Christian leaders oppose Kalgoorlie mosque

Eric Wright

Opposition to a proposed mosque in central Kalgoorlie has been described as "illogical, crazy and ridiculous".

The Kalgoorlie Islamic Community Centre lodged an application with the City of Kalgoorlie-Boulder on June 3, seeking planning approval to build a place of public worship at 12 Park Street.

The proposed location is within walking distance of a cluster of churches, including the Goldfields Alliance Church, St Mary's Catholic Church, Goldfields Family Church and the Church of Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

GAC pastor Joel Tardo, whose church is about 20m from the mosque's proposed location, is spearheading a campaign to thwart the build.

Mr Tardo said noise from call to prayer was the determining factor in his opposition.

"There is the noise, because I came from the southern part of the Philippines where my neighbours are Muslims and I know what they do five times a day," he said.

"If they will have the mosque next to our church it will (not) only affect our church … a few kilometres away from the mosque they will hear it.

"They have their own meetings and gatherings, they will implement their laws … and really raise their influence in the city."

KICC co-founder Eric Wright, who said plans for a mosque were instigated three years ago, said Islam was ingrained in the region's history.

"We're a part of this community already; we've been a part of this community since the founding of Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie-Boulder."

Ninga Mia Fellowship minister Geoffrey Stokes also opposed the mosque's construction.

He reasoned Australia was a Christian country and listed "issues of the world" and "radical Muslims" as impetus for his views.

Mr Wright dismissed the claims and called for solidarity despite the "illogical, crazy and ridiculous" opposition.

"I'd like to show Kalgoorlie what Islam is all about - we're just normal people," he said.

"I'd like to show them the beauty of Islam, not what they see on TV and not how we're being portrayed. This place they call the city of churches, we just want to be among these churches ... we are brothers and sisters - all of us."

The City has given those affected by the proposal until June 30 to submit their views in writing.

The City advised submissions must be made on valid planning grounds.

Church leaders near the proposed mosque were contacted for comment but could not be reached.

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