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Sydney suburb mayor warns of turning house into mosque if demolition not permitted

Canberra, Sun, 22 Apr 2012 ANI

Canberra, April 22 (ANI): A Sydney suburban mayor has issued an ultimatum to his neighbours to let him tear down his house, or he would turn it into a mosque.

Auburn mayor Romney Oueik issued the ultimatum as he wants to bring down the heritage-listed home he bought in 2009 and build a new one, The Daily Telegraph reports.

His original application to demolish the historic house was unanimously rejected by the Strathfield Council in 2010, but he is trying again.

Oueik filed a new application after a fire ripped through the residence in January.

Police are investigating the blaze. Oueik has denied any involvement in the incident.

Neighbours have said that Oueik held meetings with them in a bid to remove any objections to his plans, and had threatened to turn the building into a Muslim prayer hall if they objected.

Marlene Doran, who has lived in Homebush for 60 years and is the archivist for the heritage society, said the threat to turn the house into a Muslim prayer hall was a disgrace.

However, many neighbours are coming out in support of Oueik's application to demolish his house after seeing his showmen in traditional Muslim robes around the property.

Oueik, however, has said that the property was too expensive to repair, adding that if the council wanted to preserve it, they should buy it and pay two million-plus bill to him or he would sell it to one of several 'community organisations' who were interested in buying his house. (ANI)

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