Says John T.:
I heard similar about Sydney 3 years ago from the grand mufti Sheik Hilaily.
I’ll give it another 3 years and owe you $20 if they don’t.
I doubt it’ll take three years this time around.
Religious unrest over offensive US film won’t spread to Brisbane, says Islamic Council of Queensland
THE diversity of Brisbane’s Muslim population means it is well placed to avoid chaotic scenes similar to those in Sydney, according to the Islamic Council of Queensland.
The organisation’s president Mohammed Yusuf this week said the fall-out from the violent weekend riots had been widely discussed among senior community leaders, who continued to condemn the actions of an “isolated” group.
“We have discussed the issue in detail at our federal council meeting in Sydney, which was not as a result of this but a pre-organised meeting,” he said.
“We concluded that the best way was to go back to our communities and reassure people that the only way to discuss issues like that, when you have them, is through dialogue and discussions, not by organising rallies and protests and things like that – it has a negative impact, really.”
Mr Yusuf said he believed Queensland was unlikely to witness violent scenes such as those in Sydney due to the diverse backgrounds of Queensland’s 20-odd thousand Muslims.
“It’s totally different,” he said.
“I think we have a far more cohesive society here and although we have a fairly broad ethnic mix, it’s not dominated by any one particular group unlike in Sydney where you might have the Lebanese or you might have the Palestinians or another group.
“We don’t have that situation here.”
Mr Yusuf said despite the public interest sparked by the Sydney protests, he was only aware of one “minor” retaliatory incident, where an offensive sign was left at Islamic Women’s centre in Springwood, adding the matter had been reported to police.
“We can’t let these sort of thing distract us from our main focus of working with the rest of the Australian Community,” he said.
“That has been our aim and that has been what we have been focusing on the whole time.”
MUSLIM community leaders in Australia’s biggest cities issued unified calls for calm today following the emergence of a fresh round of text messages calling for more protests this weekend.
Islamic leaders are calling for any rallies to be peaceful, and say they are holding sermons in mosques and talks with schools this week to spread the message that violent protests are not the Islamic or Australian way.
The calls follow the weekend’s violent protest in the Sydney CBD involving clashes with police.
A man has been arrested over the smashing of a police car window, and a woman whose child was photographed with a placard calling for beheadings has come forward to authorities.
Magistrate Clare Farnan is expected to hand down a decision on Ahmed Elomar’s bail application later today.
Victorian Muslim leaders distanced themselves from a pro-Islam rally planned for Melbourne on Sunday.
Organisers of the protest said on Facebook that Islam needed defending because of the controversial video about the prophet Mohammed and last week’s anti-terror raids in Melbourne.
”This is a call to Muslims and our supporters – if you condemn all of the above and are outraged by Islamophobia, then come along to this PEACEFUL protest,” the post said.
The Let’s Stop Islamophobia page said that last week’s raids in south-east Melbourne were ”heavy-handed, racist and unnecessarily violent manner (sic)”.
It called for a protest on Sunday at 1pm at the State Library of Victoria.
Several people posted comments in support, including members of radical socialist and anti-Israel groups.
Victorian Board of Imams spokesman Sheikh Mohamadu Saleem called on Muslims not to attend the protest.
”We are not going to support any protest whatsoever,” he said.
”We are not planning anything.”
Islamic Council of Victoria youth worker Mohammed Elleissy said that a young Muslim woman was behind the idea and he had spoken to her.
”She’s incredibly young and it was obvious to me that she hadn’t thought through fully the repercussions,” he said.
”She is obsessed with having a peaceful protest as a gesture of ‘doing something.”
”She also hadn’t worked out how to keep it peaceful and was stumped when I asked her.”
A Victoria Police spokesman said the force was monitoring any possible incidents.
Yesterday, the mother whose young son held a sign calling for beheadings during Saturdays’ Sydney protests turned herself in to police.
NSW Family and Community Services Minister Pru Goward says the boy will stay with his parents.
“The police went back to the house and assessed the children and assessed that they were safe so that is where they remain,” Ms Goward told ABC radio.
Lebanese Muslim Association president Samier Dandan says while he welcomes the mother’s decision to go to police, he disapproves of the behaviour.
“That’s something that we don’t encourage within our community, it’s something we condemn,” he told reporters at Lakemba mosque in Sydney’s west this morning.
Mr Dandan said he would try to talk to the mother, but added he had been told the boy may have found the sign on the street and was “caught up in the hype” during the demonstrations.
“Does a child really understand what’s written on that placard?” he said.
Since the placard incident, video has come to light of an 8-year-old girl adressing a Muslim conference in Bankstown, in Sydney’s west, on Saturday.
In it, she is heard calling for holy war and a world-wide Islamic state.
“Children as young as myself can be seen on the streets joining the uprisings, risking their lives to bring food, water and medicine to their wounded family members, some of them never returning to their mothers … Nobody is too young,” she said.
Also this morning, a teenager was charged after being captured on camera smashing a police car with a milk crate during Sydney’s riots.
Silma Ihram, a board member of the Australian Muslim Women’s Association, said she did not believe such incidents were widespread as she fronted the Lakemba news conference with Mr Dandan on behalf of 25 Muslim groups.
“I don’t believe that there is a radicalisation of children,” she said.
Ms Ihram said that in a democratic nation, parents should feel free to take their children to demonstrations.
“We don’t want to see a situation where people are afraid to take their children and participate,” she said. “We are condemning in unequivocal terms the violence from Saturday as well as the offensive film.
Mr Dandan said he, like most Muslims, were very distressed by the weekend’s events.
“This is a very minority group. It’s an image we condemn and we are very distressed to see those images.”
He said Islamic communities all over Sydney had been bombed with hate mail and death threats since the protest.
- with Nathan Klein, Lillian Saleh
According to this Herald Sun article, the obnoxious Muslim hate preacher Feiz Mohammad had been scheduled to speak:
…Australian-born Sheik Feiz Mohammed, who has produced DVDs promoting ‘holy war’, will join other clerics to discuss how to respond to the film “Innocence of Muslims” which has outraged Islamic communities around the world, the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (ASWJ) Facebook page says.
The lecture, the Honour of the Prophet, will also discuss “what our responsibilities are regarding this matter”.
Sheik Mohammed was widely condemned in 2007 for his DVDS calling for the murder of “infidels” and describing Jews as “pigs”.
He has reportedly also said in a speech that raped women only have themselves to blame.
However, Sheik Mohammed has distanced himself from Saturday’s Sydney rally at which hundreds turned out to protest against the anti-Islamic film, Innocence of the Muslims.
In a statement published on the ASWJ Facebook page, he condemns the violent scenes and denies demonstrators were his followers.
“These media outlets are once again attempting to divide the Muslim and Australian community by sowing the seeds of hatred towards myself and the organisation of Ahul Al Sunnah Wal Jamaah,” he said…
The latest word is that the meeting has been cancelled, at least for the time being:
A LECTURE and meeting due to be held by controversial Sheik Feiz Mohammed in Sydney has been cancelled.
The Australian branch of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah (ASWJ) movement was due to stage the event on Wednesday night at the Bukhari House Islamic Book Store in Auburn to discuss Saturday’s Muslim riots.
ASWJ said the lecture would also address the Innocence of Muslims, the short YouTube film that sparked the violent demonstrations, and “what our responsibilities are regarding this matter”.
But ASWJ announced at about 2.30pm (AEST) on Wednesday that the meeting had been cancelled and said Sheik Mohammed would instead conduct media interviews to discuss the riots.
The movement gave no immediate reason for cancelling the event.
A NSW Police spokesman said they were aware the meeting had been cancelled but said no request had been made to call it off.
Several sources within the Muslim community told AAP the meeting was cancelled because of pressure on Sheik Mohammed.
Journalists and police officers are said to be camped outside the Auburn bookshop.
“I think they might have just thought they (Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama’ah) were better off without the attention and decided to cancel the meeting,” one source told AAP.
It remained unclear on Wednesday afternoon where or when Sheik Mohammed would conduct his media interviews.
Expect that lecture to be held elsewhere in the near future.