Muslims unite against terrorism
Leading Australian Muslims have united to condemn extremist-related violence following terror attacks in Britain and Melbourne.
The Grand Mufti of Australia, Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, called for religions to unite against terror as he hosted the largest ever Australian Iftar dinner in Sydney last week.
“This is obviously the view of everybody, whether they are the original custodians of the land, whether they are refugees or whether they have come here from anywhere around the world,” he said.
Held during Ramadan, this year the traditional Islamic event was extended to leaders from various Christian denominations, as well as military and emergency personnel.
Speaking to an audience of more than 80, Dr Abu Mohamed made a pointed reference to extremism at the dinner.
We are here to stand together against terrorism, and to promote multiculturalism among all people,” he said.
New South Wales Multicultural Affairs Minister Ray Williams said event was important in that “showed respect for our shared values and our shared values as a socially cohesive and harmonious society”.
The Islamic Council of Victoria issued a statement saying it was “troubled and deeply saddened” by the incident at Brighton, in Melbourne, last week in which a man was killed by self-professed terror group follower Yacqub Khayre, who himself was killed by police.
“We wish to express our condolences to the family of the person that was murdered, and we hope for a speedy recovery for the police officers injured in the line of duty,” the ICV said.
“We must not allow events such as these to cause division and hatred,” the council said.
Meanwhile, Australia’s Multicultural Affairs Minister has called on the Muslim community to “rise up against” Islamic extremism.
Senator Seselja said those who believe in this extremist ideology were a small minority of Muslims.
“We need moderate Muslims to be loud in their condemnation in their communities,” Senator Seselja said in a speech to Western Sydney University last week.
The statements came after the Brighton incident and separate terror attacks less than two weeks apart in Manchester and London recently.
On May 22, 22-year-old British Muslim Salman Ramadan Abedi detonated a shrapnel-laden suicide bomb at the exit of Manchester Arena in Manchester, England, following a concert by American singer Ariana Grande.
Twenty-three adults and children were killed, including Abedi, and 119 were injured, 23 critically.
On June 4, seven people died and 48 were injured when three attackers drove a van at pedestrians on London Bridge before getting out of the van and stabbing a number of people in the bustling Borough Market area.
All three were shot dead by police within eight minutes of the first emergency call.
AMES Australia Senior Journalist