The Victorian government, under the leadership of Premier Daniel Andrews, has donated $400,000 of taxpayer money towards the construction of Bendigo’s first mosque.
Construction for the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre began this week with the first sod turning and a photo-op with Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews, Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan, Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards, Greater Bendigo mayor Margaret O’Rourke and Bendigo Muslim community leaders.
According to the Bendigo Advertiser, the mosque will include a two-story, multi-purpose building for activities, meetings, and educational events. The building will also feature a prayer hall, capable of housing 375 worshipers.
“Car parking, traffic works, a central courtyard, a library, funeral and classroom facilities, a sports hall, cafe, minaret and caretakers residence are also planned,” according to reports.
Dr Aisha Neelam, spokesperson for the Bendigo Islamic Community Centre said: “Premier Daniel Andrews has been a supporter of this project since the very beginning, and he understands perfectly the benefits that diversity and multiculturalism bring to Bendigo and Victoria.”
Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said the construction of the mosque will “further enhance the city we all know and love.”
“Do state governments normally give $400,000 to help build houses of worship?” James Morrow, opinion editor at the Daily Telegraph tweeted.
“There’s only 466 Muslims in Bendigo,” Avi Yemini of TR News said. “That’s almost $1,000 per head. Cost of appeasement.”
Earlier this month, the Bendigo Advertiser reported that the Bendigo Bank Fun Run, a community event which has been held for the past 12 years, will be cancelled due to terrorism concerns.
Bendigo Health fundraising advisory board chair Scott Elkington said a course of its size, which used public roads, was difficult and costly to secure. The cost of implementing new anti-terror measures meant the event was not feasible as a fundraiser, Elkington said.
So, the Victorian government don’t have the funds or resources to ensure innocent civilians at a fun run aren’t maimed and murdered by Islamic terrorists, but somehow have hundreds of thousands of dollars to throw at the construction of a new mega-mosque?