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Islamic school fury over restrictions
May 13th, 2009
THE backers of an Islamic school planned for Carrara say `unfair’ council restrictions may derail the project.
The Â school’s fate, already the subject of a religious and cultural uproar, may be decided today.
At the heart of the issue is what some Muslim leaders Â claim is discrimination and follows lengthy and at times bitter public debate over the planned Islamic school.
- Once the school is established, everything will be just swell, right? Right:
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Islamic Friendship Association president Keysar Trad, a trustee of the Chisholm Road school, said council-imposed conditions would make it impossible to operate the facility.
These conditions include restricting operating hours to between 8am and 3.05pm, as well as a requirement for council to be given 30 days notice for every after-school function.
- Keysar’s grievance theater starts here:
``We cannot have a parents and teachers’ night Â we cannot have a fete,” said Mr Trad.
“I don’t think this would have happened if the school did not have the word Islamic in its name.
“These conditions are not enforced on any other school on the Gold Coast … just on us.”
Mr Trad said if the school could not operate outside the council’s restrictions, the whole project was in jeopardy.
Council planning boss Ted Shepherd conceded the conditions placed on the Islamic school Â relating to hours of operation Â were not applicable for every school on the Â Coast.
However, he said he did not expect them to have an impact on the school’s opening, scheduled for July.
Cr Shepherd said the conditions were introduced because it was in a residential area, and religion did not play a part.
Basing its decision solely on planning guidelines, the council approved the school in February despite a series of public protests from people concerned about religious and cultural issues.
Cr Shepherd said the Islamic school founders were obviously unhappy with the conditions and he expected them to exercise their rights to fight them through the courts.
Mr Trad said the fact more than $200,000 had been spent on the school proposal so far ruled out any alternative site on the Coast.
He said the college also had to give up 30 per cent of its land and was forced to build a 200m footpath just to get a council approval.
The school was the subject of a series of protests after some Carrara residents claimed it would put them at risk of terrorism.
– Gold Coast Sun
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- Council approves Gold Coast Islamic school
Gold Coast School
In FebruaryÂ this year the localÂ Gold Coast CouncilÂ approved the building of an Islamic school atCarraraÂ on the Gold Coast. (1, 2)
Again, residents had opposed the building of the school, including some of the churches. The proposed school, a branch of the Brisbane-basedÂ Australian International Islamic College, was to be built next to a Christian Church called the Dream Centre â€“ the church contended that this was inappropriate.
The Council ignored the residents and churches and granted the approval.
After the decision was made, the church held a BBQ and invited the local Islamic community â€“ they said they were truing to make the best of the situation and be good neighbours â€“ they had suffered graffiti and harassment in previous months. (3) Following that, the spokesman for the Muslim school,Â KeysarÂ Trad (the former interpreter for Sheik al Hilali) proclaimed that everyone, of any background (presumably including the children who attend the neighbouring church!), was welcome to attend the school… (4)
Now Keysar Trad is complaining about the restrictions placed on the operation of the school by the Council and wants them lifted. (5)
School – Australian International Islamic College
Update from the excellentÂ Islam Monitor:
According to a recent report Keysar Trad ‘feels tormented’ by comments made by Jason Morrison of Sydney’s 2GB radio station. He brought a defamation case against Morrison in 2007 concerning events that occurred after the Cronulla riots of 2005 and won.
In August 2007, a jury found broadcaster Jason Morrison’s tirade against Mr Trad contained eight matters that defamed the former spokesman for controversial Muslim cleric Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali. They included painting Mr Trad as a dangerous and disgraceful individual who incited people to commit acts of violence.Â (source)
However, now Keysar is into the second stage of his defamation suit and is obviously hoping for yet another victory. The incident that this refers to is one in which Keysar Trad did indeed seem to whip up the ire of the crowd he was addressing against a journalist from 2 GB. More>>