Sonny Bill Williams, a New Zealand heavyweight boxer, and a former rugby player reportedly won a battle to build a mosque. The development of the mosque, The Hurstville Masjid, is a long wait by the Muslim community in Sydney’s south.
To build the mosque, Williams has set up a fund for donations. For now, people have donated up to 5 million.
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The mosque and a community hub will be built on Botany St in Carlton after a battle with locals who opposed the mosque’s development. The issue was brought to court.
The court rejected the initial plan for the mosque due to local residents opposed the construction of the mosque. The locals were concerned about the noise and traffic from the mosque that will disturb their privacy. The mosque will serve about 20,000 local Muslims.
The proposal began to get approval after Williams branded the opposition as ‘racist.’
Williams said, “‘God willing we’ll be praying 365 days, 5 times a day at our new Masjid very soon. May the Most High eradicate racism from our society.”
It has been a tough journey for him and other Muslim communities in the area to get the mosque standing. Nevertheless, he agreed that it was still a beautiful journey.
Willaims added, “As a proud Muslim in this area, this is something that I’ve been looking forward to for a very long time.”
Williams was a Christian before he converted to Islam in 2009. His wife, mother, and brother converted too.