“We cannot guarantee your safety”
Some Christians who had approval to hire a stall giving away Bibles at the Islamic ‘Peace Conference’ at the Melbourne Showgrounds this weekend have had this approval withdrawn. The Christians, from various churches around Melbourne, had been offered a 6 x 3 metre stall for $600. The Islamic Research and Educational Academy (IREA) contacted them last night and said that the Bible stall could not go ahead because it would be “unsafe”.
The Christians were told that, due to expected anti-Islamic protests outside the Showgrounds, IREA “could not guarantee your safety.” An IREA spokesman, who identified himself as ‘Sami’, was concerned about radical elements among the Muslim attendees “taking it out” on the Christians, and said that IREA security personnel “could not protect the Christians”. IREA claimed they had consulted Victoria Police about security and had come to this decision. Another Christian group was told last night that all the stalls had been allocated and there was no room left. According to the IREA website, there areÂ over 200 stalls available, but their stall map shows that only 44 stalls have been hired so far.