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Brisbane Archbishop urges Catholic parishes to support Islamic neighbours

Archbishop John Bathersby of Brisbane has asked parishes in his archdiocese to offer material and prayerful support to Muslims targeted by racial hatred.

The archbishop said yesterday that he "condemned unreservedly" the burning of a Mosque in Kuraby in Brisbane at the weekend.

"I ask all Catholic parishes to offer prayerful support to the Islamic people, and encourage those parishes that might consider offering material support," he said. "I understand that members of neighbouring parishes are keen to be involved in helping out in some practical way."

Archbishop Bathersby said he believed he spoke for all Australians and all people of goodwill when he offered an immediate apology to the Islamic people last Saturday.

"The Mosque is a sacred place where Islamic people pray to the God of all Creation as Christians do," he said. "To destroy and damage such a building is an insult not only to Islamic people but to people of all religious faiths."

The Brisbane Archdiocese, through its office for ecumenism, last week issued information on the Islamic faith for distribution to parishes and Catholic agencies. In question and answer form, the material provides answers to some frequently asked questions about Islam, Muslims and related issues.

Catholic Communications (Brisbane)