Groups in clash over mosque site

Herbert and Swan River People representative Bella Bropho. Picture: Karen Valenti
Herbert and Swan River People representative Bella Bropho. Picture: Karen Valenti

The society is building the mosque at Smallbrook Retreat, Caversham, despite the City of Swan at first declining to give it the go-ahead and the Swan River Aboriginal people saying they did not want it built.

Project co-ordinator Sajit Smajic has, in a letter given to the Eastern Reporter by the Swan River Aboriginal people, asked the Swan River people to respect the law.

He alleged a person on the building site was threatened verbally and physically last year.

‘It is counterproductive to furthering the just cause of the indigenous people of this land, a cause that we as a Society support,’ Mr Smajic said in the letter.

Swan River people representative Bella Bropho said the site was sacred to Aboriginal people of the area and should be respected.

‘We got our culture and they have their religion,’ Ms Bropho said.

‘There’s got to be a both way respect.’

Ms Bropho said the site where the mosque is being built was part of a dreaming track that the Rainbow Serpent (the Waugal) created and was still present there.

The Aboriginal spokeswoman said although indigenous people respected that people believed in God, Allah and the Virgin Mary, she was saddened that most people did not understand or respect what Australia’s First People believed in, including that the Rainbow Serpent created WA’s waterways ” including the Swan River.

Meanwhile, Swan Valley Nyungah Community people are expected to rally at the steps of Parliament at 1pm today, March 11, to re-open the Swan Valley Nyungah Community in Caversham.

– This song will be sung at the rally by Lynda Nutter, former lead singer of the Dugites, (circa 1970s and 1980s band): https://soundcloud.com/the-stringer/my-lockridge-home.