23 April 2015

Closure of al-Furqan puts spotlight on role of Islamic bookshops in extremism

Dogged by controversy for 13 years, the al-Furqan Islamic Centre in Melbourne’s south-east elected to shut its doors on Thursday, “effectively immediately”.

But its closure is unlikely to mean the end of the influence of its leader, Harun Mehicevic, on young Muslims attracted to his hardline interpretation of Islam.

In Islam, gatherings of the faithful are commonly held in backyards and garages across the country, Kuranda Seyit, the secretary of the Islamic Council of Victoria, says.

The vast majority are benign. “Only around 10% of these unofficial gathering places would be preaching the firebrand stuff,” he said.

That’s also true of the hundreds of “Islamic information centres” and bookstores that dot the suburbs where Australia’s Muslim communities are concentrated. [The Guardian] Read more