A group opposed to the construction of a mosque in Gungahlin allegedly gave residents a detailed document instructing them how to successfully lodge objections to the proposed plans.
The seven sample letters were allegedly given to 30 Canberra residents during a closed-door meeting last Sunday by a group called the Concerned Citizens of Canberra.
They list various reasons why residents are opposed to a mosque in the area and tell people how to keep their name secret when lodging an objection letter to the ACT Planning and Land Authority.
The example letter designed for someone disappointed at the lack of consultation on the proposed development at The Valley Avenue says ''there is something different about mosques'' and ''mosques often result in hostility to non-Muslims in surrounding areas''.
The 10-page document, published on an online news site yesterday, asks the ACT government to take into account the long-term effect the mosque may have on social harmony, and states a mosque ''seeks to dominate the area in which it is placed''.
The letter designed as a migrant response argues, ''We came to Australia to seek refuge from violence, intimidation and oppression under the Islamic regime in our home country.
''The mosques there were the source of much of this trouble for us.
''We feel afraid and betrayed if this mosque is allowed to be built in such a dominant position in Canberra.''
Concerns over the activity within the proposed mosque have also been raised in one of the letters.
''The plan for the mosque includes a large chiller room and mentions 'deceased wash and office','' it read. ''If the chiller is for the storage of deceased persons then the DA is clearly in breach of its lease conditions.''
The document says the mosque, if built, could cause major traffic congestion and that the proposed 43 car spaces would not be enough because of the size of the proposed building. Fears about the future character of Gungahlin were also raised.
The Canberra Times was asked to leave last week's meeting after a majority in attendance said they did not want media present.
''There were concerns about the numbers, with the mosque, what would go on at the mosque, if you look at say other cities, what do mosques do there?'' said a spokesperson for Concerned Citizens of Canberra after the meeting. ''It's incredible, even in Sydney, they're a no-go zone.''
An Environment and Sustainable Development Directorate spokeswoman could not comment on whether the letters had been received because the development application process hadn't closed.