Melbourne Shias denied access to prayer hall


A group of Shia Muslims in Melbourne have been forced to hold worship services in the street after they were denied access to their prayer hall.

Members of the Shia Muslim community in Fawkner, Melbourne, have been locked out of their prayer hall following a dispute with local council.

With nowhere else to go, about 150 took to the street for their traditional worship services. 

More than 1000 strong, this Shia community has been denied access to the Imam Ali Islamic Centre because of a dispute with a group claiming to be the management, and the local council.

According to the local council, a notice was issued outlining fire safety deficiencies in late October.

But community members say they weren't made aware of that until a fortnight ago when a final notice was given to owners, followed by an order prohibiting access.

The centre's ownership is being contested in court.

Lawyers for the management committee told SBS that they couldn't find anyone to address the issues in the time council requested.

In a statement, the council said, "The order will be lifted when all works have been carried out and inspected by council".

Lawyers say work will commence next week.

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