What is significant?
The site at 88 Cramer Street, Preston has been used as a mosque since the Islamic Society of Victoria was founded by Sheikh Femhi El-Imam in 1957. The modern Omar Bin El Khattab mosque was built by the congregation in 1976, and continues the use of the site as a place of worship by the Muslim community of Melbourne's northern suburbs.
The following elements contribute to the significance of the place:
- the use of the place by the congregation for religious purposes and as a community focal point and gathering place
- the physical fabric of the Omar El Khattab mosque has not been identified in this study as significant.
Further study may identify significance for the community, for aesthetic or social reasons.
How is it significant?
The Omar Bin El Khattab mosque at 88 Cramer Street, Preston is of local historic and potential social significance to the City of Darebin.
Why is it significant?
Historically, the Omar Bin El Khattab mosque is significant for its association with the Australian government's massive post-war immigration program, which underpinned the growth of Darebin as a suburb of rich cultural diversity. Historically, it is significant as one of a group of places that evidence the rich ethnic diversity of Darebin's religious character and communities, to which the Australian government's post Second World War immigration program contributed in a large part. It is also historically important as Victoria's first purpose-built mosque, and for its associations with Sheikh Femhi El-Imam, who founded the Islamic Society of Victoria in 1957. It is historically important as an example of the work of the prominent architectural practice Bates, Smart & McCutcheon. (AHC criteria A.4, D.2, H.1)
The Omar Bin El Khattab mosque is considered to have potential social significance to the local Muslim community who worship there for reasons of spiritual, cultural and social associations, as a place of worship and as a focal point and meeting place. (AHC criterion G.1)