Visitors to the Gungahlin Mosque on Saturday were greeted with a warm communal embrace, plenty of food and an eagerness to share what had been built so far and what was still to come.
The fledgling and vibrant community still has buildings under construction, but opened the doors to the prayer hall as part of the fifth annual National Mosque Open Day.
Abdul Bari, the president of the Canberra Muslim Community, said it was important to share the space and let curious people see what happened inside.
"It's a wonderful feeling to see so many people coming, so many people coming from different backgrounds, different ethnicities, different parts of the world, different understandings, and interacting with each other," he said. "It's a wonderful feeling, it really makes me feel that Canberra is a great city to live in and Australia is a true multicultural society, and everybody has a place here and contributes."
Each night, the mosque welcomes a diverse group of people to the evening prayer from the large Muslim population in Canberra's north.
Mr Bari said the mosque was overflowing a fortnight after it first opened and its community hoped to expand in the future. Classrooms were currently under construction.
"I see this community is growing by the day. We have over 7000 Muslims living in the Gungahlin area alone, out of the total recorded 10,000 Muslims [in Canberra], so as you can see 70 per cent of our population live in this area.
"And as you can see we only have one mosque here, so our space is very limited," he said.
Visitors to the mosque also had the opportunity to hear talks on the basic tenets of the Islamic faith, ask "difficult" questions and explore the building with attentive guides.
Mr Bari said the mosque, which is called a masjid in Arabic, was the essential institution in the life of a Muslim, who prays five times a day from before dawn to after sunset.
"It's the school, it's the preschool, it is a primary school, it is a high school, it is a college, it is a university, it is a post-doctoral institution, if you like. It is everything," Mr Bari said.
"It is the complete way of life that answers all the questions to lead their life as a Muslim, and for that matter, the whole humanity, if you like.
"Anybody is welcome. If you want to see what we do, you're welcome to come and sit. If you want to join our activities, you are most welcome to see.
"If you have any questions, we're most happy to answer these questions.
"Nothing to be fearful of here, there's nothing to be afraid of."
Mr Bari said the biggest challenge facing Canberra's Muslim community was poor and sensationalised portrayals in the media.
He said journalists had an important role to play in reshaping the broader community's attitudes.
"The narrative must change. The current narrative, [one] will witness some of the things are deliberately said are simply not true.
"You need to be articulate, you need to be factual, you need to be honest and you need to be truthful. I call upon all the media outlets and the respected journalists to actually research the issues that are going on and be truthful," he said.