Canberra (IINA) – A rowdy protest broke out on Thursday evening during a meeting of the Bendigo City Council in the Australian state of Victoria against what would be the city’s first mosque.
The council approved the mosque in June last year, but a group of Australian anti-Muslim racists are again trying to appeal that decision. They Yelled slogans and called Bendigo mayor Peter Cox a traitor. The heckling escalated until the city council meeting was adjourned and police were called to evacuate the protesters who took over Bendigo’s public gallery.
Seven of nine council members approved the Islamic center in June last year, and the council then won a legal challenge six weeks ago.
While the Mayor said the group had exercised its democratic right by lodging an appeal, he stated the group’s objections this time were not raised respectfully.
Heri Febriyanto of the Bendigo Islamic Association said the Muslim community is simply practicing its rights.
“Aggression and the violence cannot be the Australian way. The majority of Bendigo supports us. Everyone has the freedom to practice their religion, and the Muslim (people) of Bendigo are also happy to be able to do this.”