PM needs to unify community, not lecture to


Press release: The Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV)

Tuesday, February 24 2015

PM needs to unify community, not lecture to

The Sydney siege and the subsequent deaths of three people were a result of poor decision-making and the inaction of authorities and not a break down of the ‘system’ as Mr Abbott puts it.

Man Monis was a person of interest for many years and was well known for his irrational behaviour. To conveniently pass this off as a system failure is simply irresponsible.

ICV spokesperson Kuranda Seyit said, “It’s very convenient for Mr Abbott to pass the buck on this. He is very keen to make this a broader issue about Muslims, but it is quite obvious, like many of his political problems, he is very good at shifting the focus from himself to others.”

The ICV is one of over one hundred Muslim organisations and community leaders in Australia that has on numerous occasions unequivocally condemned all forms of violence and extremism. In practicing the tenants of their faith, they are motivated to work not only to create a safe and secure Australia, but a prosperous Australia. The Australian Muslim community is an integral part of our strong civil society and robust multicultural community based on our common values of equality, mutual respect and freedom.

“We continue to encourage the PM to reflect the set of values he espouses by utilising a repertoire of inclusive rather than divisive language. The PM’s lack of acknowledgement or appreciation of Muslim community leaders and members who volunteer their time to consult with all levels of government and enforcement agencies misleads and incites ill-feeling from the broader community,” Mr Seyit added.

It is an important time in the history of the nation to stand together and support one another in improving our nation’s peace and security. Divisive comments are not conducive for tackling the problem. The government must assist and reinforce its support of the Muslim community and to empower its capacity to deliver grassroots services that foster social wellbeing and belonging and reduce at-risk behaviours.

The ICV urges more community organisations to put pressure on Mr Abbott to promote national unity and cease scapegoating one segment of our society.

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