Quranic Society’s application to build Islamic school in Sydney rejected

June 2nd, 2009 - 6:07 pm ICT by ANI  

Sydney, June 2 (ANI): Sydney’s Land and Environment Court today rejected the Quranic Society’s application to build a 19 million dollar school for 900 students in a rural area on the outskirts of the town.

The backers of an Islamic school in Australia are considering their options after a court today rejected their appeal for the school to be built in Camden. It found that the proposal was inconsistent with the objectives of the rural zone.

Controversial plans for a large Islamic school in Camden have been rejected leaving many residents pleased with the results.

Camden City Council cited planning arguments when it first blocked the proposal a year ago. But fierce community opposition to the project often relied on racial and religious arguments, The Sydney Morning Herald reported.

Commissioner Graham Brown found that the proposal was not in keeping with the rural character of the locality.

The case attracted international media attention when two pigs’ heads were rammed onto metal stakes at the site, on the corner of Cawdor and Burragarong roads, in 2007.

At the hearing in April, the council’s evidence included a letter signed by four Christian churches stating that Islam espoused views that were “incompatible with the Australian way of life”.

The council’s legal team also presented a DVD featuring the views of concerned residents, one of whom said the school would be a “breeding ground for terrorists”.

However the council insisted its refusal was based on planning grounds, arguing it was incompatible with the rural zoning and would cause problems for traffic and neighbouring farms.

The Camden case has been the most high profile bid to keep Islamic schools out of areas the outskirts of Sydney. Since the Quranic Society’s application was first blocked in 2007, several other applications for schools have faced strident opposition from communities on the suburban fringe. (ANI)

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