Here’s the report from the Camden Advertiser :
Camden’s proposed Islamic School has been unanimously rejected by Camden Council at its meeting tonight.
A subdued crowd of about 200 people were at the Camden Civic Centre for what turned out to be a muted debate on planning grounds rather than raw emotion.
Residents clapped when the vote was taken to oppose the school.
“We are the champions,” one man said as he left the civic centre.
But the Quranic Society has already told the Advertiser that it will fight the rejection in the Land and Environment Court.
When I wrote about the issue yesterday, I had no significant information about the Sydney-based Quranic Society (a.k.a. Dar Tahfez El-Quran), the sponsor of the proposed school. Since then I have received several emails from Australian readers with more background on the group:
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The Quranic Society became a society in 1986. They’ve done just enough to stay legal and to stay under the radar of Tax and Business departments.
They are funded entirely by Saudi money.
They had the Architects of the school submit the development application. The question here is, why didn’t they submit it under their own name?
One of the prerequisites of permitting a development such as this school is, can they pay for it?
According to the submission, the school will cost 19 million dollars to build [Note: Zenster predicted the cost very accurately in yesterday’s comments. — BB]. However, the Quranic society has only 345,000 dollars in cash in their bank account and no record of any assets.
They have not submitted who will be the actual owner of the school.
One of the main things we have to fight against is their lack of transparency. All of the above points mentioned have not been detailed with any degree of honesty. If everything is above board and they have nothing to hide, why do they do everything by stealth and deceit?
The main hurdle for us, and indeed anyone else who has to go through this fight, and it’s happening more and more, is, even if the development applications a rejected by the Council, it is then taken to the Land and Environment Court where, because of the unlimited Saudi funds available to them, they simply hire the best whoring solicitors they can and keep bombarding the court until the Councils realise they can no longer afford to fight them.
They also have become adept at switching who the owner will be of a property right at the time of signing and exchange of contracts. That was what they did at Bass Hill. All along it was believed that a developer was buying the land to build medium-density dwellings. When everyone was seated for the signing of contracts, the solicitors informed the Education Department that the land was actually being sold to another party.
If people in the US are having a similar problem, make sure that they go for the transparency issues. Who is the actual owner? Where is the money coming from? Pay particular attention to the planning details. Unfortunately, the planning details are getting harder to circumvent, as they have realised that they have to get the best money can buy to cover themselves in that area. Since money is no object, planning is no longer a problem.
Despite the bottomless pockets of its Saudi sponsors, the proposed Camden Islamic school was defeated, and overwhelming local public opposition played a large part in that defeat:
During the eight months since the Quranic Society lodged its application, the council has received 3083 submissions, which included 3042 objections.
However, in order to defeat the project, opponents had to avoid introducing religion — the dreaded I-word — into their objections. Other criteria had to be used, such as environmental concerns, the need to preserve the character of the neighborhood, traffic congestion, etc.
Camden/Macarthur Residents’ Group president Emil Sremchevich spoke only about rejecting the proposal on planning grounds and did not speak on religious or racial concerns.
Seven of the councillors spoke, but all stuck to the script of speaking on the planning-based objections rather than wider community concerns.
Councillor Peter Johnson moved the motion that the council staff recommendation to reject the proposal be accepted and praised the report’s depth.
Cr Johnson said he would welcome an Islamic school closer to his home in Catherine Field, possibly near the planned Leppington train station.
Mayor Chris Patterson said the decision was made purely on planning grounds, not on ‘‘religion or multiculturalism’’.
There’s much more information about the council’s decision, including video clips, at the Camden Advertiser site.
This is an important victory for anti-jihad forces in Australia, and we all have reason to celebrate.
However, it’s important to remember that this success is contingent. It depended on several key factors:
- Heavy local opposition. This is not always guaranteed; in areas with a larger Muslim minority, vocal and vigorous local supporters are likely to appear, and non-Muslim residents may be intimidated by the implicit threat of violence that always accompanies dense concentrations of Muslims in any urban area.
- Plenty of the right kind of publicity. Any slight missteps by the opposition could have led them into a media fever swamp of “racism and xenophobia”, from which they would have found it hard to extricate themselves. The organizers are to be commended for handling the issue in an intelligent and effective manner.
- Finding the right mix of criteria to use in opposition. Success depended on being able to use zoning and land-use regulations to deep-six the school. It won’t always be this easy. What if the school’s planned location had been different, a place where the objections used against the proposal would have been unable to gain traction?
The Camden Islamic school was voted down because the Quranic Society failed to game the system to its advantage. But, generally speaking, Muslims in the West are adept at gaming our systems. They learn a lot from setbacks like this one, and next time they will make a proposal that will be harder to defeat on technical grounds.
That’s why it’s important for opponents eventually to be willing to name the real problem: Islam.
It’s not the endangered species, or the air quality, or the traffic congestion, or the effect on the scenic landscape of Camden. The problem is Islam. Everyone involved, whether for or against the school, knows this.
But the suicidal rules of Politically Correct Multiculturalism forbid any public discussion of the issue in these terms. Political and business leaders risk their careers if they broach the problem frankly. A media firestorm engulfs anyone who dares transgress the defined boundaries of discourse, and ordinary people can even be arrested for speaking their minds.
But long-term success will depend on our courage to reframe the debate.
We need to be willing to stand up and say that it’s not just a school, but an Islamic school that we object to.
We need to prepare detailed, sober, thoughtful, and reasonable data to support our views. There’s no need for hysteria: a simple presentation of the history and current actions of the Great Jihad is all that’s required. The complete facts about Islam are arguments that speak for themselves.
If we don’t do this, then make no mistake: the forces of Islamic infiltration will successfully game the system, over and over again, and gradually erode our culture and our civilization from within.
Hat tip: Nilk.