Islam-as-Race Alert. Of course, the fact that “Islamic schools are scattered across Australian cities … [and] receive government funds” doesn’t seem to matter much. After all, Australia is supposedly a part of Dar al-Islam. More on this story.
“Australian Muslims cry foul over Catholic school,” from EarthTimes, September 9:
Sydney – Australian Muslims said Tuesday that racism was behind a Sydney council’s decision to approve plans for a Catholic school and reject a proposal to build an Islamic school. The building projects are in the Sydney suburb of Camden, where five months ago the local council received 3,500 complaints about a plan to build an Islamic school and had to hire security guards to ensure order at meetings where the project was discussed.
Camden Mayor Chris Patterson said comparisons between the two projects were invalid because “any application is site-specific. If a Catholic church had put in for the Quranic Society site, it would not have been approved, and alternatively, if the Quranic Society had put in for the Mater Dei site, and it meets the criteria, it would be approved.”
Quranic Society spokesman Issam Obeid said the council was applying a “double-standard” rather than simply following zoning rules.
“No one knows anything about the Catholic school, and they say, ‘Yeah, give it a tick already,'” he said. “I think racism is affecting this.”
The Quranic Council is appealing the decision to reject its proposal for a 1,200-pupil school.
At rowdy meetings in May, Camden residents argued that few Muslims lived in the area and the pupils would be bused in from distant suburbs with large Muslim populations.
The Quranic Society project is not a test case: Islamic schools are scattered across Australian cities, which, like Catholic schools or Jewish schools, receive government funds.