News

Weekend clash just the beginning: anti-mosque protesters

ANTI-mosque protestors have vowed to escalate the campaign following ugly clashes between them and pro-mosque campaigners on the streets of Maroochydore yesterday.

Insults were traded and tempers flared as about 500 people - most of them opposed to mosque plans - faced off outside the proposed site in Church St.

Restore Australia chief executive Mike Holt said the protest was not a one-off and more action would be taken until the mosque proposal was scrapped.

"There'll definitely be more protests," Mr Holt said.

"There will be more - we're just deciding what to do next.

"We won't stop until we stop the mosque."

Uniformed and plain-clothes police officers kept a close eye on the crowd, at one stage ordering an anti-mosque protestor from the stage as he began to speak of beheadings and fears over a mosque.

DETERMINED: Anti-mosque protestors make their feelings clear in Maroochydore yesterday.
DETERMINED: Anti-mosque protestors make their feelings clear in Maroochydore yesterday.

The pro-mosque crowd was predominantly younger people, some students, who took to the streets to vent their frustration at perceived narrow-minded attitudes towards Muslims, while the anti-mosque group was more of a cross-section, with many older members of the community joined by a large number of young people eager to preserve the Coast's identity.

Among the most vocal was born-and-bred Sunshine Coast man Greg McKenzie, 22, who warned a mosque would threaten the Coast's way of life.

"This is the Sunshine Coast and this is Australia and I'm not going to stand by and let a mosque be built here where they degrade our women and our culture," he said.

"This is Australia. This isn't a place for them to come and take over our culture and our country.

"I just think it's disgusting that people stand here and support a religion they have no idea about. They obviously haven't read the Koran. The Koran states that any infidels should have their heads chopped off, that our women should be raped, stuff like that, you know. That's disgusting."

VERY VOCAL: Greg McKenzie rails against the plan to establish a mosque in Church St, Maroochydore.
VERY VOCAL: Greg McKenzie rails against the plan to establish a mosque in Church St, Maroochydore. John Mccutcheon

Coast resident and New Zealand native Peter, 74, who did not want to provide his surname, said the site had to be opposed as it posed a threat to the Coast community.

"I think having a mosque here is a threat when you look at what is happening around the world today - they're still killing Christians, burning churches, killing Jews, and I believe that if you trace back the life of Muhammad, you'll see that he destroyed, killed and everything else," Peter said.

"When you study the life of Jesus Christ, he came, healed the sick, raised the dead, was crucified, but rose again and he's still alive.

"No, I just think that deep down the religion (Islam) itself teaches hatred.

"It's a disgusting religion. I'm in the Catholic Church over the road and I'd hate to think it was opposite. It's evil and I'm totally against it."

Passions ran just as high in the pro-mosque camp, where

David Knobel, 29, was adamant Australia had the capacity to be a tolerant, multicultural nation.

"I believe that this (protest) isn't about Islam, this is about bigotry," Mr Knobel said. "They're (the anti-mosque group) protesting because they're bigots, and we don't like bigots.

"We believe that Australia should be a tolerant nation. We believe that we should be a multicultural nation and we wanted to stand up in counter-protest to what they're having to say because it's really just ignorance.

"What's been proposed here (the mosque) is not anything to do with terrorism, it's not anything to do with the beheadings, it's not anything to do with ISIS.

"They are whipping up fear and hatred in the community and we want to stand up in solidarity with our Muslim friends."

MOVED TO TEARS: Rhea Abraham cannot fathom the hatred of anti-mosque protestors.
MOVED TO TEARS: Rhea Abraham cannot fathom the hatred of anti-mosque protestors.

Rhea Abraham, 26, an atheist, was brought to tears by yesterday's events and said the Muslim community needed support, not further alienation.

"By protesting and showing them (the Muslim community) so much hatred, you are doing exactly that (driving them to radicalism)," she said.

"You're pushing any moderates who are sitting on the fence the other way. You're pushing anybody with a good heart and a good mind on them away and you're showing them that they're not welcome.

"If we don't associate the KKK (Ku Klux Klan) with Christianity, why should we associate ISIL, or ISIS for that matter, with Islam?

"The issue is that people don't realise the majority of the Muslim community out there are like you and me ... they want the same things. They want safer streets, they don't want crime, they don't want any of that crap, and they (the anti-mosque group) don't see that and it's very sad."

Topics:  editors picks mike holt mosque protesters racism



177 jobs filled in region, but is it a political ploy?

Gympie MP Tony Perrett.

Perrett dismisses 'manipulative' job subsidy boost

Positive signs show Gympie region economy on rise

GROWTH: Population and building growth has begun to bring positive economic signs for the region.

Gympie economy struggles out of recession

Rickard 'Dickie' Wilkins walks off set over hair comments

Comparing Richard Wilkins to a dinosaur? That ain't right.

“Maybe it’s Dickey’s hair!” Jeffreys announced.

Local Partners

Chelsea Handler blames the Kardashians for Donald Trump win

Chelsea Handler pictured in a scene from her talk show in Los Angeles.

TALK show host blames rise of reality TV family for election result.

Law & Order’s Trump inspired episode is still in limbo

The cast of Law & Order: SVU season 18, from left, Kelli Giddish, Raul Esparza, Mariska Hargitay, Ice-T and Peter Scanavino. Supplied by Channel 10.

SHOW'S mastermind unsure if or when twice-delayed episode will air.

50 Shades of Bli Bli: Adult theme park plans revealed

THE MIND BOGGLES: Potential buyers of Sunshine Castle at Bli Bli have considered a range of different themes, including an 'adult entertainment venue'.

Sunshine Castle looks to new, prosperous future.

Dating between the sheets on national TV?

Singles meet for the first time in their underwear in the SBS TV series Undressed.

NO shortage of singles willing to get Undressed with a stranger.

What's on the big screen this week

Dev Patel in a scene from the movie Lion.

ACCLAIMED Australian film Lion finally makes its domestic debut.

Ruby Rose's gruelling training regimen to get xXx ready

From left, Kris Wu, Ruby Rose, Rory McCann, and Vin Diesel in a scene from the movie xXx: The Return of Xander Cage.

AUSSIE stars opposite Vin Diesel in xXx: Return of Xander Cage.

Ipswich block of dirt sells for $582 a square metre

JUST SOLD: A property on the Brookwater golf course sold for a record-breaking $612,000.

Property smashed 2007 record by close to $100,000

Sunday auction for historical home

Former Catholic school sure to attract spirited bidding

Looking back, looking ahead in Noosa

NEVER-ENDING GLORY: Looking towards Laguna Bay and Hastings St from Noosa National Park.

Natural appeal of Noosa continues to attract buyers

Thousands of jobs part of $1b retirement village project

THIS YEAR: An artist impression of the new Aveo retirement village in Springfield.

Aveo Springfield unveiled this month, homes ready by July

KNIFE-EDGE: The housing tightrope we now face

Even the smallest interest rate rise will be hard for some to handle.

One if five home owners at risk, according to new analysis

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!