Photos | Sunday afternoon barbecue at the Penshurst Mosque

The monthly Sunday barbecue at the Penshurst Mosque is a time when the local Bosnian Muslim community gets together to celebrate their culture through friendship and food.

Their latest barbecue took on an added significance, with the mosque's congregation thanking the community for their support following the terror in Christchurch last month where a gunman killed 50 people in two mosques during Friday prayers.

Imam Ensar Cutahija said mosque received many messages of support including flowers and cards and messages on Facebook.

There were even several donations from the public towards the mosque's fund to build an extension and minaret.

The monthly barbecues were started when the mosque wanted to invite the community in to talk about its plans to expand.

Congregation member, Enes Topalovic who is president of the Australian Islamic Society of Bosnia Herzegovina said they had introduced an annual open mosque day, inviting all Australians to ''experience the cultural atmosphere of Penshurst mosque and to meet the members of our congregation''.

''We believe this day helps the community better understand the Bosnian Muslim culture,'' he said.

The mosque also holds its community barbecue on the last Sunday of the month.

Enes describes it as a benefit picnic for the community.

"It is so people can benefit by getting together and getting to know each other more," he said.

Friendship and food are plentiful.

The menu includes Bosnian Cevapi, a combination of minced lamb and beef with special spices. There is also two roast lambs on a spit and traditional Bosnian cakes and desserts.

The members of the Bosnian Women's Association each makes a cake or dessert for the day and all the money raised goes to needy people, Muslim and non-Muslim.

"This keeps the community together and that's another benefit," Enes said.

"At the end of the day we make God happy for getting together in God's house," he said.

"At all times we would be happy to welcome our neighbours.

"It is a benefit to us and to the people who come to visit us.

"After people talk to a Musilm they have a better understanding and they express their wish to come back and spend some time with us.

"They realise we have the same life battles as everyone else.

"The Australian Islamic Society of Bosnia Herzegovina committee would like to thank all our neighbours for expressing their sorrow and support after the terror in New Zealand.

"We want to thank them for their cards and flowers and their words of comfort.

"Penshurst Mosque would like to invite all our neighbours to our monthly community benefit picnic which is held the last Sunday every month."

The Penshurst Mosque is at 445 Forest Road, Penshurst

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