A Vietnam war veteran driving a truck with the slogan ‘Stop The Mosque’ splashed across the side, has been driving around Bendigo, Victoria, blasting an Islamic Call to Prayer from his vehicle. Charles Mollison (right) is the founder and chairman of vocal anti-Islamic website Restore Australia and travelled from Queensland to protest the construction of a mosque in the city. Victorian Police confirmed in a statement they pulled the man over around 4pm on Wednesday in Bendigo’s central business district. ‘Police were responding to noise complaints about the vehicle, the driver received a warning regarding the noise,’ the statement said.
UK Daily Mail Mr Mollison told the Bendigo Advertiser he was protesting the ‘Islamisation of our society’. Police told him his signs were discriminatory but there was nothing they could do about it. ‘I said, “Hang on, hang on, are you trying to tell me if the sign said, Let’s Build a Mosque, it would be okay,” and they said, “Yes”.’
‘There are only 147 Muslims in the whole of the Greater Bendigo area so you have to ask firstly, why would they want a huge mosque that would hold over 1000 people and secondly, you would have to ask for such a small Muslim community how can they raise $5 million and build a $3 million mosque,’ he told the publication.
Mr Mollison’s truck protest comes after plans were approved last month in Bendigo for a mufti-million dollar mosque to be built by the Australian Islamic Mission. AIM Secretary Dr Seyed Sheriffdeen told Daily Mail Australia he doesn’t understand why people are coming from interstate to do ‘utterly crazy things in the street.’
‘If there’s local residents concerned about their normal life, we are also concerned about it. If there’s Muslims disturbing their life we want to know what Muslims.’ Dr Sheriffdeen also said that if the council or the courts have ruled against the mosque they would have no issue, but the Islamic community have not done anything wrong. ‘They’re trying to portray us as terrorists… We are the type of people who want to build bridges with other people,’ he said. (You say that now, but we know what you do once you have infested an area, you drive all the non-Muslims out)
If constructed, the mosque will reportedly have two floors, a cafe, retail area and a sports hall on what is currently empty land in Bendigo’s east. At the moment, 300 local Muslims meet in a prayer room at the local University campus.
This month the City of Greater Bendigo Council’s Mayor Cr Barry Lyons launched a campaign in conjunction with the Australian Human Rights Commission called ‘Racism. It stops with me.’ (What “race” is Islam?) Cr Lyons said he would not tolerate racism in the Greater Bendigo community and expected residents would not either. ‘This campaign is designed to raise awareness and empower Australians to confront prejudice in their community. Greater Bendigo residents are proud and inclusive and I look forward to their full support,’ he said.
The Age reports that Mollison’s anti-Islam lobby group in Queensland has also given up to $10,000 to opponents of the mosque to print anti-Islamic material. In the weeks surrounding the debate over the development proposal, residents of Bendigo noticed black balloons appearing around the town tied to trees, houses and office fronts. The balloons were left by a vocal group of protesters furious about plans to build a prayer building in the regional city.
Local councillors who voted in favour of the construction said they felt ‘personally targeted’ by the black balloons which appeared at his business, where he also lives. ‘I was a bit appalled really given the antics the anti-Muslim group made at the council chamber while we were debating,’ Cr Weragoda, who is of Sri Lankan origin, told MailOnline. ‘I thought “This is obviously targeting me personally.”‘ (It IS! Why do you want to be in a neighborhood that doesn’t want your kind?)
A spokesperson for community group Stop The Mosque In Bendigo, whose Facebook page has attracted more than 7700 likes, said it was opposed to the development because it is concerned the Muslim Brotherhood is trying to take over Australia for Islam.
‘In my opinion a mosque preaching jihad and sedition decreases the security of any town,’ they told MailOnline in June.
This is the Islamic Call to Prayer blasted from loudspeakers several times a day that the residents of Bendigo will be subjected to once there is a mosque.