Melbourne: Islamophobia has now engulfed the Australians as the Muslim community is facing severe opposition in a plan to build a mosque near a church in Australia’s most populous city of Melbourne. The peaceful initiative by the Muslims is being seen as a threat by Islamophobes and has invoked new campaigns against Islam and Muslims in the country.
“At the core of [Islamic] doctrine is a political ideology that seeks to control every follower’s life and eventually the surrounding community and beyond,” Councilor Rosalie Crestani said.
Muslims have applied to build a mosque and a community center in Green Street, Doveton, in Melbourne.
The Muslim worship place will be constructed next to the church and headquarters of Catch the Fire Ministries, which is expected to be built within weeks.
But Islamophobes are making lame excuses and argue that the mosque would cause noise pollution and traffic jams and would be used to preach hatred even though Islam originally preaches love and peace.
“This is not Afghanistan, have some guts for a change!” a demonstrator yelled at councilors of the City of Casey chambers during their meeting.
Another carried a sign that read, “We love the Muslims but do not accept the teachings of the Quran.”
Islamophobes have presented three petitions against the building of the Muslim worship place.
Councilor Crestani read an email at the meeting from a resident saying, “every mosque involves more than religion.”
“It is their center for training its people for the time when critical mass is achieved and the time to make huge demands on the host nation,” it added.
Deputy Mayor Sam Aziz said, “The matters raised in the petitions be considered by the council’s planning department during their deliberation on the application.”
But the Australian Muslims have dismissed the accusations, saying that the mosque will be open to the public.
“The proposed mosque is open to all members of the public and aims to promote a socially cohesive community in a region which is incredibly diverse and multiculturally vibrant,” Nazeem Hussain, a director of the Islamic Council of Victoria said.
He voiced confidence that the local council would assess the application according to valid planning considerations.
The planning proposal is expected to come before the council in February 2013.
The building of mosques has been facing growing public opposition in several Western countries.
In the United States, at least 35 mosque projects have found foes who are battling to stop the worship places for Muslims citing different lame excuses.
Building mosque is also meeting opposition in several European countries as France, Italy and Spain.
In Switzerland, Swiss voters supported a referendum to ban the building of mosque minarets in the country.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20 million population. Islam is the country’s second largest religion after Christianity.
In post 9/11 Australia, Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.
A recent governmental report revealed that Australian Muslims are facing deep-rooted Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.