A new mosque being built in Canberra was funded by hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations from its members including gifts of gold jewellery, a ceremony has been told.
The event to mark the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community mosque's foundation stone's arrival from the UK, and installation in Narrabundah was held on Sunday before hundreds of people.
The community's national president, Inam-ul-Haq Kauser, promoted a message of peace and diversity, thanking the neighbours who had come to the ceremony.
"I assure you that we will be best friends. You'll be proud of us, and we will be proud of you," he said.
The mosque is expected to cost about $4 million to build. It is funded entirely by the community and will hold space for 300 worshippers.
The story is one of enormous personal sacrifice by hundreds of people of all ages.
The Baitul Hadi mosque - meaning "house of the guider" - fundraising effort has seen women donate their wedding jewellery and one young man sell his car to donate the proceeds.
A 17-year-old girl completing Year 12 has pledged $10,000 and already donated $2000.
The community - which preaches "Love for all - hatred for none" - has raised $800,000 so far and pledged another $1.3 million, the vast majority from the local Canberra community.
Four families have pledged $100,000 each, one family pledged $300,000.
Treasurer of the community's ACT branch Mohammad Hasan pledged several hundred thousand dollars over three years when his pharmacy business was going well.
But he described how the business later came on difficult times and they decided to sell their home to help meet the pledge.
He said his young children still tell him: "Yes, we did the right thing, we sacrificed in the name of Allah and we are confident that he will bless us".
The site is more than 4000 square metres and neighbours the Spanish-Australian Club, the Best Western hotel and the Narrabundah ball park.
The modern building will also have Islamic design elements including a dome and minaret.
It is expected to be completed next year.
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