‘Definitely not racist’: Cumberland Council Mayor Steve Christou at centre of petition storm

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Residents are demanding a western Sydney Mayor be sacked over “racist” and “offensive” comments, according to The Daily Telegraph.

However, Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou has called the petition with almost 11,000 signatures “insulting”.

The petition on change.org, which started almost one month ago, was created by a local Muslim woman who said she was “hurt and upset” after public statements were made by Clr Christou over a Cumberland mosque rejection.

In January, plans for a mosque in Factory St, Granville were dumped after Cumberland Council won an appeal against the development in the Land and Environment Court, arguing that the residents would be exposed to unreasonable noise and traffic.

READ MORE: Cumberland Mayor Steve Christou sends additional support to Berala’s multicultural communities

On January 19, Clr Christou called the rejection for the 300-worshipper mosque a “fantastic win” on social media, and issued a press release that said the rejection “serves the greater betterment for the Granville community”.

The post received much scrutiny, with some calling his words “a disgrace” on social media.

He later told SBS Arabic24 he should have worded the Facebook post “better” and that he would help them find an alternative location for the mosque “that works well for everybody”. 

The petition also cites Clr Christou’s criticism of a State Government coronavirus-exemption for Eid-al-Adha prayers organised for up to 400 people at the Auburn Gallipoli mosque in August last year.

People have commented on the petition, calling his behaviour “disgraceful”, “causing divide” among the Muslim community and “insulting the people”.

But the mayor said the petition was “grossly incorrect”.

“I’m definitely not racist,” he told NewsLocal.

Full Story: The Daily Telegraph

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