Plans for an Islamic ‘mega project’ in Brisbane featuring a mosque, apartments and a childcare centre have been condemned by the community who have slammed it as a segregated Muslim enclave.
The development – which will provide cradle to grave care for Muslims – has sparked fury with residents at a nearby retirement village.
Those opposed to the master plan argue it promotes segregation and is incompatible with the area’s multicultural values, but supporters claim it will not be exclusive to Muslims, A Current Affair reports.
The Australian International Islamic College lodged plans to add a mosque, 120 residential apartments, childcare and retail space within its existing site at Durack, in the city’s southern outskirts.
Muslim Sultan Deen has hit back at claims it will encourage a divide between the Islam community and the rest of the area.
He also denies it will be a Muslim ‘enclave’ and says it will welcome people of all religions.
‘It’s open to everybody, sure there will be facilities provided to Muslims but it won’t be exclusively for Muslims,’ he said.
‘If the Muslims put out anything, it automatically gets stomped on.’
Residents of the adjacent retirement village say they do not oppose the plans because it will cater to Muslims, but because it will dramatically increase traffic and reduce privacy.
The Islamic school houses 600 students but will skyrocket to 2000 if the plans are given the green light.
Residents opposed to the plan for a Muslim community have lodged a petition with Brisbane City Council.
‘The apparent exclusivity of the proposed development to a religious group will offer hardly any benefit to the community it is situated in as a whole and is inconsistent with the multicultural community that already exists in the suburb,’ the petition, cited by the South-West News, stated.
Labor councillor Steve Griffiths said he was opposed to the development proposal for 724 Blunder Road, however he stressed this was on planning and not religious grounds.
‘The impact on other local residents’ amenity appears well beyond that expected of its use as community facilities – educational purposes,’ he said in a submission obtained by Quest Newspapers.
The plans, seen by Daily Mail Australia, include a proposal for a two-storey mosque covering 1,970 square metres.
It would include a three-storey aged care and residential building, 3,000 square metres of retail space and 120 residential apartments, on top of new classrooms and a childcare centre.
The existing site is already home to the college, which caters for students from kindergarten to year 12.
It is near Inala, which is home to a large Vietnamese community, and the Wacol prison, which both fall with Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Inala electorate.