Remember Â Ibrahim Siddiq-Conlon , who proclaimed:Â “One day Australia will be ruled by sharia”- well, its happening before our very eyes:
A row has broken out in a Jewish-dominated area of Melbourne over a “Muslim prayer group” Â that meets in a council-owned hall.
Sharia arrives at your friendly Community House (Militant Islam Monitor)
The St Kilda Islamic Society has held Friday prayers at the facility for years, but the council now wants to change the venue’s permit to formalise the arrangement.
What kind of prayers? Â This kind?
Bukhari (52:177) -Â Allah’s Apostle said, “The Hour will not be established until you fight with the Jews, and the stone behind which a Jew will be hiding will say. “O Muslim! There is a Jew hiding behind me, so kill him.”
Not that kind? How about this one:
What kind of sermons? Ever heard a sermon like that?
Muslims “not planning occupation”
That council decision has given opponents of the prayer group the opportunity to get vocal.
The prayer group started in 2008 with a group of Melbourne taxi drivers who were looking for a place to worship.
They began meeting at the Alma Road Community House in Melbourne’s inner south-east, an area recognised as a Jewish enclave and does not have a local mosque.
These days about 35 men attend Friday prayers, including Qaiser Mohammed.
“They think that we are going to occupy this place. We are here for one hour [a week], just for the Friday prayer,” he said.
Port Phillip Council, which owns the hall, is seeking to change the facility’s planning permit to allow bigger groups to congregate.
This has focused attention on the venue’s existing uses, and suddenly a practice that has been happening quietly for years is now a matter of public debate.
Vickie Janson is from the Q Society, which is dedicated to fighting what it calls the “Islamisation of Australia”.
She says the group behind the Friday prayers are “doctrinally aligned” with extremists.
“I am against Sharia law in Australia. People have come here to embrace our freedoms, embrace the equality. Let’s not go down the track of Britain that has now set up 85 tribunals that act as Sharia courts,” she said.
Q Society is distributing petitions warning of unrest if the prayer group is allowed to continue.
“It is well documented that in many parts of the Islamic world, Friday prayers are noted for escalating violent outbursts towards non-Muslims. The gathering of a large group of Muslims in East St Kilda will likely strike terror into the hearts of local residents,” she said.
“There is a lot of Jewish people in the area. We know if we look around the world with these more extreme groups, anti-semitism is a problem.”
Mr Mohammed rejects claims his prayer group increases violence or in some way is anti-semitic.
He said the group does not want to introduce Sharia law and thinks those objecting to the prayers must be misinformed.
“They are linking us to the terrorist group. I saw their petition. It is completely wrong,” he said.
“They think that we are going to change this place to a mosque or something like that. That is not going to happen.
“Most of the people they don’t know what we are doing here. If someone comes up with something and they never come to us.”
The petition also raises more basic concerns such as parking and water use.
Those viewing the petition online are referred to the website of Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi, who last week said “Islam itself is the problem”.
Victorian State Labor MP Martin Foley says the situation is being blown out of proportion.
“The dog whistling that we have seen in Canberra in recent times has encouraged this kind of behaviour, and this group (Q Society) has just sought to whip up fear and pander to the worst elements of our community [and] should pull their head in,” he said.
The council has received about 50 objections to the planned change, though more than 200 have signed a petition supporting it.
Sandy Joffee operates the Community House on the council’s behalf.
“I’m a little surprised. I think there is prejudice in every community and we saw in the news recently the level of it. Nonetheless, I am a little disappointed that it is in my community as well,” she said.
But Ms Janson maintains there is genuine community concern.
“It’s not that you want to demonise people. While we have freedom of speech, I think we have to publicly discuss the issues, not just say ‘well that’s not nice, we can’t talk about it’,” she said.
Planning Minister Matthew Guy says he wants the matter resolved swiftly.
“We are confident that councils can manage issues such as place of worship competently and well, and indeed we want them to resolve this issue as quickly as possible,” he said.
A decision is expected within two months.