Australia: Backlash over new Islamic school

Click here: Brisbane Times.com.au – Backlash over new Islamic school

Up to 1000 people have protested against the building of a private Islamic school in Sydney’s south-west as the backlash against the project – including a text message campaign – builds. The proposed Islamic school for Camden has outraged thousands of residents, some of whom say it would bring violence to the suburb and turn it into a “dirty looking town like Lakemba”.

…Cr Patterson said most of the 270 responses received by council opposed the plan on “perceived problems with traffic, rural lifestyle and amenities”. But concerns aired in posts on the local newspaper’s website were more blunt. A Camden Advertiser reader, who identified herself only as Hayley, said she felt sick. “The thought of our beautiful Camden accommodating to this religion is a disgrace … This Islamic school will change the town forever,” she said.

… The spokesman for the Quranic Society, Jeremy Bingham, said he had anticipated the religious backlash. “People fear what they don’t yet understand,” he said. “There’s nothing at all for people to be afraid of any more than they need to be afraid of Catholics or Jews or Protestants.”…Students would be taught subjects in line with the government syllabus in a structure that allowed for prayer and time dedicated to religious instruction – just like in other church schools, he said. “It’s just a school for little kiddies who want to learn to be good Australians and they will be taught to be good Australians. Their religious faith happens to be the Muslim faith, that’s all,” Mr Bingham said.

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