Dubbo priest stands up for local Muslims
Parish priest Fr Paul Devitt and other religious leaders have reacted with outrage to a vicious attack in with the words "Muslim scum" and "go back home" were spray-painted in bright blue across the front of the Islamic mosque in the NSW town of Dubbo.
The Daily Liberal reports that Fr Devitt described the vandalism as the work of a "warped and bigoted minority."
"There is a very good rapport between religious organisations in Dubbo, we respect each other and each other's differences and live very easily together and this kind of rubbish is an affront to us all," Fr Devitt said.
Both Fr Devitt and Anglican Bishop Arthur Jones have themselves been victims of vandalism in the past and have often found their properties damaged and their buildings marred by graffiti.
But Fr Devitt and Bishop Jones agreed this was a "totally different" kind of attack and thus "all the more saddening."
"This was a definite slur and a very intended one which strikes at the true heart of the Islam faith and Muslim community," Bishop Jones said.
Roger Fletcher and his team at Fletcher International Exports Pty Ltd have worked closely with the Australian Muslim Community for a number of years and have never experienced an issue of racism at the plant.
"We have a harmonious workforce free of racial tensions but unfortunately it only takes a minority to do something like this and ransack everything," Mr Fletcher said. Mr Fletcher was upset to see that some people in Dubbo would attempt to incite racial tensions in the town by means of wanton vandalism.
Dubbo Parkes MP and minister for Multicultural Affairs John Cobb also expressed his concern and has organised a special trip to Dubbo tomorrow to meet with the Muslim community and to thank the Rotary Clubs and local volunteers who generously donated their time on Sunday to paint over the graffiti.
Support for Muslim community (Dubbo Daily Liberal 17/1/06)
LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
St Brigid's Parish, Dubbo
18 Jan 2006