CAIRO - Threats to attack a mosque in the south-east Australian state of Victoria with anti-tank artillery are panicking the sizable Muslim community as the latest sign of Islamophobia in the country.
Based on the situations in the past, it is a little bit scary to see someone that had military training say something like that, Azhar Omarjee, chair of the B.C. Association of Muslims' Victoria Branch, said, CTV News reported.
A commissionaire for the Victoria Coast Guard has threatened to blow up a new mosque in Victoria.
I Love Downtown Victoria, the commissionaire, identified as Dan Speed, wrote on Facebook.
That's not goodâ¦ Blast it with an 84 mm Carl Gustaf, he said, referring to an anti-tank artillery capable of firing explosives.
He said the new mosque, set to open in November, will cause noise pollution for the neighborhood.
Five times a day, I believe, Speed, who identified himself as a former military, said, referring to the daily Muslim prayers. He ended his post with A call to Allah (sic).
Police have launched an investigation into the anti-mosque threats.
Anytime these comments surface it's seen as a surprise for us, said Const. Mike Russell.
That's why we're launching this investigation; to make sure that everybody's going to be safe.
The threats follow a series of attacks on mosques in the United States.
I'm sure if he got to know us I don't think there should be any problems, said Omarjee.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.
A 2007 poll taken by the Issues Deliberation Australia (IDA) think-tank found that Australians basically see Islam as a threat to the Australian way of life.A recent governmental report revealed that Muslims are facing deep-seated Islamophobia and race-based treatment like never before.