and kids,” Sheikh Saeed Warsama Bulhan said.

“It’s not just a mosque for Muslims. It’s not just a mosque for elders. It’s not just a mosque for one cohort of the community. This is a mosque for everyone.”

Muslims made up 2.6% of the population of 26 million, according to the last census in 2016. This was up from 2.2% in the 2011 census.

According to the 2016 census, 42% of Muslims live in Greater Sydney, 31% in Greater Melbourne, and 8% in Greater Perth.