A small group of protesters oppose a proposed mosque in Currumbin. Photo: Tony Moore / Brisbanetimes
A small group of protesters oppose a proposed mosque in Currumbin. Photo: Tony Moore / Brisbanetimes

OPINION: Mosque opponents should think again

COMMENT BY CAROLINE HUTCHINSON: IS IT just me or does everyone value freedom above all else?

A local Muslim organisation has announced plans to build a mosque in Maroochydore.

The group has bought land next to the Catholics in Church St and is raising money to begin construction. Stella Maris Parish priest Father Joe Duffy has welcomed the Muslims "with open arms".

Tomorrow a group of angry locals plans to protest at the site - and the "Stop The Mosque'' Facebook page they have built or support to rally the troops is nothing short of venomous.

The mainstream media has done a great job demonising Muslims. I imagine it's a little like the Jews felt in Germany in the 1930s. I mean it. Find one article in recent weeks that doesn't talk about radicalisation, violence and threats, when the truth is, almost all Muslims in Australia are just quietly raising their families, equally as perplexed by the radicals as they are by a country that seems to have turned against them.

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We have had mosques in Australia for more than 100 years. What makes Australia so great - what the Stop The Mosque brigade think they're fighting for - is freedom.

The Australian way of life promises freedom of conscience and freedom of cultural expression.

Freedom of religion is central to democracy. We must all be able to think and wear what we like. I don't like the burqa. I don't like what it says about women, but it's just not my business.

Every person who values their right to follow the religion of their choice without fear should stand with the Muslims tomorrow.

As Australians, we expect Muslims to respect us and our religions, but we show them little in return.

Everyone who is upset or frightened by talk of a caliphate should stop to think of the cultural devastation Christian evangelists have wrought across the world. Why do we think we are any different?

My gentle, rarely moved husband wrote a note to people he knows who are rallying to "Stop The Mosque". He asked them, "Is this not like stopping Stella Maris church being built in the 1970s because the IRA was bombing the crap out of Protestants?"

I think Jesus said it best - "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."



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