|Rephotographed photo of Australian Islamic Centre. Photo: Julie Clarke (c) 2016|
Sunday, August 28, 2016
When I was a teenager I attended a catholic girls school and in the vast distance we could see the outline of the Altona Oil Refinary. The siren would periodically sound and the noise would be carried on the wind creating a certain anxiety within each of us about the possibility of impending disaster. Today I went to the NGV at Federation Square where I saw the large wooden sculptures by Bruce Armstronng, but I also saw the drawings, photographs and ground floor plans of the Australian mosque and Islamic centre at Hobson's Bay, which is nearly complete. I noted that although the amazing building designed by Glenn Murcutt is a fine example of 21st century architecture, females who attend this mosque will still be separated from male worshippers; they will be required to pray upstairs. When I saw the photograph of the mosque with the oil refinary in the background it looked futuristic, like the still from a science fiction film. I considered the juxtaposition of these two structures hinted at their possibly incendary nature and how the siren sound and the call to prayer will instill fear in some who remain ignorant of the workings of both establishments.