Man ‘rams automobile into gates of Queensland mosque’

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by Denis Bedoya

A Queensland man has allegedly rammed his car into a mosque south of Brisbane less than a day after terror attacks on two mosques in Christchurch.

A 23-year-old Browns Plains man had been suspended from driving after allegedly returning a positive roadside drug test in Stockleigh yesterday.

Police allege he went back to his car after being released from custody, and rammed it into the closed front gates of the Baitul Masroor Mosque.

It’s alleged he shouted profanities at people inside before driving home where he was arrested.

The man has been charged with one count each of wilful damage, commit public nuisance and driving a motor vehicle whilst suspended.

It comes ahead of an expected prayer service to honour the victims and lives lost in the New Zealand terror attack.

The Islamic Council of Queensland and the Council of Imams Queensland have invited Muslims and non-Muslims to join them today at the Islamic College of Brisbane.

Vigils and prayer services are being held across the country today, as authorities confirm they are keeping an eye on known white extremists in the aftermath of the Christchurch massacre.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his family gathered at a Coptic church in southern Sydney this morning to pray with the Arabic community.

Mr Morrison will later join politicians and religious figures including the Grand Mufti of Australia at St Mary’s Cathedral in Sydney for an interfaith prayer for the 50 dead, dozens injured, their families and communities.

Members of the public have been invited to pray alongside them from 3.30pm (AEST) while a rally nearby will show solidarity for the Muslim community.

NSW Opposition Leader Michael Daley said the police minister and police commissioner had told him in briefings yesterday there were a small number of white supremacists and extremists in the state.

“The numbers are not growing to a degree that would alarm them but they are keeping a very vigilant watch on them,” he told Sky News today.

“Extremism in all its forms is a one-way street and we have to stamp it out.

“We cannot tolerate violence like this, it doesn’t matter whether they’re white supremacists or other sorts of extremists, we have to reject extremism outright.”

There is no ongoing or specific threat but Australian Muslims have been warned to be extra vigilant as they go about their daily business.

Across Victoria, mosques have been open today to allow Muslims to share their faith.

More than 20 mosques are taking part in the Islamic Council of Victoria’s annual event which welcomes visitors of all race, religion and gender to step inside.

Victoria Police Deputy Commissioner Wendy Steendam urged the public to support them.

Visitors will be able to meet Muslims, go on guided tours, take hijab tutorials or have henna tattoo art, enjoy sausage sizzles and even discuss Islamic beliefs.

“Sharing our cultural heritage is part of celebrating what it means to be truly Australian,” ICV president Mohamed Mohideen said ahead of the day.

“It is about celebrating the benefits of our multicultural society which has come about as a result of the successful integration of migrants into the Australian community.”

Police will also attend the mosques to take part in activities and to patrol the venues.

Melbourne was already under extra police attention today as it hosts the Formula 1 Grand Prix.

The terror attack in Christchurch forced a reassessment of security arrangements for the weekend global motorsport event, Comm Steendam said.

On Saturday night, a silver fern was projected onto the Sydney Opera House as a symbol of “solidarity, support and respect” for the people of New Zealand.

© Nine Digital Pty Ltd 2019