National

Qld mosque agitators branded ‘extremists’

By AAP Newswire

Islamic leaders say right-wing extremists are behind an offensive act of intimidation at a Brisbane mosque, where a teenager was called a terrorist and Islam a cult.

A group of men went to the Kuraby Mosque on Wednesday and abused and threatened worshippers after asking to be let inside to film what was going on, the Islamic Council of Queensland said.

"They started saying Islam is a cult and they started going through the books," council spokesman Ali Kadri said, while calling the men uncivilised animals.

He said the men, who say they are from a Baptist church in Ipswich, threatened a 65-year-old man and told a 15-year-old boy, "you don't belong in this country, you bloody terrorist, and we should burn this place down to the ground".

Another mosque at Darra was also targeted on Wednesday, but the group didn't get past the closed front gate.

Police seized cameras and mobile phones from the men after they turned up there again on Thursday.

The incidents follow the arrest of 21-year-old Za'id Abdus Samad on terrorism charges during a raid on a Kuraby home on Saturday, but the council says Samad didn't attend the Kuraby centre.

Religious leaders will meet on Thursday night to discuss what Mr Kadri says is the routine abuse Queensland Muslims suffer because of their faith.

"Our community is terrorised by these people," he added.

Mr Kadri says what happened at Kuraby wasn't unusual and there appeared to be a group of people going into mosques with the intention of baiting worshippers and then capturing any angry responses on camera.

"If you want to criticise Islam, so be it ... but do not threaten and abuse people."

Worshippers turned their cameras phones on the men who went to the mosque, capturing a man in a suit and tie badgering the teenage boy and asking him if the marriage between the prophet Mohammed and his wife Ayesha amounted to paedophilia.

Police were called to the Kuraby mosque and are investigating.

Mr Kadri said authorities must take the intimidation campaign seriously and said existing laws don't offer enough protection for victims of religious hatred.

"There are a couple of people in my community who are telling me I am too soft and weak, but I have seen what violence has done from the country I left," he said.

"We are not going to be afraid of these people ... and we are not going to respond to abuse with abuse or violence with violence."

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said she believed existing laws afforded the right level of protection in such instances.