Australian Buddhist supports Muslim mosque against hate campaign

Ian Green and a model of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

Ian Green and a model of the Great Stupa of Universal Compassion

Even as Buddhist-Muslim conflicts in Burma and Sri Lanka garner media attention, in the Australian town of Bendigo the opposite is occurring. Muslim residents who have wanted to build the first mosque in Bendigo have found themselves the targets of “a calculated, unrelenting and national movement designed to increase hatred and bigotry,” prompting Ian Green, one of the organizers behind the building of the nearby Great Stupa of Universal Compassion (see recent coverage here), to publicly offer his support.

“There are a few bad groups giving a bad name to the whole religion. Most are welcoming and peaceful,” Green told the Bendigo Advertiser.

Noting that not everyone was keen to have the stupa built in Bendigo at first, “[Green] said Bendigo was richer for supporting other religions and cultures and while Australia was a conservative nation, he said people tended to be open to different beliefs.”

The City of Greater Bendigo has approved plans for the mosque.

Read the full account of Ian Green’s comments here.