Brisbane’s Holland Park mosque vandalised with swastika, accused Christchurch shooter’s name on walls

Brisbane mosques are on high alert after the Holland Park mosque was vandalised with spray-painted right-wing symbols and a reference to the Christchurch shooter.

Key points:

  • The Holland Park mosque was graffitied with reference to Brenton Tarrant
  • Queensland Police confirmed they were investigating an incident of “wilful damage” at the mosque.
  • Holland Park mosque president Ali Kadri said more needs to be done in the fight against neo-Nazi and white supremacist ideology

Among the symbols plastered on the exterior walls was a Nazi swastika and the words “St Tarrant” and “Remove Kebabs”.

Holland Park mosque president, Ali Kadri, said he was devastated but not surprised by the attack.

“Obviously St Tarrant is a reference to Brenton Tarrant, the terrorist who killed people in Christchurch,” Mr Kadri said.

“And ‘Remove Kebabs’ was written on his gun when he was shooting people at the mosques.”

Holland Park MosquePHOTO: The Holland Park mosque is located on Brisbane’s southside. (Flickr: Bertknot, file image)

Queensland Police confirmed they were investigating an incident of “wilful damage” at the mosque.

Labor MPs Terri Butler — who represents the Brisbane electorate of Griffith — and opposition multicultural affairs spokesperson Andrew Giles released a joint statement condemning the graffiti.

“The hateful and divisive vandalism at the Holland Park mosque this morning was bigoted, disgusting and unacceptable. Labor stands with the Islamic community against such vile conduct,” they said.

“The Brisbane southside community is close-knit and caring. The mosque is a part of that community, having been there for more than a century. The support from locals vastly exceeds the ill-intent demonstrated by the coward who committed this act of vandalism.”

A ‘regular occurrence’

Mr Kadri said vandalism was a “regular occurrence”, which meant the mosques always had additional security on site during prayers.

“We’re never lazy about the security of the mosque because we always get reminded that there are some people who are highly radicalised and extremist,” he said.

“If theses messages are not at the mosques or through vandalism, then there are plenty of social media posts and comments which are threatening — and hate speech.”

The date being September 11, the 18th anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre, was also not lost on Mr Kadri who, said hate speech spiked on days of cultural significance.

“Around these kind of days there are more incidents,” he said.

“Even on the streets you hear people hurling abuse so there’s a lot more incidents around whether it’s September 11 or an anniversary of the mosque attack in Christchurch or any such significant events you see a spike in hate crime.”

Elizabeth Grove mosque attackPHOTO: Mosques around the country have been subjected to attacks in recent years. (ABC News: Chris McLoughlin)

It ‘is not just words anymore’

Mr Kadri is calling for white supremacy and extremism to be taken more seriously.

“We’ve made a concentrated effort to denounce and fight against ISIS ideology and I think we need to do a similar thing against neo-Nazi and white supremist ideology,” he said.

“We need to take it seriously. It has a potential to cause more damage and divide our community and divide our country so as a nation we need to take it more seriously than it is.

“Last week I was informed about an incident about a Syrian refugee who came to Australia two years ago and was drawing a Syrian flag. This 15- or 16-year-old kid was drawing a Syrian flag and the principal reported him to the National Security Hotline as a terrorist.

“Queensland police went to his house and questioned him, after knowing he was just drawing a Syrian flag.

“I don’t think similar kind of seriousness is given to neo-Nazi or white supremacist or people who might be radicalised by this kind of ideals and ideology.”

Brenton Tarrant pleaded not guilty to 51 charges of murder, 41 attempted murder charges and one count of engaging in a terrorist attack over the Christchurch shooting.

“People are afraid for their safety and their children. The mosque is a community centre, people come here with family and children. After Christchurch, the fear is real, this is not just words anymore,” Mr Kadri said.

ABC AU 

Brisbane’s 2032 Olympics bid boosted by the world games for the intellectually impaired

As Australian officials engage in talks with the International Olympic Committee (IOC) over Queensland’s 2032 Olympic Games bid, the world’s best intellectually impaired athletes are preparing to compete in Brisbane.

Key points:

  • The INAS Global Games is the world’s biggest sports event for athletes with an intellectual impairment
  • Ipswich talent Archie Graham says he is excited to co-captain the Australian team
  • The head of Sports Inclusion Australia thinks the event will boost Brisbane’s Olympic bid

Held every four years, the INAS Global Games will see 1,000 athletes from around 50 countries compete across a range of disciplines including swimming, athletics, cycling, rowing and tennis.

It also features a range of qualifying events for the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics.

“They’re the best athletes with an intellectual impairment across the world,” Robyn Smith, chief executive of the INAS Global Games, told ABC Radio Brisbane’s Kat Feeney.

“Many of them will go to compete at the Paralympics in Tokyo next year, but this is a good stepping stone … and some of the sports aren’t represented at the Paralympic games so the best of the best win those particular sports.”

A swimmer with down syndrome competes in Brisbane.PHOTO: The best of the best will be competing at the INAS Global Games. (Facebook: Sport Inclusion Australia)

To qualify for the Global Games, the athletes must meet the World Health Organisation’s definition of intellectual impairment, which is an IQ of 75 or below.

“They have deficits in adaptive behaviours so perhaps living skills, hygiene, a whole range of things where they have a little bit of difficulty and it has to manifest itself before the age of 18,” Ms Smith said.

“These games also incorporate athletes with an intellectual impairment as well as a physical issue.

“There’s many athletes with down syndrome competing at these games, and another classification, II3, is basically athletes with autism.

“So their IQ is above 75, [but] they still have difficulties in some areas of their life but they’re really good at sport.”

Ms Smith, who is also the chief executive of Sport Inclusion Australia, said Australia was leading the way with inclusion and accessibility to elite-level sports.

“They’re training like everybody else. They actually are elite athletes.”

The Australian Pearls are among the teams competing in the Basketball tournament.PHOTO: The Australian Pearls are among the teams competing in the Basketball tournament. (Facebook: Basketball Australia)

Australia leads inclusive sport

Ms Smith said Australia provided opportunities for the athletes unlike anywhere else.

“Australia has been the leader really in inclusion in sport, providing the opportunities and the training and the integration elements of preparing.

“And therefore, they’ve done really well.

“They’re not sort of having to go elsewhere to do their sport, they’re just doing sport like everyone else.

Among the athletes to represent Australia is Ipswich local and four-time tennis world champion Archie Graham who will co-captain the Australian team.

“It is so exciting to not only represent my country, but the honour of being captain is quite unbelievable,” Graham said.

“I think it’s very good for us people, to have an international para event, it spreads inclusiveness.”

Man playing tennis.PHOTO: Archie Graham is looking forward to defending his title. (ABC Radio Brisbane: Jessica Hinchliffe)

Graham said he had been working very hard to maintain his “back-to-back-to-back” wins.

“I’ve been training very hard, just about six days a week and doing lots off the court as well,” he said.

“It’s a bit hard to say if I’ll win at the moment, but at the moment I think I will.”

As for whether the city should host an Olympic games, Graham said there was no doubt that it should.

“We have a lot of great facilities here, world-class facilities and there’s a lot to see in Brisbane.”

Timon Sideris jumps a hurdlePHOTO: Para athlete Timon Sideris will be among the competitors at the INAS Global Games. (Facebook: Hills Districts Athletics Club)

It is the first time the games are being hosted in the southern hemisphere and Ms Smith thinks the event will boost Brisbane’s bid for the 2032 Olympics.

“Highly influential people in the Olympic movement and Paralympic movement will be in attendance,” she said.

“They’ll look at the city and see how friendly and welcoming we are — the great weather, the great venues and I think it’ll help [the Olympic bid].”

The INAS Global Games will be held from October 12 to 19 at various facilities across Brisbane.

ABC AU

Kookaburra Queen paddlewheel boat crashes on Brisbane River, sending passenger falling through deck floor

One of Brisbane’s iconic tourist boats has crashed into an unknown object while carrying about 50 passengers, causing one person to fall through a floor and onto the lap of another passenger on the toilet below.

The impact smashed a hole into the upper deck of the Kookaburra Queen II, tearing a railing off.

A passenger said they heard a bang as another passenger fell through to the lower deck.

Ambulance crews treated people for minor injuries at Eagle Street Pier, where the ship docked, with three taken to hospital.

Queensland Ambulance Service spokesman Warren Painting said it was not known what the paddlewheeler hit this afternoon, but two people in their 70s and a woman in her 30s suffered minor injuries.

He said they were taken to the Royal Brisbane Hospital as a precaution.

“The commercial vessel was on the Brisbane River, struck an unknown object and the resulting jolt caused the injury of three passengers on board the vessel,” he said.

“The Bicycle Response Team was the first unit on scene and then there was also two other transport units and a supervisor.

“Conditions were pretty smooth today — it seemed to be a nice sunny day.”

ABC AU

GWS ends Brisbane’s season, downing the Lions by three points in their semi-final at the Gabba

Brisbane Lions’ season is over, with GWS advancing to the preliminary final with a heart-stopping three point win at the Gabba.

A week after the Lions lost by 47 points to Richmond, Brisbane was knocked out of the finals in straight sets.

Charlie Cameron hyperextended his elbow in the opening minute but stayed on the ground for the match to finish with two goals, and Eric Hipwood slotted three, but it wasn’t enough, as GWS advanced to a prelim against Collingwood next weekend.

Giants edge the Lions to reach prelim

Collingwood looks the biggest winner after GWS beat Brisbane in a brutal, controversial and absorbing semi-final.

The Giants’ 12.11 (83) to 11.14 (78) win booked a spot against the Magpies in next Saturday’s preliminary final at the MCG.

But the epic duel at the Gabbatoir would have made pleasant Saturday night viewing for Magpies coach Nathan Buckley, who was at the game.

Michael Christian will have a busy match review, with several significant incidents during the match.

Late in the second quarter, Lions star Lachie Neale emerged from a scuffle holding an eye.

This was after Giants star Toby Greene, who was outstanding again on Saturday night, was referred to the tribunal and fined for making contact with the face of Western Bulldogs star Marcus Bontempelli.

A whopping 54 free kicks were paid, 31-23 in the Giants’ favour, and umpire Ray Chamberlain rivalled Greene as the most unpopular man in front of a crowd of 30,034.

GWS small forward Brent Daniels kicked an outstanding running goal with less than three minutes to put his team in front — the 10th lead change of the match.

The Giants then hung on grimly to secure the win.

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While the Lions went out in straight sets, they lost no friends with their performance against GWS.

But they were left ruing a 19-7 inside 50 count for the last quarter in their favour.

Giants co-captain Phil Davis was immense in defence as the two teams kicked two goals apiece in the frenetic final term.

The medical staff at GWS will earn their keep over the next week, preparing the players as they try to beat the Magpies for their first grand final.

After the Giants had mauled the Western Bulldogs and the Lions had blown their chances against Richmond the week before, this was always going to be a fierce clash.

Umpire Shaun Ryan was heard in the match audio telling the Giants he would pay free kicks against them if they kept targeting Charlie Cameron’s bandaged elbow.

External Link: Brisbane v GWS stats
Match Stats — Team Stats
Brisbane LionsV.GWS Giants
Goals
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
11 47.82608695652174%52.17391304347826% 12
Behinds
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
14 56.00000000000001%43.99999999999999% 11
Kicks
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
220 53.92156862745098%46.07843137254902% 188
Marks
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
75 54.74452554744526%45.25547445255474% 62
Handballs
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
109 47.18614718614719%52.81385281385281% 122
Disposals
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
329 51.4866979655712%48.5133020344288% 310
Hit-outs
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
44 62.857142857142854%37.142857142857146% 26
Tackles
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
57 42.53731343283582%57.46268656716418% 77
Frees For
Brisbane Lions undefined GWS Giants
31 57.407407407407405%42.592592592592595% 23
The All-Australian Lion was hurt in the first few minutes.

Brisbane hard-nut Nick Robertson will also come under scrutiny for whacking opponent Lachie Whitfield in his sore lower back.

Whitfield slumped to the ground, then angrily pushed Robertson in the chest.

The first 10 minutes set the stage, with Cameron forced from the field in agony and the Giants unleashing a four-goal barrage.

Greene made an immediate impact when he snapped the opening goal of the match.

As Greene and Lions veteran Luke Hodge clashed, Brisbane defender Harris Andrews gave away an undisciplined free kick.

That meant Jeremy Finlayson kicked another goal for the Giants before the next centre bounce.

The Lions counter-attacked, kicking the next five goals for an improbable six-point lead at quarter time.

Brisbane looked in strife when GWS led by 12 points at half-time and broke out to a 20-point lead early in the third.

Lions fans were furious at the umpires, booing them from the field at half-time and again after the final siren.

AAP/ABC

Bushfire in Gold Coast hinterland could have been act of arson, Police Commissioner says

Queensland police suspect a large bushfire that started in the state’s Gold Coast hinterland could have been deliberately lit, as several Queensland communities near the fires still burning are being urged to stay alert with conditions expected to deteriorate in coming days.

Key points:

  • All bushfires across Queensland remain at advice warning level on Sunday
  • The Police Commissioner says the Sarabah fire could have been arson
  • The Premier says it will take months for some communities to recover from the bushfires

Firefighters are still battling about 50 fires across the state, but have been helped by milder weather conditions overnight.

The Queensland Fire and Emergency Service (QFES) said the bushfire near Applethorpe in the Granite Belt flared up on Saturday, while new fires had sprung up inland from Bundaberg and Mount Kilcoy in the Somerset region.

But there was no immediate threat and all fires remained at the advice warning level.

There have been more than 1,200 bushfires across the state since the start of September.

A total of 17 properties have been destroyed in Queensland during the fire emergency, with many more incurring damage, including form smoke.

Queensland Police Commissioner Katarina Carroll said officers were investigating arson as a possibility in the Sarabah fire in Gold Coast Hinterland, which destroyed 11 houses and five businesses.

She said police “have concerns with how the fire started” and that arson had not been ruled out.

“We will be relentless in pursuing whoever lit the fire, not only here but across the state,” she said.

“Certainly we have got a number of people we are looking at, and that investigation will continue until we have an outcome.”

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk spoke to locals in the fire-affected hinterland community of Beechmont on Sunday morning.

She said it would takes months for communities to recovery from the devastating impacts of the bushfires.

Binna Burra’s bushfire devastation

Binna Burra's bushfire devastation
An “unusual fire” rips through rainforest to raze the heritage-listed, 86-year-old Binna Burra lodge.

“These people here and this community is very resilient, but people are still going through a lot,” Ms Palaszczuk said.

“The impact and the shock is going to be felt for weeks, if not months.

“We’re going to make sure we have all the support families need to get back on their feet.

The State Government said $200,000 in financial assistance had already been provided to residents impacted by bushfires.

A taskforce has also been created to support the recovery of the heritage-listed Binna Burra Lodge and to help its staff find alternative employment.

‘We need to be ready’

Ms Palaszczuk said conditions were expected to deteriorate this week.

“Conditions are going to change on Tuesday and Wednesday, and we need to be ready for that,” she said.

What to do if bushfire threatens

What to do if bushfire threatens
ABC Emergency has sourced advice from official agencies on how to plan for a bushfire, including preparing a survival kit.

“The winds are going to pick up, it’s going to be dry right across half the state, and of course we’re seeing temperatures between 5 and 8 degrees [Celsius] higher for this time of year.

“The other thing is, there is no rain on the horizon.”

QFES Deputy Commissioner Michael Wassing said fire crews were well prepared to continue fighting blazes across the state and to help communities with recovery.

“We’ve got significant resources, we’ve got interstate resources, we’ve got significant aircraft to make sure those fire don’t come out of those areas and don’t threaten any further properties,” he said.

“We’re really consolidating those containment lines to make sure as the fires continue to burn in those remote areas that they don’t have a chance to get out later on.”

For more information about Queensland’s bushfire situation, listen live to ABC Local Radio in your area:

  • ABC Gold Coast
  • ABC Southern Queensland
  • ABC Sunshine Coast

Bureau of Meteorology senior forecaster Sam Campbell said Sunday’s weather would be “more of the same”.

“It’s going to be too dry for any showers for virtually the whole of Queensland today, I’m afraid,” he said.

Firefighter and reluctant hero

Firefighter and reluctant hero
This emotional picture of Ballandean rural firefighter Aaron Cox went viral. His wife took the photo moments after he saved their house from bushfire.

“Temperatures would hit 4C to 7C above average in southern Queensland.

“Winds would be generally pretty light through most areas.”

He said while the fire danger had dropped slightly in South-East Queensland, there was no end in sight to dry, hot weather “for much of the next seven days”.

“Really the only chance of any rainfall in the coming days is in the far south-east of the state from Tuesday and otherwise virtually everyone else in Queensland will see further dry, sunny weather I’m afraid.”

The BOM is also predicting thunderstorm activity in South-East Queensland on Tuesday, but the storms are not expected to produce much in the way of rain.

ABC AU