by Ray Dixon (a Victorian and not-a-muslim-basher)
Bendigo woman Monika Evers would not approve of the above – not in her town.
No Burqas for Bendigo is Monika’s mantra and sworn belief.
You see, Monika hates Muslims so much (or ‘fears’ them so much she hates them – same thing) that she lodged a VCAT objection against the Bendigo Council’s approval of a Mosque proposed to be built in the regional Victorian City of Bendigo. One of 432 such objections (from a population of over 100,000).
Monika also joined (or formed) a local protest group whose arguments against the Mosque included such gems of genius as these:
Opponents said the mosque would bring violence to Bendigo and the city would be overtaken by Sharia law.
“If you’re Muslim and you want a mosque, go back to the Middle East. This is Australia,” one member of the public said.
The protest group asked what councillors were doing to protect the city from terrorism and accused the council of failing to consult the community.
“Bendigo people own Bendigo, it’s their town, they have the right to say mosque or no mosque,” one person said.
“We’re not racists.”
But Monika went further than that and started up an anti-Mosque Facebook page, Stop the Mosque in Bendigo. Not surprisingly, the Facebook page contains very little about the actual proposed building itself but a shitload of anti-muslim sentiment and reports and commentary on Islamic matters from far and wide, none of which seems relevant to Bendigo, which has had an established Muslim community for over 15 years that has peacefully co-existed with the “owners”, i.e. with “Bendigo people”, you know, the real “owners” of Bendigo, got it? Read it if you like but it doesn’t make much sense or have any coherence – just a lot of hate speech (GD might enoy it though?)
So Monika trots off to VCAT and what does she do? Well, she applies to have her name suppressed because, according to her, she’s received “online death threats” and “fears for her safety”. What a surprise.
Despite claims by her advocate that “the alleged threats to her safety have led to Australian Security Intelligence Organisation, the Australian Federal Police and Victoria Police checking in on her a number of times”, VCAT rejected the suppression application, saying there was a lack of credible information to support Ms Evers’ safety threat claims, which I guess means neither ASIO or the Police found any evidence of them either.
Oh dear, what does a true blue Aussie girl just trying to protect herself and her fellow Bendigoites from:
Halal sausages and
… then go and do?
Well she leaves the court in tears of course (under police guard) while attempting to hide her identity ….
…. like this:
Oh, the irony.
I’ll give the last word on this episode of anti-Muslim madness to a member of Bendigo’s Islamic community and to the Victorian Government’s Minister for Planning Matthew Guy (who is a Liberal MP, GD please note):
A member of Bendigo’s Islamic community said he was grateful the local council had decided to support plans.
Heri Febriyanto said the local Muslim community was growing, and has nowhere to pray or celebrate.
“We are also the local community in Bendigo,” Mr Febriyanto said.
“We have been living here for more than 15 years, so we are same as the locals in Bendigo, we are working as well.
“So I think we should have the equality of rights, then we would like to live in harmony within the community of Bendigo.”
Victoria’s Planning and Multicultural Affairs Minister, Matthew Guy, has backed the council’s decision and criticised the comments of some of those opposing the application.
“People making those kinds of comments are silly, I mean that’s not what we expect in this country, particularly on a planning matter like this, people should be respectful and sensible,” Mr Guy said.
“They’ve considered it (the mosque application) on its merits, it’s got through, if people want to appeal it they should, but it should be on the grounds of planning law and not on emotion.”
Thank you Heri – when did you get off welfare again? GD wants to know how (and why) you did that, you bludger.
And thank you Matthew Guy. For a while there I was losing my faith in my fellow Victorians and was contemplating a move to
Western Sydney Wellington, New Zealand.
We are ‘The Smarter State’ after all.