Racist vandals graffiti Queensland mosque
A mosque in Cairns in far north Queensland has been targeted by vandals. The front of the Cairns North mosque was sprayed with large red letters early yesterday, calling for the worshippers to “integrate” or return to their “homelands”.
Imam Abdul Aziz Mohammed, 81, says he has been involved with the Cairns community for decades and cannot do any more to integrate.
“I’ve lived here in Cairns all my life and this is the first time we’ve ever seen any physical opposition to our religion and basically our family,” he said. “My family’s been here since 1900 and I was shocked, to say the least.”
The attack has been condemned by local political leaders.
The Federal Member for Leichhardt, Warren Entsch, says it is laughable, given the Imam’s family has as history in the far north dating back more than a century.
“He’s got an accent that’s broader than mine and I think as a community we need to be able to get behind Abdul and his community,” he said. “They are part of our rich culture, and any suggestion they are anything other than that is an absolute nonsense. It shows you the small-minded minority that we have in this town.”
The State Member for Cairns, Gavin King, says it is an isolated incident that does not reflect the views of the community.
“I don’t think there’s a more peaceful, more respectful Muslim community anywhere in Australia,” he said. “The Imam’s father moved to Cairns in 1900. If the dropkick who did this vandalism has a longer history in Cairns, I’ll walk backwards to Brisbane.”
See also “Vandal attack shocks peaceful worshippers of Cairns mosque”, Cairns Post, 5 November 2013
And “Anger at vandal attack on Cairns mosque”, ABC News, 5 November 2013
(Photo: Gemma Ambrose)