Exclusive report: Young NSW is the unofficial Muslim capital of the outback
According to an article published on Dailytelegraph THE sleepy rural town of Young in the cherry-picking heart of NSW has undergone a radical transformation.
It is now the unofficial Muslim capital of the outback.
Arabic is the second-most common language in Young, about 150km northwest of Canberra, which has a population of 400 Muslims.
Local police say they are concerned about the potential radicalisation of youths, and The Daily Telegraph found one former musician convert who says he would marry off his 13-year-old daughter if Australian law permitted it.
Mohammad Carson, formerly Thomas Carson, says he believes sharia law should be enacted globally, that the September 11 attacks were a conspiracy and “had nothing to do with Islam”, that Osama bin Laden was trained by the CIA, and that anyone “stealing a phone” should have their hand cut off.
He has an eight-year-old son and his daughter now wears a hijab.
A former larrikin young man, the now devout Mr Carson transformed a convenience store near the middle of Young into his private prayer hall and home after he was converted by local Muslims.
In his living room a Koran hangs on the wall near a boxing bag and a ceremonial sword. On the front of his house two banners — reading “Allah” and “Mohammed” in Arabic — advertise his new-found faith.
He says “disobedient” women should be disciplined with “a bundle of dried grass” but never a closed fist.
Corporal punishment is just one aspect of the “truly perfect” sharia law that Mr Carson, a cleaner, would like to see in Australia and overseas.
“He also says he would arrange his children’s marriages if Australian law allowed it.
“If we were in a Muslim country, if there was a man who we thought was suitable for my daughter or a woman who was suitable for my son, we would probably arrange for that marriage,” Mr Carson told The Daily Telegraph.
He is not, however, a supporter of the Islamic State death cult.
He says IS does not represent true Muslims and would be the first person to tip off police if he believed terrorist activity was occurring nearby. Mr Carson also says killing is against what Islam stands for.
The town’s Acting Inspector, Michael Madgwick, says local police, like the rest of the country, are on alert for extremist attacks following images of beheadings and death cult horror beamed from the Middle East.
“It radicalises them and you always get the splinter person who tries to outdo everybody else, and that’s always a problem,” he says.
Many Lebanese Muslim families flocked to the Young area to work in nearby halal abattoirs and on the world-famous cherry farms.
Authorities and local officials say, despite occasional outbursts of racism, the region has avoided much of the religious conflict that has plagued patches of Western Sydney.
However, The Daily Telegraph spoke to several people who used highly derogatory language when talking about Muslim neighbours.