Image: Erdinc Ozen. Picture: Kristi Miller Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Muslims have had a mostly positive presence in Australia since early in our history, with the first Mosque appearing in Maree in about 1820. During the last decade however we have begun to see more of the zealots appear.
One of them, a Muslim cleric took the step of banning non-Muslim friends of a former policeman from his funeral:
MOURNERS were told they were "not welcome" by a cleric at a former policeman's funeral because they were non-Muslims.
The family of Erdinc Ozen, a former police officer and member of the navy reserves, are demanding an apology following the incident at Sydney's Auburn Gallipoli Mosque last month. Mr Ozen, a Turkish-born Australian who served as a policeman until 2011, died from a brain aneurysm last month.
His brother Tunc said a number of senior police and friends from his fishing club at the Seven Hills-Toongabbie RSL left the service after the unexpected directive from acting president Dr Abdurrahman Asaroglu. Others attending included an 87-year-old World War II veteran and former NSW premier Nathan Rees.
"He told everyone it's a Muslim prayer service, all women and non-Muslims were not welcome and they had to leave the mosque area," Tunc Ozen said. "All of his friends were not Muslim, so they had to leave - it was a big shock. It upset a lot of people."
Most hurtful for his family was that when it came time to move Erdinc's coffin, his closest friends were not allowed to take part in the proceedings. "These complete strangers were grabbing my brother's coffin, not his mates, as a result of what this bloke had said," Mr Ozen said. ...
Mr. Ozen seems to have been one of those who successfully assimilated into the community, adopted our lifestyle, and as result had many friends from the community at large. It is disgraceful that some of these friends were discriminated against when turning up to offer their respects. There would be outrage if a Christian church banned Muslims under the same circumstances.
Chief apologist for these intolerant ideologues, Keysar Trad from the Islamic Friendship Association has made one of his standard statements about how this is not consistent with Muslim traditions. The trouble is that this sort of thing keeps happening.