An Islamic group has been refused permission to operate a stall in Cronulla mall because the council says conditions were not complied with on two previous occasions.
The Islamic Practice Dawah Circle handed out what was described as educational material promoting multicultural inclusion.
The group’s website says its aim is “to help Muslims live in accordance with the teachings of Islam by creating a socio-cultural environment, where Muslims can practice their faith in complete harmony with the aboriginal heritage, democratic spirit and multicultural social fabric of Australia”.
Sutherland Shire Council issued a permit to the group to operate a stall on three occasions this year after checking with shire police and its own internal public safety unit.
A council spokeswoman said one of the approval conditions was stall holders must remain within a one metre perimeter of the approved location.
“This is done to ensure community members who are interested in seeking out more information can freely approach them, while those who do not want to engage in conversation can go about their day-to-day business without being approached,” she said.
“In this instance, the applicant has not complied with those conditions of approval on previous occasions, and as such we have cancelled and refunded their third booking.”
The council’s acting general manager Manjeet Grewal said permits were provided for non-profit community groups and charitable organisations to hold stalls within restricted areas in the mall up to three times a year, with maximum of one booking per month, and with conditions.
“We received a request from the Islamic Practice Da’wah Circle to book a stall in Cronulla Plaza for the purpose of handing out educational material promoting multi-cultural inclusion,” she wrote.
“As with all groups, council reviews applications and prior to issuing this group with a permit, we spoke with local police and our internal public safety unit to gather any information that may support this review process.
“There was no forthcoming information provided that would suggest we were to refuse the application.
“The group’s status was also checked via the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profit Commission.
“Having said that, council has advised this group that we are not able to offer them a further booking due to non-compliance with the conditions.”