Fredericton man fundraising to help build new mosque
Ben Conoley’s five-year-old daughter has been asking a lot of questions about what’s going on in the world.
“You know, what people talk about at school, what she hears on the news in the morning, like is Donald Trump a bad guy?” says Conoley, a Fredericton-based lawyer and marketing professional.
Conoley wanted to show his children that it’s not only good to say you support someone, acting on that support is even better. That’s exactly what Conoley did, prompted by Sunday's fatal shooting at a mosque in Quebec City, which left six people dead.
“It was an opportunity that just kind of came about and I just want to show that it can be easy to make a difference,” says Conoley.
He learned that the Islamic community in Fredericton was in desperate need of a new mosque. The city’s lone mosque is far too small, especially since the number who worship there has doubled over the past year. There is also a lack of parking and safety concerns about the proximity of the mosque to passing traffic.
The Islamic community has been trying to find a new location to build a new home. After hearing that, Conoley set up a GoFundMe page to help fundraise. In just one day, the page has raised nearly $10,000 of its $15,000 goal.
“We’re in there in the hearts of some people, that’s all we need to know,” says Abdelhaq Hamza of the Fredericton Islamic Association.
Hamza says he can’t believe the support his community has received. He says the past couple of days have been difficult, but also uplifting.
“If people care, sooner or later they show it in just one gesture,” says Hamza.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Brown.