SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association)-Firearm shots at two Muslim families’ house and car on Brisbane have added to Australian Muslim concerns over the rise of Islamophobia in the community, the attacks which added to the religious community’s feeling of insecurity in their home country.
“For all we know it could be a hate crime, but we would like to wait until the police complete their investigation,” Brisbane Islamic community leader Ali Kadri was quoted by Courier Mail on Saturday, September 27.
Kadri said he had also heard anti-Islamic graffiti had been sprayed on a school in Algester yesterday.
The leader’s concern followed two incidents on Friday evening in Brisbane.
In one of the attacks, a firearm, believed to be a shotgun, was used to fire into the Kentish Street house, at Mount Gravatt East in the city’s south east.
Several hundred meters away, shots were fired into a car at Dunbar Street.
Both attacks, which happened about midnight, have sparked outrage among Brisbane’s Islamic community with one leader suggesting they could have been motivated by ‘hate.’
Kadri also spoke openly about the Muslim community’s reaction to the recent terror raids on homes across Australia, where he said he was ‘shocked.’
“Over the last week we have had message of hate, but we have also had messages of encouragement,” he said following at the time of the raids.
The rejection of a Currumbin Mosque, on the Gold Coast, was also criticized by the Muslim leader.
“I am disappointed that without engaging and communicating [the community] have opposed the mosque,” Kafri said.
“People have a right to object to anything and everything they want, but it should be based on fact,” he said.
However, police detectives said it was too early to say what might have been behind the shootings.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.
In post 9/11-era, Australian Muslims have been haunted with suspicion and have had their patriotism questioned.
Muslims’ trust in the police has been shaken after the recent “anti-terror” raids which targeted the religious minority amid heightened security measures that led to increasing the anti-Muslim sentiments.
The raids were followed by a huge number of anti-Muslim attacks, including a mosque being defaced in Queensland and direct threats issued against the Grand Mufti of Australia.
Moreover, an 18-year-old Muslim teen, Numan Haide, was shot died by counter-terrorism officers outside Endeavour Hills police station this week.