Christian leaders have joined their Muslim counterparts at a mosque south of Brisbane to collectively condemn religious vilification in the area.
A Queensland Muslim leader says his community feels under siege and some women are too afraid to leave their homes for fear of being vilified.
Dr Mohamad Abdalla, the acting Imam of the Kuraby Mosque, south of Brisbane, was one of about a dozen Muslim and Christian leaders who gathered at the mosque on Friday to call for religions to stand together against hate and bigotry.
The meeting came just hours after a man was charged with telling a woman wearing a hijab and niqab in a Logan shopping centre: “You are a Muslim, go back to your country”.
The previous day, a man allegedly sprayed menacing graffiti on the walls of Rocklea Islamic centre.
Dr Abdalla said more frequent incidents of racial and religious vilification have been reported in the area since a raid on an Islamic bookstore at Underwood resulted in the arrest of two men on terror-related charges.
He said local Muslims, particularly women, are too afraid to leave the homes because of the growing abuse.
Christian Pastor David Bush said Friday’s meeting was a response to the “menacing” of recent weeks.
“(It is) to declare that we will not allow the actions of a few to justify religious or ethnic tensions in our community,” he said.
“Any vitriol, hate or menace … does not reflect the best of our Australian community values. In a time such as this we must live by the best of our community values.”
Dr Abdalla also criticised an Islamic State (IS) propaganda video calling for Australian authorities and disbelievers to be killed.
He called IS a “betrayal of Islam”.
“The horrors conducted overseas in the name of religion are crimes against humanity and sins against God,” Dr Abdalla told the crowd.
“The recent so-called fatwa issued by ISIS making reference to Australia as a target has no religious authority and must be condemned and rejected,” he said.
The location of the meeting was symbolic, as the mosque was burned down in one of the first vilification crimes after the September 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.
The leaders who attended the meeting included those from the Anglican, Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Quakers, Waiters and Churches Of Christ denominations.
Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander representatives also gathered.
The group issued a call for all “people of goodwill to act decisively and positively to protect the fabric of our community.”
Outside the mosque, Dr Abdalla called on political leaders to set an example for people who may have incorrectly linked Islam with acts of terror.
“They are doing certainly much more than they had done after 9/11,” he said.
“But I think there needs to be more statements, unequivocal clear statements, from all political leaders, disassociating the actions of ISIS from Islam, and the Muslim community.”