Christchurch "Copycat" Threatens Geelong Mosque
An investigation is underway following a threat made against worshippers at Geelong's mosque by a self-professed "copycat" of the Christchurch massacre.
An anonymous post was published to social media on Sunday night threatening a mass shooting at the Manifold Heights mosque.
"Yes I am a copy cat," the post said.
"I will be visiting the mosque and kill as many invaders as I can in the time I get I will then shoot myself in front of police."
Victoria Police were alerted to the post and attended the mosque shortly after, before deeming the area safe just before 6:30pm.
An increased police presence will remain in and around the area, police said in a statement.
"It is concerning that at times we see members of the community think they are entitled to use intimidation and or violence to express their views and are intolerant of communities," the statement said.
"Every Victorian has the right to feel safe and secure in the community. In practising their faith, pursuing their values, beliefs and interests."
On Sunday -- just hours before the threat was posted-- an estimated 2000 people attended the Geelong mosque's open day to commemorate the 50 people killed in last week's Christchurch terror attack.
Imam Shaykh Mohammad Ramzan said while community members are remaining vigilant, he isn't too bothered about the threat.
"The copy cat thing is just to get internet fame and nothing else," he told 10 daily.
"As far as our community is concerned, we are really strong and standing united together. That is where our strength lies and we are focused on that, on positivity and unity and togetherness."
The Australian man charged with murder over Friday's attacks has been remanded in custody and is due to appear in court early next month.
On Monday, the man dismissed his lawyer and revealed plans to represent himself in court, raising concerns the 28-year-old will use the high-profile prosecution to further promote his extremist views.
Imam Ramzan reiterated to both the Islamic community and wider community we must not buy into messages of hatred.
"My message to the community is that these terrorists and extremists, whatever they label themselves, whatever they're called far-right, Muslim or this or that -- they are not," he said.
"They have no religion, they have no country, they have no culture or civilisation. They are enemies of humanity and they want to terrorise us, but we want to give the strong message that we will stand together and we will defeat you, we have defeated you and we will continue to defeat you."
Geelong mosque reopened in March of last year after it was destroyed by a deliberately-lit fire in 2016.
The community, including other faiths, raised a large portion of the funds to repair the building.