I'm Muslim, but also an Aussie - please treat me like one
ISLAMIC convert and Nambour resident Chloe Sinclair is fed up with hearing hate-filled criticism of her religion.
"I know it can be confronting but instead of keeping misinformed hatred, I'd like people to approach me and kill their curiosity," she said.
"I'd love to answer their questions as a Muslim, true blue Australian."
As reported in the Daily, two men were accused on dumping non-halal meat at a proposed mosque site in Maroochydore.
Anti-mosque group Restore Australia's Mike Holt last week told the Daily he was not prepared to talk to Muslims as he had "nothing to say".
"We know what Islam is and we don't want that on the Sunshine Coast," he said.
Ms Sinclair said the idea reported in the Daily that Muslims would use a mosque to live separate lives under Sharia law was "just ridiculous".
"We can't segregate ourselves from the rest of the country to enforce Sharia law," she said.
She said the Koran required her community to live as law-abiding citizens.
Sunshine Coast Council has confirmed that it would not consider the religion of applicants when assessing the application to establish the mosque on Church St.
Ms Sinclair said being a Muslim on the Sunshine Coast was challenging because people often looked disapproving and questioned her about her choice.
"It makes you question if your decision is the right one because people question that every day," she said.
"Even just the way people look at me - they stare.
"They're curious or nervous or indecisive, like they're undecided about what to think."
Ms Sinclair, 23, was raised on the Sunshine Coast and came across Islam when she moved to Melbourne six years ago.
"I was only looking for my own personal growth, whatever that would have been," she said.
"The religion opened my heart, helped make me a better, more moral and understanding, caring and respectful person. Anyone around me is witness to that."
She said she embraced conventions such as wearing a hijab and prayer naturally, and had married a Muslim Pakistani-Australian.
The couple moved back to the Coast last year, where they now live with their two small children.
"This is my life now," she said.
"I can't, nor do I wish, to force anyone to accept my beliefs but a little bit of understanding and compassion can go a long way.
"We are all human beings and any gesture of kindness shown to me despite my choice of religion, is appreciated immensely.
"Selfishly I'd like more of that!"