Murdoch University has launched a major fundraising campaign to build a Muslim Cultural Centre on its South Street Campus.
The centre will provide the University’s growing population of Muslim students and staff with worship facilities as well as space for social gatherings and cultural exchange.
The entire cost of the project – estimated at $6 million – will be covered by donations.
Project leader Professor David Macey said the idea for the centre came from the Murdoch University Muslim Students’ Association (MUMSA).
“The University opened a multi-faith Worship Centre in 1996 which has served the needs of all faith groups well,” he said.
“However, the number of Muslim students on campus has increased significantly since the Worship Centre was built. It’s estimated we have around 400 Muslim students and staff members currently and that number is expected to continue to rise in the future.
“MUMSA has been in discussion with the University for some time about how we can cater for that growing population and we are delighted that this project has now been launched.”
MUMSA has now signed an official agreement with the University to progress the project and fundraising is underway.
The timescale for the project is dependent on the success of the fundraising campaign, but it is hoped that construction could start as early as 2013.
Sa’ad Moied, President of MUMSA, said: “We are very excited about this project and are pleased to be working with the University on the fundraising appeal.
“The centre will provide somewhere for prayer, which is an important part of Muslim life, and also be a focus for communal activities such as the breaking of the fast during Ramadan.”
Mais Zaher, Vice-President of MUMSA, added: “MUMSA is dedicated to promoting a better and more accurate understanding of Islam as a way of life. We aim to maximise social interaction, unification and understanding between Muslim and non-Muslim members of the Murdoch community and this centre will help us do that by providing space for learning and discussion.”
The new centre, which will include separate prayer areas for men and women, appropriate ablution facilities as well as communal space, will be located beside the existing Worship Centre. The two buildings are likely to be linked by a courtyard open to members of all faiths.
Murdoch University’s Muslim population is boosted by international students from around the world, including Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kenya, Libya, Lebanon, Kuwait, Malaysia, Maldives, Myanmar, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Singapore, Spain, South Africa, Tanzania, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom.
To donate to the appeal contact Peter Elliott on 08 9360 6749.