“We will Ask the Police to have [the Three Men Who Attacked People in the Mosque] Come and Visit the Mosque So that They Can See Who We Are and to Discuss Any Issues They May Have”

On 4 September 2015, three Caucasian men attacked three Muslim men at the Bait-ul-Salam Mosque in Langwarrin, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. A 61-year-old Muslim man’s nose was broken, and the other victims of the attack also sustained facial injuries. The mosque is the headquarters of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Victoria. Imam Syed Wadood Janud said that people at the mosque have been the target of other attacks. He said that this has “been an ongoing issue and we have had people come in four times in the past three months.” Senior Sergeant Ron Barbury, of Carrum Downs police, said the attack was “obviously prearranged” and added, “The mosque is out of the way and does not attract attention. You would have to know it’s there to go there. It’s not like it’s on a main highway. It was certainly a targeted attack.” Iman Janud said that a man entered the mosque and began “racially abusing and using indecent language and cursing” the mosque’s members. Iman Janud added, “He was asked to leave and our members followed him out, but there they were met by two others and the trouble began.” He believes that the three men had been there before: “They are the same fellows; they are targeting us. It is sad that these few people in the community are against us. We endeavour to reach out to the community so that people know what we stand for.” The response of the mosque to the attack is impressive: If the three men are caught, the mosque won’t seek criminal charges against them. Iman Janud said, “We will ask the police to have them come and visit the mosque so that they can see who we are and to discuss any issues they may have. We want to be part of the community in Langwarrin and, hopefully, after talking with them we may change their minds.” Senior Sergeant Barbury said, “What drives people to do these kinds of acts I don’t know. Whether they like it or not, we have a lot of different religions and races in our community and we have to live harmoniously. Targeting a particular group of people [for attacks] for whatever reason is pointless and wrong.”

For Further Information: Stephen Taylor, “Mosque ‘marauders’ attack three.” Frankston Times (Victoria, Australia). 14 September 2015

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