Australian town council votes against building Islamic school

An Australian town council unanimously rejected a contentious proposal to build an Islamic school, a decision Muslim leaders branded Wednesday as a victory for racism. Mayor Chris Patterson of Camden said the decision Tuesday had nothing to do with religion but was based on the impact on traffic and loss of agricultural land. "It is a site issue," Patterson said after the vote. "We said all along religious issues, nationalistic issues, will not be entered into." But the independent think tank Forum on Australia's Islamic Relations, or FAIR, described the decision as "a reflection of unwarranted fear and ignorance about Islam."