'Arrest everyone practising Islam': Anti-mosque protestors
ANTI-MUSLIM protesters were the sole voices at a rally against a mosque in the Maroochydore CBD this morning.
About 150 protesters gathered outside the two-storey building at Church St, which has been approved to operate as a mosque by Sunshine Coast Council on Thursday.
No supporters of the Muslim faith attended.
It was a stark contrast to the rally last year where insults flew between anti and pro-mosque residents.
Streets around the protest were blocked off by police while plain clothes and uniform police had to repeatedly warn anti-mosque protesters to tone their comments and anger down.
The situation became repeatedly heated as supporters of the mosque tried to convince opponents that most Islamic people were peace-loving and represented no threat to Australia's way of life.
This morning's rally was on a smaller scale, but those opposed to the mosque were just as passionate.
Opponents warned of beheadings, the introduction of Sharia law, the loss of rights for women and the undermining of the Australian way of life.
Many protesters though voiced fears those setting up an Islamic church would be 'nice now' but would 'stab people in the back' before long and try to take over the community.
Standing at the back of a ute on the street, Restore Australia CEO and rally organiser Mike Holt told his supporters he would never give up fighting against mosques in Australia.
He said the mosque would be the "first wedge" in allowing terrorists into the Coast community.
"We will stop this mosque because we want to," Mr Holt said.
"Once you set your mind to something you can achieve it.
"Even if only one man sets his mind to something. you can do wonders
"Look at Gandhi, one man stood against racism and eventually he freed India of the whole domination by Britain, we can do it.
"Let's have more rallies down here, get your friends here next time.
"We'll have a rally here every month if we need to, let's put a stop this damn thing."
Mr Holt warned once a small group of Muslims were provided a place of worship, they would infiltrate the entire community.
His comments were met with cheers from protestors.
"The Muslims are working hard to get into our power system, into our government, into our council into our legal systems, into our banks, they are everywhere already, if you don't know already, it's very frightening," he told the crowd.
Footage from the moment protesters clashed at last year's rally
"Islam is a problem there's no doubt about that it's only part of the problem it's a symptom the point is our political system is kaput."
The floor was opened up for more discussion.
A young man named Caleb stood up, dressed in a suit with an Australian flag draped over his shoulders to warn of the horrors of Islam.
"I don't want to see principles of violence and war and raping little girls and theft and banditry brought into Queensland and I don't want to see it in Australia," he said.
"I am here to stand up against this evil ideology.
"A lot of us here in Australia we fail to realise even though Islam are 2.2% of the religion in Australia, it is a young religion and Islam is going to keep spreading through the youth.
"They'll breed us out, their birth rate is higher
"It's our children and our children's children that will have this problem because Islam will spread because they will eventually breed us out and pushing the hate into our young people."
Another man went against the popular opinion at the rally, to argue the protestors were simply lumping all Muslims into one "basket" as extremists, but his comments were soon shut down by the passionate crowd.
"To me ISIS is the criminal element not the majority of Muslims," he said.
"It's just ignorance."
Sunshine Coast Council approved the mosque, which is located next door the Stella Maris Church, on Thursday.
The mosque was approved with strict conditions this week without public discussion or a vote of the council. It was approved under delegated authority.
Conditions include that there be no more than 25 during weekly services or 40 during twice-yearly holiday/festival services.
The services are allowed for 12 to 3pm on Fridays and 7am to 10am on festival days. No amplified music or sound is allowed.
The proposal involves the re-use of an existing building and car parking, with the "Place of Worship" on the ground floor and "Caretakers' Residence" on the second floor
An address during last year's rally
Planning portfolio councillor Christian Dickson said the application was assessed and managed in accordance with the requirements of the Sustainable Planning Act 2009 and the Sunshine Coast Planning Scheme 2014.
He said he had been inundated with feedback since the approval, but he said the decision was final and those who had an issue should rally their state and federal members to change the overarching laws.
He said it was not council's role to decide which faiths could be practised.
"This is a place of worship just like any Christian or Catholic church," Cr Dickson said.
"I was not surprised by this rally today, it shows we have the capacity for free speech and that is what democracy is all about.
"But instead of just turning up to protests and rallies, get in touch with your Federal or State member, join a group get education and campaign for change.
"We live in Australia things like bombings and beheadings and those sorts of things will not be tolerated by any group here."
Mr Holt said he was "disgusted" by the council's decision and said it was a sign that democracy was dead.
He challenged the council to put the mosque decision to a public vote.
"This community is concerned and they have no say," Mr Holt said.
"This is the problem with the state planning act because it doesn't' take into consideration the concerns of people and that's the whole problem with the political system, no one cares about the people.
Mr Holt said activists will be closely watching mosque-goers to monitor whether they are adhering to the council-imposed conditions.