Sydney’s community were stunned after an attack around 6.30 pm on Sunday 25 October on Sydney’s iconic Gallipoli mosque situated near Auburn train station.
Antique chandeliers, a plasma television, and 13 large windows were vandalised with estimates of over 100,000 of damage.
The same night a 20 year old man was arrested and is undergoing mental health assessment.
Dr Abdurrahman Asaroglu, chair of the Gallipoli Turkish Cultural Foundation which manages the Gallipoli mosque operations, said the mosque “serves the needs of our local community here in Sydney, including the promotion of peace and harmony between all communities calling Australia home.”
“Being such an iconic Turkish mosque, we have unfortunately become a lightning rod for anyone wanting to express their anti-Muslim or anti-Turk sentiment,” Dr Asaroglu said.
“Such attacks, inspired by imported hate from faraway lands, have no place here in Australia. They aim to divide our communities by pitting us against each other and [ripping] apart the social fabric that binds our communities,” he warned.
Statements of condemnation of the act and support for the Gallipoli mosque have been issued by a number of politicians, interfaith leaders and Muslim community leaders.
On Tuesday 27 October members of the Alliance of Australian Muslims (AAM) in Sydney visited Gallipoli Mosque as a display of unity and solidarity against the attack on the Mosque.
Sheikh Shady Alsuleiman, while addressing the gathering said, “It is extremely unacceptable in this country or anywhere else for any individual or group, to attack or cause damage to any public place of worship or religious centre, whether physical or verbal.”
Acting Multicultural Affairs Minister Alan Tudge condemned the “appalling acts” of vandalism on behalf of the Australian government.
NSW Labor leader Jodie McKay also said the attack should offend all Australians.
NSW acting minister for multiculturalism Geoff Lee labeled the incident “disgraceful”.
“I strongly condemn the incident which recently took place at the Auburn Gallipoli Mosque. It was disgraceful, offensive and not Australian,” he said.