Act of Love

Accused terrorist denies mosque attack was terror act

Here’s why: Muhammad also burned the mosques of heretics. For right-believing sunni Moslems the shitties are nothing but ‘rafidite dogs’, because ‘disbelief is worse than slaughter’.

The Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner was destroyed by fire in a 2016 arson attack. Picture: Aaron Francis

An alleged Mohammedan terrorist has admitted burning down a Melbourne mosque but denies it was an act of terror.

Abdullah Chaarani, and co-accused Ahmed Mohamed and Hatim Moukhaiber, are on trial in the Supreme Court over the 2016 attack on Fawkner’s Imam Ali Islamic Centre.

Prosecutors allege the men were inspired by an extremist Sunni ideology when they torched the Shia mosque.

MORE LAW AND ORDER

The three co-accused are each facing a charge of engaging in a terrorist act.

Mr Mohamed and Mr Chaarani are facing a separate charge of attempting to engage in a terrorist act over an alleged failed attempt to burn down the mosque.

Mr Mohamed has denied any involvement in the attacks.

Patrick Tehan QC, for Mr Chaarani, told the 15-member jury on Wednesday his client was guilty of destroying the mosque, and an earlier failed attempt to do so.

“He admits, through us, his counsel, that he did so with the intention of advancing a political, religious, or ideological cause, namely the advancement of Sunni Islam,” Mr Tehan said.

“Mr Chaarani admits, through us, that he sprayed paint on the mosque … with the Arabic words, as translated, ‘state of islam’.

“They were done with the intention of intimidating a section of the public, in particular Shiite Muslims.”

But Mr Tehan said while the act may have been criminal, it was not a terrorist act because it was done as either “advocacy, protest, dissent or industrial action”.

Mr Tehan said under those circumstances Victorian legislation required that his client intended to cause death, endanger a person’s life, or create a serious risk to public health and safety.

The Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner was destroyed by fire in a 2016 arson attack. Picture: Aaron Francis
.

“Terrorist acts are among the very highest of criminal offending known to the law,” he said.

“With that in mind, it is the case that advocacy protest or dissent is not covered by the definition of a terrorist act unless the act is intended to cause serious harm, cause a person’s death, endanger a person’s life, or create a serious risk to public health and safety.”

“They are not criminal acts unless you are satisfied beyond reasonable doubt that it is not done without advocacy, protest or dissent,” he said.

The three co-accused are each facing a charge of engaging in a terrorist act.

Mr Mohamed and Mr Chaarani are facing a separate charge of attempting to engage in a terrorist act over an alleged failed attempt to burn down the mosque.

Mr Mohamed has denied any involvement in the attacks.

Counsel for Mr Moukhaiber have not yet addressed the jury.

The trial, before Justice Andrew Tinney, continues.