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Don’t mask the mosque

By John Hargreaves - 23 January 2015 25

Muslims in prayer

I recently went to the open day of the Gungahlin Muslim community and had a very enjoyable but brief time there. I had to go and feed the five thousand descending on my place for a feed-up later that day.

The visit made me think of a few things.

Firstly the occasion was very welcoming. The speech by the Anglican minister down the road showed how interfaith can work if only we give it a go. The common thread was that people gather together to recognise, celebrate or worship the god of their choice. They don’t gather to plot the downfall of each other.

The second thing that occurred to me was that the building, something which will magically emerge on the footings visible to me, will be an welcome architectural addition to the town centre. It won’t be the archetypical mosque that some imagine but a house of prayer, quiet reflection and complementary architecture.

Anyone remember the hullabaloo that accompanied the thought of a mosque there? There were legal challenges which saw a decision in the High Court. The detractors and those with spurious arguments like traffic and noise were given a very loud and clear message. What part of NO! don’t they understand?

There was no such noise, no such legal challenge going to the High Court, no objections on traffic or noise grounds to the construction of the Anglican Church only two blocks down in the same street!

Now we see the same old hoary arguments being mounted against a mosque in Weston.

This is the same old argument presented by the same old objectors. Why don’t they just get over it?

Do they object when the Catholic and Anglican bells ring out on a Sunday morning? Have brekkie in Manuka at about 10 or 11 am on a Sunday if you don’t remember.

Are there volumes of letters to the paper about the missionaries from the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter Day Saints (Mormons) who come a-knockin’? And the Salvos are now in the limelight of the child abuse horror joining the Catholics and Anglicans.

Howe about some common sense? When did you last hear a knock on your door from a Muslim seeking to convert you? When was the last time you protested through the paper about the noise from St Christopher’s or St Paul’s? When was the traffic problem in Manuka laid at the churches’ doors?

Let’s count the number of mosques and Islamic centres in Canberra and measure them up against the number of Christian churches and temples and see how they fare.

How about some balance? How about giving reality to the notion of friendship to our neighbours? How about we set an example to the other capital cities? I happen to like and appreciate the Buddhist temples (check out the Lao one in Kambah), the mosque, the churches, and Salvos’ halls (check out Wanniassa). Check out the Hindu temples in Mawson and Torrens.

These are assets – not liabilities – for our city.

What’s Your opinion?


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25 Responses to
Don’t mask the mosque
dungfungus 9:29 am 24 Jan 15

Weatherman said :

Milly Withers said :

Weatherman said :

The last thing we need is Anjem Choudary-like hate preachers in Gungahlin.

No, the last thing we need is people assuming that all people who practice Islam think and act in the same way as the faith’s most zealous extremists.

Moderate Islam, like all major world religions, is actually very peaceful.

In other cities in Australia and the UK, the Mosques are planned and built alongside other faith based institutions in the community to prevent radicalisation. This is because the Mosque isn’t built in an isolated location from the towns.

Please define what “moderate Islam is”. Moderate as compared to what?
The mosques at Monash and Yarralumla are nowhere near any other “faith-based institutions”. A lot of this so called “radicalisation” happens via the internet so it doesn’t matter where the mosques are located.

Weatherman 8:40 pm 23 Jan 15

Milly Withers said :

Weatherman said :

The last thing we need is Anjem Choudary-like hate preachers in Gungahlin.

No, the last thing we need is people assuming that all people who practice Islam think and act in the same way as the faith’s most zealous extremists.

Moderate Islam, like all major world religions, is actually very peaceful.

In other cities in Australia and the UK, the Mosques are planned and built alongside other faith based institutions in the community to prevent radicalisation. This is because the Mosque isn’t built in an isolated location from the towns.

dungfungus 4:41 pm 23 Jan 15

MERC600 said :

Well John you make it sound like one big love-in. Wish I’d gone.
So what was the conversation out there? Quality of the new building, the humid weather, the shoot-up in Paris, the ease of parking ? What was the buzz?

What was the vintage of the Shiraz?

MERC600 3:24 pm 23 Jan 15

Well John you make it sound like one big love-in. Wish I’d gone.
So what was the conversation out there? Quality of the new building, the humid weather, the shoot-up in Paris, the ease of parking ? What was the buzz?

Postalgeek 2:46 pm 23 Jan 15

Mysteryman said :

I know where it happens and why. I’ve been to those places. I don’t care what it’s useful for. What I’m saying is that I don’t want to have to hear it here. So as long as there are no calls blaring over loudspeakers for all to hear, let them build the mosque.

Not necessary anyway as in this day and age I’m sure there’s an app for that.

fernandof 2:01 pm 23 Jan 15

rosscoact said :

fernandof said :

[…] does anyone care to comment on this study (going back to the “respects secular governance” aspect)?
http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2010/fm84/fm84h.html
“Legal recognition of Sharia law: Is this the right direction for Australian family matters?” from the AIFS journal, Family Matters No. 84, 2010

What aspect are you seeking comment on?

I’m after other people’s opinion here. My own opinion is not very well defined and I want to get more information.

From one end, I think that even the mere assessment of Sharia law as a feasible complementary judicial instrument to the existing Australian law is a stupid idea. It contradicts a core principle for keeping the Government and its judiciary instruments secular. In addition, I have my concerns about implementing the specifics of Sharia due to the issues created in other countries (Canada, the UK).

On the flip side, maybe acknowledging some very limited scope of Sharia law will bring more unity and reduce isolation of the Muslims community (I’m looking outside the boundaries of Canberra focusing on the Australian-wide Muslims community).

Finally, the study itself is somewhat confusing to me: the conclusion paragraph is read as if the authors as in favour of integrating Sharia law, but the very last sentence contradicts that without giving any real explanation. I wonder if other people picked up on that, or maybe there’s something I misunderstood.

So yeah, just want to get a feeling of what other people think to better define my own opinion in this matter.

Mysteryman 2:00 pm 23 Jan 15

Weatherman said :

The last thing we need is Anjem Choudary-like hate preachers in Gungahlin.

That’s true. Fortunately there is no guarantee that building a mosque will result in hate-preachers.

Muslim people want a place to worship. I think it’s only fair that they are allowed to have one.

Milly Withers 1:58 pm 23 Jan 15

Weatherman said :

The last thing we need is Anjem Choudary-like hate preachers in Gungahlin.

No, the last thing we need is people assuming that all people who practice Islam think and act in the same way as the faith’s most zealous extremists.

Moderate Islam, like all major world religions, is actually very peaceful.

Mysteryman 1:53 pm 23 Jan 15

watto23 said :

Mysteryman said :

I don’t see the problem with building a mosque as long as there are no loudspeakers playing calls to prayer.

That really only happens in places where its 99% muslims and it useful then to remind people of the times to pray. The muslims I know say they can just use the islamic society website to get prayer times.

I know where it happens and why. I’ve been to those places. I don’t care what it’s useful for. What I’m saying is that I don’t want to have to hear it here. So as long as there are no calls blaring over loudspeakers for all to hear, let them build the mosque.

Weatherman 1:47 pm 23 Jan 15

The last thing we need is Anjem Choudary-like hate preachers in Gungahlin.

rosscoact 1:12 pm 23 Jan 15

fernandof said :

Postalgeek said :

As long as a place of worship practices moderate faith, keeps to itself (calls to prayers/bells same same and I don’t mind it, as long as they make noise after 8 am), and respects secular governance, live and let live.

My exact views.

Postalgeek said :

In regards to door knockers, John, I’ve never had a muslim come a-knockin, but then I’ve never had a Zionist or a Catholic come a-knockin. That doesn’t mean they’re not lobbying government (or already dominate government) and we should remain vigilant against any faith trying to hold sway over what should be secular policy. People would be justifiably concerned if the Government sponsored a program of imams in schools, and Government should not sponsor programs like Chaplains in Schools. Any zealotry in society should be keeping religion and government separate.

On this point, does anyone care to comment on this study (going back to the “respects secular governance” aspect)?
http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2010/fm84/fm84h.html
“Legal recognition of Sharia law: Is this the right direction for Australian family matters?” from the AIFS journal, Family Matters No. 84, 2010

What aspect are you seeking comment on?

watto23 12:21 pm 23 Jan 15

Mysteryman said :

I don’t see the problem with building a mosque as long as there are no loudspeakers playing calls to prayer.

That really only happens in places where its 99% muslims and it useful then to remind people of the times to pray. The muslims I know say they can just use the islamic society website to get prayer times.

I know the mosques in Canberra are multi faith mosques that allow all kinds of different islamic faiths in and I’m no expert on it, but not sure all the different faiths have the Call to Prayer either. they certainly have different ideas on how much praying is required, much like different christian faiths have different ideas on what they should do.

fernandof 12:04 pm 23 Jan 15

Postalgeek said :

As long as a place of worship practices moderate faith, keeps to itself (calls to prayers/bells same same and I don’t mind it, as long as they make noise after 8 am), and respects secular governance, live and let live.

My exact views.

Postalgeek said :

In regards to door knockers, John, I’ve never had a muslim come a-knockin, but then I’ve never had a Zionist or a Catholic come a-knockin. That doesn’t mean they’re not lobbying government (or already dominate government) and we should remain vigilant against any faith trying to hold sway over what should be secular policy. People would be justifiably concerned if the Government sponsored a program of imams in schools, and Government should not sponsor programs like Chaplains in Schools. Any zealotry in society should be keeping religion and government separate.

On this point, does anyone care to comment on this study (going back to the “respects secular governance” aspect)?
http://www.aifs.gov.au/institute/pubs/fm2010/fm84/fm84h.html
“Legal recognition of Sharia law: Is this the right direction for Australian family matters?” from the AIFS journal, Family Matters No. 84, 2010

Postalgeek 11:34 am 23 Jan 15

As long as a place of worship practices moderate faith, keeps to itself (calls to prayers/bells same same and I don’t mind it, as long as they make noise after 8 am), and respects secular governance, live and let live.

In regards to door knockers, John, I’ve never had a muslim come a-knockin, but then I’ve never had a Zionist or a Catholic come a-knockin. That doesn’t mean they’re not lobbying government (or already dominate government) and we should remain vigilant against any faith trying to hold sway over what should be secular policy. People would be justifiably concerned if the Government sponsored a program of imams in schools, and Government should not sponsor programs like Chaplains in Schools. Any zealotry in society should be keeping religion and government separate.

Parking concerns were always a BS whitewash. Nobody complains about the inundation of cars around churches during Easter and Christmas.

Mysteryman 9:39 am 23 Jan 15

I don’t see the problem with building a mosque as long as there are no loudspeakers playing calls to prayer.

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