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Controversial mosques given the green light despite almost 800 objections

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Controversial plans to build two mosques in Melbourne’s south-east have been given the green light, despite almost 800 objections to their construction.

The two mosques are set to be built in the Casey area, one in Doveton and the other in Narre Warren North, after councillors voted 7 – 3 in favour of the mosques.

The Islamic Council of Victoria has today said the objections to the projects are fuelled by Islamophobia.

Deputy mayor of Casey, Councillor Rosalie Crestani, says she is personally concerned about religious extremism.

“I’m actually opposed to the safety issues that can come from Islamic extremism,” she told 3AW’s Neil Mitchell.

“I’m aware that most Muslims are peaceful, but not all of them are. So that’s what I’m concerned about.”

But the deputy mayor said residents concerns stem mainly from issues around traffic and planning, not religion.

“Only a small amount of residents said to me that they’re concerned about the Islamic religious views and how it impacts the area,” Cr Rosalie Crestani said.

“Some felt that if they included that in their argument they wouldn’t be heard properly.”

Casey, a Narre Warren North resident, said objections to the mosques aren’t due to racism.

“It doesn’t matter whether its a Catholic church, whether it’s a school, we would still be opposed to it on the grounds that it is a green wedge and we are looking at the aesthetics of the area,” she said.

Cr Crestani said residents will go to VCAT to appeal the decision granting permission for the mosques to be built.

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