Doblo says no to mosques
OUTSPOKEN businessman Dominic Doblo has been accused of stirring up religious division after expressing online his concerns about Islamic extremists in Rockhampton.
On Sunday, the former mayoral candidate who says he will stand for the top job again "if no other suitable candidates" come forward, attacked Waseem Razvi, who spoke at Rockhampton's Islamic Open Day in 2014.
Mr Razvi was mentioned in a weekend report by The Australian newspaper, where it was claimed an event to be run at Deakin University by an organisation he presided over was going to contain extremist content.
The university has since defended Mr Razvi after the event was held on Saturday, saying there was "nothing to suggest" anything had occurred at the function that was disrespectful, dismissive or unlawful.
Mr Razvi yesterday denied the inclusion of any material from extremist groups.
The academic described the event as an educational conference which also covered the topics of Christianity, Buddhism, Hinduism, feminism, homosexuality, domestic violence and drug addiction.
"We have had our major public conferences that were not only attended but also addressed by federal police officers," Mr Razvi told The Morning Bulletin yesterday.
"I don't see anyone having the right to call us extreme or radical, it is impossible for us to be extremist and deal with them.
"We have been invited regularly by the Buddhist, Christian and Jewish community to events.
"There are certain anti-muslim sources in Australia that try to create hysteria and discord in the community and unitedly, we Australians must condemn such groups... this growing islamophobia should be countered."
But Mr Doblo was sticking to his position that Mr Razvi's involvement with the Rockhampton Islamic community was of concern due to his leadership role in the Islamic Research and Education Academy.
And despite posting an online status shortly after the Rockhampton open day describing the community as "genuine" and "welcoming", he yesterday said Mr Razvi's speech was "full on" and raised concerns about the community's potential "hidden agenda".
Mr Doblo said council should not allow any request for Muslims to have their own burial ground at any of the region's cemeteries, nor should it allow mosques to be built on council land.
"I don't want them to have a separate cemetery... If they don't want to get buried with us then don't come here.
"They should build their own mosque with their own money, we don't want to give them any land, but I don't really want them here."
Mayor Margaret Strelow yesterday said comments such as these stirred up religious divisions.
Cr Strelow rejected Mr Doblo's claims that the local Islamic community wanted to build a mosque on council land or had their own section at the cemetery.
"There has not been any approach for land that I am aware of. And any request would see them join a long list of community groups who have asked and found that Council does not have land to give away," she said.
"The local Muslim community use the same cemetery as everyone else."
The Morning Bulletin was unsuccessful in their attempts to contact the Islamic Society of Central Queensland yesterday.