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Ontario Mosque Welcomes Hundreds to Annual Barbecue

A local mosque in Ontario held its annual barbeque on Saturday, inviting members of the community of different faiths to enjoy a day in the air and a free lunch.

“We are open to anybody. We have just finished construction in the mosque where we will have a large information center where anyone can walk in if they have questions about us,” Yusuf Haroon, president of the Barrie Mosque, told Barrie Today.

The mosque, which first opened in 2004 in Ferris Lane, expanded recently to serve about 500 local families. In Saturday’s event, the mosque offered a free lunch as vendors sold their traditional wares.

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A local firetruck was also present at the event as firefighters showed the children around the equipment.

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“We invited Barrie’s fire department, the police, and the mayor, who will be coming down here to visit. The fire department and the police have been a very supportive team for us all these years,” added Haroon.

Dominos Pizza also provided free pizza at no cost to attendants.

“They won’t take a single penny and said they would supply as much as we wanted,” said Haroon. “That means a lot to us.”

Muslims are the fastest-growing religious community in Canada, according to the country’s statistical agency, Statistics Canada.

Canada’s Muslim population increased by 82 percent over the past decade – from about 579,000 in 2001 to more than 1 million in 2011.

Muslims represent 3.2 percent of Canada’s total population.