Sign shock

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Sign shock

A SIGN placed outside a Leongatha church caused outrage throughout the town at the start of Easter.
Many passers-by complained about the board, placed outside the Presbyterian Church last Thursday, which read “Remember Good Friday and support your local church (or you may end up with a mosque)”.
The hand painted sign, which was not authorised by the Presbyterian Church committee, was placed in front of the church billboard and was also seen outside a hotel.
Members of the Islamic Council of Victoria have taken offence to the sign.
Executive committee member Nazeem Hussain said the incident was isolated and penned a written response to The Star calling for people to have a better understanding of religions.
“We urge rural communities such as Leongatha to continue to work towards building communities which are inclusive and welcoming of all people, from all backgrounds,” Mr Hussain said.
“Incidents such as this are an exception and should serve to strengthen our resolve to work harder for a better society.
“This sort of sign does nothing to promote social cohesion and harmony amongst people from different faiths.”
Mr Hussain commented on the scare-tactic nature of the sign.
“This sign is clearly offensive and is intended to cause a level of panic amongst the community,” he said.
Christine Rump, speaking as a member of the church, has labelled uproar over the sign as a “storm in a teacup”.
“There is an explosive growth of the Muslim faith in this country; the casual and ill-informed attitude that most Australians have towards the Christian faith on which this great nation was founded allows other faiths to exploit the spiritual vacuum,” she said.
“None of us knows what the future will hold, even less what will happen to the buildings and infrastructure of our community in the years to come.
“The small but very committed congregation in Leongatha has no plans to move from the current location at the corner of Bent and Turner Streets.
“That being said, it is quite possible that the building currently housing the Leongatha Presbyterian Church may, in the future, be put to some other use. We have seen this happen in many cases, where unused church buildings have become restaurants, homes or offices.
“In my view the statement at the bottom of the unauthorised notice is not offensive, but a statement of fact.”
Leongatha Police said that the sign was not a police matter. “We still have freedom of speech in this country,” Senior Constable Jeff Watsford said.

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Posted by on Apr 27 2011. Filed under Community, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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