SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Mosque in the Valley Foundation director Maria Marasigan said negative and retaliatory comments directed toward the current owner of the property they had intended to purchase had made her question the approach to the project, and cease preliminary planning discussions with the City of Swan.
The Islamic Shi’a Community of WA’s concept plan was for a mosque with multi-purpose uses plus a number of chalets, education facilities and a cultural centre that Ms Marasigan hoped would help explain Islam to the wider community.
Details of the plan, including an explanation of the foundation’s vision and a fundraising drive, remain available online.
Swan Valley Regional Network co-ordinator Sue Hurt said the community’s primary concern was that the proposed mosque and cultural centre did not fit with legislation of the Swan Valley.
“It’s not about the culture, nor about the religion. It’s about another building not meeting the criteria of the Swan Valley Planning Act,” she said.
“This type of building simply does not fit in with the planning objectives of Area B on the Swan Valley Planning Act.”
Ms Marasigan, who moved to Perth from Sydney nine months ago, said she was unaware the proposed site was in a legislated region.
“My husband and I went for a drive down Benara Road and saw the Swan Valley and thought it would be the perfect place to create this facility,” she said.
“I’m disappointed. The property owner had a series of threats in the last week so we are no longer going ahead with the proposal.
“The concept of the facility was to address any misconceptions that people had toward the Islamic community through a cultural centre.” — www.shafaqna.com