Rally set to protest mosque approval
THE group fighting an Islamic mosque in Maroochydore say they will continue to lobby councillors and MPs for change despite approval of the facility by council officers.
The mosque at 14 Church St was approved with strict conditions this week without public discussion or a vote of the council. It was approved under delegated authority.
Conditions include that there be no more than 25 during weekly services or 40 during twice-yearly holiday/festival services.
The services are allowed for 12 to 3pm on Fridays and 7am to 10am on festival days. No amplified music or sound is allowed.
Planning portfolio councillor Christian Dickson said it was important objectors noted it was not the role of council's planning scheme - or the council - to make judgments on religious grounds.
"All individuals in Australia have the right and expectation to practise their chosen religion in a peaceful and non-threatening environment," he said.
But Sunshine Coast Safe Communities said it would continue to lobby for statewide legislative changes.
She said more than 6500 had already signed an online petition to the Queensland Parliament which called for religious groups which opposes Australian law and advocated Sharia Law and violence to lose special exemptions and concessions.
The petition will be presented to Parliament by MP Steve Dickson - Cr Dickson's father- on October 2.
A spokesperson said the 600-strong group would continue to hold sessions to educate the wider community about the dangers of Islamic fundamentalists gaining a foothold on the Coast.
Restore Australia says it will hold a rally outside the mosque at midday on Saturday (June 27).
Reclaim Australia is also planning to hold a public rally next month.
The Sunshine Coast Safe Communities group said it had no plans for rallies, describing itself as a 'moderate' group which preferred to explore education, lobbying and legal avenues.
While the group took some comfort in the strict conditions imposes, it said even small mosques could grow to become a problem, as experienced in Sydney and Melbourne.
She cited problems with the Toowoomba mosque - which had experienced two arson attacks - and had a "young jihadi' going to Syria" come from its ranks.
Oliver Bridgman has maintained he has not been involved in any fighting but was only distributing medical supplies.
* An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Sunshine Coast Safe Communities had plans for rallies. This was incorrect. The group has made it clear that it operates under a constitution which does not allow for rallies.