Gold Coast Mayor calls Christians opposing a proposed Islamic Indoctrination Centre at Carrara 'bigots'

Geoff Chambers/Gold H/T Zip

MAYOR Ron Clarke has refused to back down over comments that Christians opposing a proposed Islamic school at Carrara are ‘bigots’ who have embarrassed the city.

In a Weekend Bulletin exclusive, the founding pastor of the nearby Dream Centre church, Rodney Gilchrist, has described a meeting with Cr Clarke, at which he was told that the school would proceed ‘no matter what’.

* That’s the spirit: a mayor who rides roughshod over his constituents in order to make Australia Islamic. Very democratic, or is he?

* Related link: Protesters rally against Islamic school

The Dream Centre has sent a dossier to councillors, backed by a petition signed by 1700 residents, which outlines its opposition to the Islamic school at 19 Chisholm Road receiving approval at a city planning committee on Tuesday.

Hundreds of protesters are expected to turn out.

Mr Gilchrist said he was sick and tired of being branded a ‘racist and a bigot’ and has defended his opposition to the school, which would cater for 60 Muslim children.

“The Mayor fobbed us off. I’ve run the church for 20 years and have never had a reception like the one I received from him,” said Mr Gilchrist.

“He was fairly naive and insensitive to the fact that he is a duly-appointed representative of our community.

“We’re not bigots by any means. We are a multicultural church and we’re open to all faiths but the fact is on a social level, this is not the right location for the school.


“It does not make any sense from a social planning perspective to have a Muslim school, a church and a Croatian club all so close together.

“The Mayor told us to deal with it like Christians and that having the school there would teach us a lesson.”

Mr Gilchrist and his fellow pastors, who are linked to the Concerned Carrara Residents Group, have also made claims against alleged ‘ethnic’ bullying tactics.

They claim that graffiti discriminating against Croatians, Aborigines and Christians was sprayed on the boundary wall with the Islamic school site.

They have also made claims that ‘hoons of ethnic descent’ have been spotted doing ‘donuts’ in their car park.

Cr Clarke last night stood by his claims, which were printed in the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper The National, that discussion about the Islamic school had been ‘polluted by bigots’.

He goes on to say that the Christian protesters are a ‘great embarrassment to me’.

Cr Clarke said he was not referring to all Christians or Dream Centre followers but those who had stirred up trouble.

“There is no place for them in this city. I was referring to the people from the Dream Centre who organised the rally,” said Cr Clarke.

“I’m against keeping Arabs or Jews or Christians out of the city.”

Cr Clarke said he did not storm out of the meeting but admitted that he spoke to them in blunt terms.

“I spoke to them for some time, probably three-quarters of an hour,” said Cr Clarke.

“They were warned early on that we would make no allowances because the planning matters were in order.

“Allegations of terrorism were brought into the meeting and other claims like the junior pastor chap claiming that somebody walked in with a Koran and tried to convert him.

“They were bombastic.”

The Weekend Bulletin has managed to broker an emergency meeting between the two parties, with both sides willing to sit down and discuss their problems.

Cr Clarke has offered to host the meeting. “Dialogue is the best way to ensure that everybody is properly informed,” he said.

Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad, a trustee of the planned school, said he was willing to sit down with Mr Gilchrist and the other pastors.

But Mr Trad said he was fed up with unfounded claims that so-called ‘ethnics’ were terrorising the Dream Centre.

“We have made three attempts to sit down and got nothing, but if a sit down can be organised I will fly up to attend and I know the Imam is keen as well,” he said.

“I’m concerned at how big of an opposition they’ve been mobilising for a school with only 60 children.

“They’ve made all types of accusations that are matters for the police and not matters to be discussed for a simple development application.”

Chairman of the Australian International Islamic College Imam Abdul Quddoos Al Azhari said he was confident the application would be adopted by councillors at next week’s meeting.

“I’m not authorised to speak to the media but I can tell you we’ve done everything in good regard towards the Dream Centre,” he said.

“We approached them through Bob La Castra on several occasions.

“We’ve gone through him because he is our local councillor.

“They have refused us on every occasion and it is silly to say we didn’t try. If they still want to meet, we will meet.”

11 thoughts on “Gold Coast Mayor calls Christians opposing a proposed Islamic Indoctrination Centre at Carrara 'bigots'”

  1. have just sent letter of protest of Gold Coast council – suggest others do same. Mr Clarke is meant to represent his community, not a violent muslim minority. He was a great athelete but he was never good enough to win Gold – it now appears that he is also flawed as a council leader and the fact that he is answerable for the safety of his entire community should be made clear to him. If he cannot do this simple task, then the people of the Gold Coast should remove him from this office. Being a former great middle distance runner is not a character reference that guarantees that one is a good and fair leader, capable of listening to and understanding the concerns of the local community.

  2. Mr. Clarke should also be made to realise that the person who murdered a Gold Coast father in a road rage incident is most likely one of the muslims for which he is now standing up for.
    Also, given that Trad Keysar is one of the muslim pushing forward this proposal, the local Carrara community has every right to be highly concerned.

  3. Naive Bigots! I have to put up with Christian Schools and Catholic Schools although I believe religion has no place in education. Why the ‘hell’ shouldn’t I have to tolerate muslim schools as well!
    The Protesters are proving themselves to be naive racists who discrimminate and I congratulate Ron Clarke on his comments.
    I’m sure there are legitimate reasons for protesting- the same as I would protest any structure that threatened my residential status – traffic congestion, more school children around etc.. but the majority of media coverage is leaning towards those inciting hatred.
    Caucasions need to drop the hypocripsy.
    The Australia Day shooting at Burleigh is a perfect example. Despite reports of several individuals being present in the car that was responisble for drive-by shooting a caucasian family man – it was widely reorted by local and interstate media that “one of the suspects appears to be of middle-eastern descent”. No mention of the white fella’s in the car.
    Pull your head in AUSTRALIA.
    And if anyone wants to dispute who has the right to be australian consider our Aboriginal origins for one moment. The original inhabitants of this land now make up less then 0.02 percent of the entire ‘australian’ population. The government made a public apology to the aboriginal population (wrong people and too late but thats another issue) then held AUSTRALIA DAY on INVASION DAY and failed to amalgamate the aboriginal flag into mainstream usuage. Next time you wanna brand someone by race or culture remember the Australia you grew up with was multi-cultural.
    Many claims have been made on protest signs about this school creating segregation but if one fails to tolerate another – then the first is responsible for any separation occuring. I wouldn’t want to make nice with anyone who stereotyped and discrimminated against me.
    – disgusted white australian born westerner

  4. Go and suck your big toe, fake “local resident”

    This is not about race, never was. But since you bring race into it, here is something to suck on:
    Proud to be white

    Michael Richards Court Speech

    Makes one stop and think after reading this:

    Michael Richards is better known as Kramer from tv’s Seinfeld series..
    This was his defence speech in court after making racial comments in his comedy act.
    He makes some very interesting points. He said :
    I’m proud To Be White!
    Someone finally said it.
    How many are actually paying attention to this ?
    There are African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Arab Americans, etc. And then there are just Americans.
    You pass me on the street and sneer in my direction. You Call me ‘White boy,’ ‘Cracker,’ ‘Honkey,’ ‘Whitey,’ ‘Caveman’ … and that’s OK.

    But when I call you, Nigger, Kike, Towel head,
    Sand-nigger, Camel Jockey, Beaner , Gook, or Chink .
    You call me a racist.
    You say that whites commit a lot of violence against you,so why are the ghettos the most dangerous places to live ?
    You have the United Negro College Fund.
    You have Martin Luther King Day.
    You have Black History Month.
    You have Cesar Chavez Day.
    You have Yom Hashoah.
    You have Ma’uled Al-Nabi.
    You have the NAACP.
    You have BET.
    If we had WET (White Entertainment Television) we’d be racists.
    If we had a White Pride Day, you would call us racists..
    If we had White History Month , we’d be racists.
    If we had any organization for only whites to ‘advance’ OUR lives we’d be racists.
    We have a Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, a Black Chamber of Commerce, and then we just have the plain Chamber of Commerce.
    Wonder who pays for that ?

    A white woman could not be in the Miss Black American pageant, but any color can be in the Miss America pageant. If we had a college fund that only gave white students scholarships you know we’d be racists. There are over 60 openly proclaimed Black Colleges in the US . Yet if there were ‘White colleges’ THAT would be a racist college.

    In the Million Man March, you believed that you were marching for your race and rights. If we marched for our race and rights, you would call us racists. You are proud to be black, brown, yellow and orange, and you’re not afraid to announce it.
    But when we announce our white pride, you call us racists.

    You rob us, carjack us, and shoot at us.
    But , when a white police officer shoots a black gang member or beats up a black drug-dealer running from the law and posing a threat to society, you call him a racist.
    I am proud.
    But you call me a racist.

    Why is it that only whites can be racists ?

  5. And that has what to do with the implementation of the muslim school in cararra? or any of my comments for that matter? go watch seinfeld. you dont belong in a political discussion.

  6. And pray tell what makes me not local of residential status? Please inform me how I am “fake”? Spray tans perhaps?

  7. You are fake because you’re not Aboriginal and yet you assume the right to speak for them.

    You know nothing about Islam and yet you speak about “tolerance”- ignorant of the fact that they don’t tolerate you. You call people here ‘racist’ and you don’t even know that Islam is not a race, but a socio-political ideology that teaches hatred and chastened subservience for unbelievers.

    You call us bigots? You are the biggest jackass bigot who ever posted here!

    Besides, it is Muslims who are demanding segregation:

    Australia: Islamic Students Spreading Hate

  8. So you are entirely unaware of my racial heritage then? and also my upbringing?
    I never said Islam was a ‘race’? that remark was in response to media comments.
    I dont think I’ll bother coming back. Your argument is weak if it will not withstand debate – the fact that you resort to unrelated insults (jackass comment) only highlights your lack of intellectual ability and maturity for that matter. Cheers for the laughs at humanity.

  9. Local Resident:

    It was YOU who came here calling people ‘naive bigots’ while exposing yourself as a naive bigot who calls people ‘racists’ if they oppose the Islamization of this country- was it not?

    Who cares what your race is? Why should we care about your upbringing?

    Your intellectual ability and maturity is documented by what you put on display above.

    Nuff said!

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