Mosque opens to 400 for Eid but Mayor livid

MORE than 40 volunteers were on hand to check temperatures and ensure worshippers wore masks and observed social distancing at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque on Friday for special Eid prayers.

After receiving an exemption from NSW Health to allow 400 people at the morning prayer session, Mosque president Dr Abudrrahman Asaroglu told the Review that their main priority was to provide the congregation with a safe environment.
“I am happy to say we were able to conduct our prayers without any issues,” he said.
“We asked for the exemption because we had concerns about the spiritual well-being of local Muslims. Taking part in these congregational prayer services are at the core of our Islamic identities.”
However Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou said he was “absolutely livid” that the State Government did not inform the council about the exemption, describing it as “inexcusable” and emphasising that the decision “was not ours”.