A Katanning imam has refused to be fearful and feel terrorised by the alleged Christchurch gunman’s murderous attack.
Alep Mydie, a prominent Muslim man in the Great Southern region, said in the wake of the New Zealand mosques massacre, many members of the Muslim community in Katanning had been fearful of attacks.
However, Mr Mydie said he would not let the incident destroy the harmony of the multicultural community in Katanning, which he helped build over the past four decades.
“He wants us to think that it’s not safe for us to be praying at our mosque — it’s not safe for us to be on the street and it’s not safe for us to be here in this country,” Mr Mydie said. “But I won’t let that kind of scaremongering enter our community and divide us from one another.”
Mr Mydie said he had been advised by local police to lock the Katanning mosque’s doors during prayer time until further notice.
“Normally, as you know, whenever we do our Friday prayers, the doors of the mosque is always wide open — now we’ve been advised to lock it and hide the key away,” he said. “That’s been the only changes we’ve done after the massacre in New Zealand.” WA Police said there had been no specific threats reported against mosques in WA at the weekend.
Mr Mydie advised everyone in his community to be vigilant but stay open-minded about the future.
“It’s not the majority of people in Australia who are acting like this,” he said.
“It’s only the small pocket of right-wing extremists who are portraying this kind of hatred.”