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Islamic Council wants hate law reforms


The Islamic Council of Queensland wants the state government to follow NSW and increase penalties for hate speech after a group of men badgered worshippers at two Brisbane mosques this week.

Four men, led by self-styled pastor Logan Robertson, allegedly told a teenager at the Kuraby Mosque on Wednesday he was a terrorist, threatened an older man and targeted a second mosque in Darra.

Council spokesman Ali Kadri will write to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, urging her to strengthen laws around hate speech to better protect worshippers of all faiths from abuse.

"The same individuals that came to the mosque also went to a Mormon church, by their own admission, and did the same thing," Mr Kadri told AAP on Friday.

"This is not just about Muslims, it's about hate, it's about preaching hatred, it's about dividing society and if we don't nip it in the bud it will affect society as a whole."

Ms Palaszczuk on Thursday said she believed existing laws afforded the right level of protection in such instances.

Islamic leaders held a community meeting on Thursday night, where worshippers voiced their frustration over intimidation Mr Kadri says is not unusual, and agreed existing laws were not enough to deter hate-driven crimes.

In NSW it is a crime to publicly threaten or incite violence on the grounds of race, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity and intersex or HIV/AIDS status under laws passed last month.

Self-styled Pastor Logan Robertson says he went to the Kuraby mosque, and a second mosque at Darra this week, seeking footage for a documentary he's making about "the false religion" of Islam.

Mr Robertson, who says he's from the Pillar Baptist Church at Goodna, denies doing anything wrong and says he did not call the boy a terrorist, saying: "I hate the religion of Islam. I don't hate Muslims."

Police had to intervene when Mr Robertson and Mr Kadri had a heated exchange outside the Darra mosque on Thursday, asking the pastor to leave.

Officers are continuing to investigate what happened at Kuraby and have seized Mr Robertson's camera equipment.

Two brothers, aged 14 and 15, filmed Mr Robertson when he went to the Kuraby mosque, and captured footage of him outside in which he questioned what the mosque had to hide, and made derogatory comments about Islam.

One of the boys told AAP that Mr Robertson called them terrorists and threatened to burn the mosque down.

Mr Kadri says Queensland's Islamic community feels terrorised, with women regularly labelled terrorists and intimidated on the street.

"These are not considered to be major crimes, however these are precursors to other crimes and when you disturb social cohesion it has an impact larger than it would look," he said on Friday.
https://www.geezgo.com/sps/29305
Islamic Council wants hate law reforms Reviewed by Kelechi O on 01:08 Rating: 5

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