Protesters clash as Sydney Islamic prayer hall approved

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Protest groups have clashed in western Sydney after the development of an Islamic prayer hall in Kemps Creek was given the green light.

Rival protest groups have clashed outside Penrith Council chambers over a decision to go ahead with the development of an Islamic prayer hall in Kemps Creek.

The protests came after a motion put forward by four councillors to have approval for the development rescinded was voted down Monday night, 10 votes to four.

Police were on standby as supporters and opponents of the development clashed.

Holding signs with slogans including: "Islam a crime against humanity" and "Say no to Sharia," opponents said the development was not welcome.

"We just want to be left alone," one protester said. "They are in their area of Sydney, we are in ours. That’s all it comes down to."

Supporters of the development held signs with slogans including: "Racism is unacceptable, Muslims are welcome", "Racism – the enemy of freedom" and "Don't keep calm and fight Islamophobia".

Tensions ran high but police said no arrests were made and no one was hurt.

A spokesman for the Penrith Council said it was now up to the proponent to determine when development commenced.

Source SBS

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