ISLAMIC HALL: Pastor calls for respect for all religions

The Christ on a background of the s
The Christ on a background of the s

WITH opinion divided over the future of an Islamic prayer hall in Hervey Bay, one Fraser Coast pastor says respect is the key.

Bayside Christian Church Senior Pastor Ross Davie said while people weren't required to agree with each other's values and beliefs, he hoped all Australians respected them.

This included respecting the local laws of council zoning for religious places.

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"If it's zoned correctly as a religious place, then I'm not opposed to it," Mr Davie said.

"As a community... we need to respect each other and value their lifestyles."

It follows a petition calling for the closure of an Islamic prayer hall in Tooth St to be shut down, citing lack of consultation with the current zoning for the prayer hall.

So far, the petition has more than 800 signatures.

POLL: "I thought Australia was a multicultural society?"

"I'm not going to be one that puts my voice to opposing it if it complies with the local zoning laws," Mr Davie said.

"We don't need to agree with each others values, but we need to respect them."

Deputy mayor George Seymour said the site appeared to have been correctly zoned within the Fraser Coast Regional Council's zoning laws, and had been for a long time.

He defended the community's freedom of religion and said he wouldn't be in favour of any petition attacking people on the basis of their beliefs.

Topics:  fccommunity fraser coast hervey bay religion

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