Man charged over Islamophobic graffiti on Brisbane Muslim centre

The vandalism of the Rocklea Islamic Centre is the second defacing of a Muslim place of worship in Queensland in less than a week. Photograph: Tertius Pickard/AAP Image

Police have charged a 34-year-old man over the painting of abusive messages on the walls of an Islamic centre in Brisbane, Australia.

On Wednesday 24 September of the Rocklea home discovered vandals had spray-painted the walls of some temporary buildings with the words “evil” and “die”, as well as “Muslims are evil and have no respect for our ways”, and “get the fuck out of our country”.

Christian crosses were also painted on the walls of the buildings, which have been erected while the owner waits for development approval to construct an Islamic educational centre. In the meantime it is a place of worship for daily prayers.

Inspector Rod Graham described it as a “brainless crime”.

On the evening of Thursday 25 September a 34-year-old Rocklea man was charged with wilful damage, trespass, public nuisance and possessing a graffiti instrument. He will appear in the Brisbane magistrates court on 22 October.

President of the Indonesian Islamic Centre, Hamid Marwadi, told Guardian Australia this was the first time they had been targeted.

“That’s why we are shocked to come and see the graffiti,” he said. Marwadi said he thought it was prompted by recent police operations and statements from politicians “encouraging the tough laws on terrorism”.

“I believe politicians shouldn’t say Islamic terrorists because Islam is not terrorism,” he said.

The incident was the second defacing of a Muslim place of worship in Queensland in less than a week.

Last Friday, Vandals spray-painted the word “evil” across a mosque in Mareeba in north Queensland.

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