Imam defends Cockburn mosque plans (Western Australia)

Imam Kamran Tahir.

A LOCAL Islamic leader says he will “give up everything that I practise” if even one connection is made between his community and terror activity.

“That’s how certain I am that there has never been anything that would or could link extremism or radicalisation to the Ahmadiyya Community,” Imam Kamran Tahir said.

The Ahmadiyya Muslim Association came under fire after it revealed plans to convert the old Cockburn Ice Arena on Barrington Street into a mosque with a prayer hall, library, sports hall and offices. Responding to concerns Ahmadiyya Muslims were potentially linked with terror activity, Imam Kamran Tahir said he would step down if any were found.

“The Ahmadiyya community itself believes in the motto ‘Love for all, hatred for none’ and we stick to the teachings of the Quran that states there is no compulsion in religion and you are to respect each other’s faiths,” he said.

“You will never find any links from within the Ahmadiyya community to any extremism or any radical organisation.

“I will readily be able to give up everything that I practise if even one example of radicalisation or extremism is found from our community.”

His comments came after he revealed he would welcome cameras at the mosque, allowing authorities to monitor what was happening there, if it would address any apprehension.

Mr Tahir said the Bibra Lake mosque was not part of a bid to convert people to Islam but would help remove the misconceptions that surrounded the religion and its 150 Perth members.

The 26-year-old said Ahmadiyya members were generous members of society.

He said the association raised thousands of dollars for the Red Cross each year and took part in events such as National Tree Day and Clean Up Australia Day, and held Anzac Day dawn services to honour veterans.

He said terrorist attacks, including those in London and Manchester, had prompted his bid to be completely transparent.

“A lot of people have never sat down with a Muslim to ask them if that is what is Islam is,” he said.

“I follow what Islam actually teaches, rather than what is portrayed by these disgusting radicals and extremists.”

Cockburn planning and development services director Daniel Arndt said the Ahmadiyya application had been dealt with in the same fashion as any other.

“At this stage there is no evidence that approving this building as a place of public worship would have an adverse impact on the area,” he said.

 MORE:   http://www.communitynews.com.au/cockburn-gazette/news/imam-defends-cockburn-mosque-plans/

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