Islamic leaders in south-east Queensland say they are being targeted by an increase in hate crimes, following an increase in the terror threat level and the arrests of two people allegedly linked with fighting in Syria.
Logan mosque spokesman Ali Kabri said that overnight on Saturday, someone left pamphlets outside the mosque filled with abusive language and photographs, saying Australian Muslims were not welcome in the country.
In the past few days officials also discovered a photo of the Mecca and a photo of a pig’s head close by. It followed an incident two months ago when body parts of a pig were found outside the mosque.
“It’s appalling… there’s an emotional fear. There’s emotion of disgust,” Mr Kabri said. “There’s emotion of threat to the Muslim community. Because we’re afraid that for now there are pamphlets but it could lead to violence. We’re afraid for our families and afraid for our children.”
Mr Kabri said the “silly actions” of a few showed Australia to be an intolerant society to the rest of the world. “But I don’t believe we’re an intolerant society, we’re a tolerant society,” he said.
Mr Kabri said they held their faith and their country very close to them. “Whatever happens overseas… we don’t have control in it. That goes for every single Australian,” he said. “We love Australia as much as any other Australian does. For us, the message is one and only, we need to live in this country with peace and unity. We need to condemn extremism in any way shape or form.”
The pamphlets have been reported to police.
Queensland Premier Campbell Newman said it was not about religion but about people involved in criminal acts. “I know that the leaders of the Muslim community in this state and south east Queensland in particular are outraged that some people, a minority are using their religion as a justification for criminal acts of intentions,” he said.
“This is a wonderful multicultural society we have. What we’re seeing is not about a religion, it’s about a very small minority group who are intent on undertaking criminal acts and we should see it for what it is and we should reject them and their intentions, just like we would any criminal group.”
See also “Pig parts and hate pamphlets dumped at SE Qld mosques”, ABC News, 14 September 2014
And “Logan mosque bombarded with anti-Islamic leaflets in latest hate attack”, Courier Mail, 15 September 2014