Church turned into mosque after Islamic Society purchases property, neighbours welcome the move: 'It's a step in the right direction'
A church situated in a suburban street in Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia, has reportedly been transformed into a mosque. Previously a place of worship for the Metro Church, the property along the Gold Coast's Ridgeway Avenue was sold for AUD 3.4 million in April this year, the Daily Mail reported. That said, nearby residents have welcomed the new management, with many saying it is a "step in the right direction" for the seaside community.
In a conversation with the Gold Coast Bulletin, Gold Coast Islamic Society president Hussin Goss said they moved in earlier this month. According to him, it would be of a far smaller scale as compared to the Arundel mosque. "It will be a small backyard-type thing," he said. Meanwhile, the Metro Church has secured a larger site in Robina, where it relocated earlier this month.
This comes almost five years after proposed plans for a mosque at the Currumbin Waters industrial estate sparked a nationwide controversy. There were increasing objections related to "social upheaval" that would be created by having a mosque built next to a school. Furthermore, there were also some objections against the Muslim faith. The controversy gave way to a fervent rally at Evandale before the council approved plans for the mosque in September 2014. Nonetheless, the massive outrage caused the decision to be overturned just a week later.