A similar mosque protest was held on the Gold Coast recently.
A similar mosque protest was held on the Gold Coast recently.

Daily readers divided over Maroochydore mosque debate

MEMBERS of a new Facebook page - Stop the mosque at Maroochydore - are planning a peaceful protest on Saturday at the Church St site of the proposed development.

More than 2400 people have liked the Facebook page since its creation a week ago and many have said they will attend the protest.

When we asked what The Daily's online followers thought about the mosque more than half said they viewed it as a threat.

The Daily tried to contact the Stop the mosque page creator, but he or she declined a request to be interviewed.

However, Michael Holt from the Restore Australia party says his group has been involved in opposing the building of mosques around the country - "in Bunbury, Kalgoorlie, Bendigo and Currumbin".

Gold Coast City Council rejected the Currumbin application on Tuesday.

Mr Holt said he was also working with Sunshine Coast Council and various people in the State Government to have laws introduced to prohibit the building of mosques in Queensland.

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He argued Islam was "a legal, political, economic, social, and military ideology wrapped in a thin skin of religion".

His views have been strongly rejected by Muslim Organisation of Sunshine Coast president Orhan Dilbaz, who wondered if Mr Holt had ever read the Koran.

"This is not the case, Islam is peaceful," Mr Dilbaz said.

One Christian supporter of the stop the mosque group said he did not agree with Muslim values or what they stood for.

"As much as there are many peace loving Muslims...currently and over the last few years there have been hundreds of Christian churches and homes burned down by Muslim Extremists all over the world," he said.

"Thousands of Christians have been killed, raped and looted even in the last few months by radical Muslims.

"Why should we tolerate to allow them to build their mosque in Maroochydore?" he asked.

Both Premier Campbell Newman and Attorney-General Jarrod Bleijie have indicated their support for Muslims being allowed to practise their religion and say the decision to approve the mosque will rest with Sunshine Coast Council.

"Mosques have been in Queensland for over 100 years. This is a town planning issue," Mr Newman said.

"The Sunshine Coast Council will have to evaluate on town planning principles. That's the way it should be viewed."

The council has indicated the application falls within planning rules.

"There is currently no approval for use of the site as a 'place of worship' and this would need to be obtained," a spokeswoman said.

"Under the current planning provisions for the precinct, the use of the site as a 'place of worship' is a supported use and would require only code assessment that is not subject to public notification."

Mayor Mark Jamieson has welcomed all ancestries to the region.

"The Sunshine Coast is a harmonious and safe place to live. We consist of more than 300 ancestries - and we all get on very well," he said.



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