This is quite revealing. If turning a structure into a mosque can be used as a threat, then clearly it means that no one actually wants one. I mean if he threatened to turn it into a church I doubt somehow it would have the same impact. Or a walk in clinic etc.
I’ll turn my house into a mosque, threatens Auburn mayor Ronney Oueik
- BARCLAY CRAWFORD
- The Sunday Telegraph
- April 22, 2012 12:33AM
Local residents outside heritage listed property at 102 Burlington Road, Homebush. Picture: Angelo Soulas Source: The Sunday Telegraph
Auburn mayor Ronney Oueik. Picture: Phil Blatch Source: The Sunday Telegraph
AUBURN mayor Ronney Oueik has issued an ultimatum to his neighbours: let me tear down my house or I’ll turn it into a mosque.
Mr Oueik wants to bulldoze the heritage-listed home he bought in 2009 in Homebush and build a new one.
His original application to demolish the historic Camden Lodge in Burlington Rd was unanimously rejected by Strathfield Council in 2010, but now he is trying again.
His new application comes after a fire ripped through the residence in January. The blaze is being investigated by police. Mr Oueik denies any involvement with the fire.
Neighbours said Mr Oueik had held public meetings with them in a bid to remove any objections to his plans, and had threatened to turn the building into a Muslim prayer hall if he didn’t get his way.
Marlene Doran, who has lived in Homebush for 60 years and is the archivist for the heritage society, said the threat to sell the house to turn it into a Muslim prayer hall was disgraceful. “This is a threat to get the neighbours onside so he can demolish,” she said. “It’s disgusting. He’s done nothing whatsoever with the house. It’s demolition by neglect.”
But several other neighbours who spoke to The Sunday Telegraph said they now supported the application to demolish the house after seeing Mr Oueik show men in traditional Muslim robes around the property.
“The house can’t be fixed, so it probably has to be demolished,” one neighbour said. “He’s told us he will be selling it to a Muslim community organisation which wants to use the site as a prayer hall. We don’t need that in the street.”
Mr Oueik said the property was too expensive to repair. He said if council wanted to preserve it they should buy it off him and foot the $2 million-plus bill or he would sell it to one of several “community organisations” who were interested.