The Center of Supervision on Mosques Affairs - Speaking through a translator, alongside other Islamic community and religious leaders, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed addressed media rejecting the “deviant so-called religious teachings” possibly inflicted on teen terrorist Farhad Jabar who murdered police employee Curtis Chen one week ago.
While refusing to label last Friday’s attack terrorism, Dr Mohamed acknowledged violent extremism was a rare but serious problem facing the entire community.
“Sadly, a very, very small number of Australians of Muslim faith have chosen this path,” he said.
Addressing those who supported Jabar’s act of violence, Dr Mohamed said “stop messing with Australia and its society”.
“We refuse and reject any form of terrorist activities, whether this — if it’s proven to be a terrorist act — or any other.”
Dr Mohamed called for “proper communication between the families and the community and us” as well as security agencies and police.
“We believe that dialogue is the prerequisite of understanding. Australia deserves this for us to remain in a cohesive society,” he added.
United Muslim Women Association director Maha Abdo said the Muslim community had been “under siege” in the past week.
“What happened last week is appalling, it is hurting, and Australian Muslim women are hurting because ‘it could have been my child’,” she said.
Farhad Jabar worshipped at the Parramatta Mosque before killing Curtis Cheng.Source:News Corp Australia
The chairman of the Parramatta Mosque Neil El-Kadomi is expected to make it clear he won’t tolerate terrorism.Source:News Corp Australia
Following this morning’s comments, Parramatta Mosque chairman Neil El-Kadomi is expected to deliver a blunt message to hundreds of congregants in his first sermon since last week’s fatal terror attack.
The unassuming prayer hall fell into focus this week when it was revealed to have host 15-year-old Jabar before he proceeded to the Parramatta Poice centre where he murdered Mr Cheng.
Later this afternoon the mosque’s leader will deliver a message of intolerance, saying he will “not tolerate anyone who wants to get us into trouble”.
In an interview with Fairfax Media, Mr Kadomi said he would tell worshippers: “If you don’t like Australia, leave it.”
Mr Kadomi said Mr Cheng’s murder, committed by a boy who frequented the mosque was a “real wake-up call”, prompting him to warn visitors to the mosque if they have crime in mind the police will be told.
He did however reject expectation that the mosque should be policing potential terrorists.
“If somebody walks into McDonald’s and shoots everyone, is McDonald’s blamed?,” he asked.
Neil El-Kadomi will address Parramatta mosque for the first time since last week’s shooting. Picture: Sam MooySource:News Corp Australia
Protesters are expected to rally outside the Parramatta apartment building ignoring police calls for calm.
Anti-Muslim protesters, headed by Party For Freedom representative Nick Folkes, have been called to gather at the mosque to “demand Parramatta Mosque be shut down until the mosque publicly rejects terrorism and sharia law”.
Fewer than 100 protesters have signed up to attend the “Bulldoze the Mosque Rally”.
As well as shutting down the mosque, the group will argue “the high maintenance Islamic community needs constant monitoring to prevent further terrorist attacks”, and suggest proposals to accept Muslim refugees from Syria will results in “extra strain on our police, welfare and prison systems”.
The group is planning to proceed with the protest which is expected to attract significant police presence despite NSW police disapproval of the protest.
Promotion for the anti-Muslim rally has attracted attention, but only 100 people have signed up to attend. Picture: Party For Freedom
“Police want to remind any member of the public against engaging in reprisal actions or inciting violence against any community group or individual,” a NSW police spokeswoman told news.com.au.
“Anyone engaging in this type of unlawful behaviour can be charged and prosecuted.”
The spokeswoman told news.com.au acts of violence “will not be tolerated” and any such acts at this afternoon’s planned protest “will be treated as the serious offence it is”.
“Equally the rights of citizens to hold peaceful assemblies are balanced with other rights including the undertaking of lawful business activities, and the safety and security of the broader community,” she said.
Race Discrimination Commission Dr Tim Soutphommasane joined calls for calm.
“The community is right to be shocked by the murder of Curtis Cheng and to condemn such abhorrent violence. However, no one should be taking the law into their own hands,” he said in a statement.
“While I support the right of individuals to express their opinions, any planned protests must remain peaceful. There is absolutely no excuse for vilification, intimidation or violence.”
Further protests are planned over the weekend, hosted by other nationalist groups including The Australian Defence League.
Organisers of each protests have not responded to news.com.au’s attempts to contact them.
A counter-rally has also been organised, with more than 300 registered to gather outside the mosque to “oppose fascist calls to shut Parramatta Mosque”.
Organiser Omar Hassan told news.com.au the “community gathering” was planned yesterday after word was spread of the Party for Freedom protest.
Mr Hassan said he was confident the “show of support” would proceed peacefully, and was not concerned about building further unrest around the mosque.
“We feel that there is already far too much of a spotlight being put on the Muslim community,” he said.
“We are simply there to show our support during this difficult time.”