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Stanhope to reassure Muslim leaders

By Kerces - 26 July 2005 30

Stanhope is going to meet with some of Canberra’s Muslim leaders tomorrow morning to tell them that our community supports multiculturalism and that we totally believe that “terrorism is the work of extremists whose ideology is not shared by the overwhelming majority of Muslims”.

[UPDATE
Stanhope’s put out a release (not yet online) after the event saying that terrorism is abhorrent to most Mulsims. Full text is below.]

I had a sneaking suspicion that I had heard this somewhere before, and a quick google search shows that at least Blair and Victorian premier Steve Bracks have also had the same idea (and then I stopped going down the list).

TERRORISTS’ IDEOLOGY NOT SHARED BY OVERWHELMING MAJORITY OF WORLD’S MUSLIMS

Terrorism was the work of ideological extremists whose beliefs and methods were abhorrent to the overwhelming majority of the world’s Muslims, ACT Chief Minister Jon Stanhope said today.

Mr Stanhope met local Islamic leaders at the Canberra mosque this morning to reaffirm Canberra’s commitment to multiculturalism and to join with Muslims in condemning terrorism and mourning its victims.

“Down through history people of many faiths have resorted to acts of terror in a bid to shock and frighten their enemies,” Mr Stanhope said. “But these individuals are motivated by extremist interpretations of religious teachings. It is vital that their actions not be allowed to sour the community’s tolerance of religious and cultural diversity.

“The terrorists who, in these terrible times, claim to commit acts of terror in the name of Islam, are no more representative of the Islamic faith than the IRA bombers of decades past were representative of Christianity, or the Tamil Tiger suicide bombers are of Hinduism,” Mr Stanhope said.

“Violence in all its forms is a terrible thing, and it is hard, when we think of and mourn the victims of recent terrorist attacks in Iraq, Israel, Palestine, Egypt and the United Kingdom, the young Brazilian man mistakenly shot on a London train this week, and the 25,000 civilians killed in Iraq since the United States-led invasion, not to despair.

“What keeps us from despair is the conviction that by and large society is tolerant and just and fair. What keeps us from despair is the knowledge that, by and large, the community will refrain from labelling and stigmatising entire social groups, on the basis of the abhorrent acts of a few.

“For the overwhelming majority of Muslims, Islam is a religion that teaches peace. It is a faith followed by a billion people worldwide — more than one in five people alive today. It is a faith that is practised by people from myriad cultural backgrounds, from Indonesia to Pakistan, Palestine to Fiji, the United States to Australia. Here in Canberra our diverse communities of Muslims are deeply and securely embedded in all aspects of our shared life. They are bosses and employees, teachers and sporting heroes, volunteers, entertainers and doctors. And just as they have something in common with members of other Muslim communities — a shared faith — they also have much in common with non-Muslims — a love of our way of life and a respect for human rights, including religious freedom.”

Mr Stanhope said he hoped today’s gathering demonstrated the solidarity and sense of common purpose the community badly needed at this difficult time.

What’s Your opinion?


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30 Responses to
Stanhope to reassure Muslim leaders
Maelinar 12:14 pm 27 Jul 05

Thumper: Frankly I don’t think that the cricket is any better than the muslim debate (Shane Warne and Mobile phones anybody?)

And Mr Stanhopes Media Advisor: The IRA and the Tamil Tigers DIDN’T publicise that they were bombing a target for their religion!

The IRA did it because they want the Poms to bugger off back to England, and the Tamil Tigers did it because they want the Indians to bugger off back to India (or whatever)

To state that a Mulesim (note the reference to donkeys, it is intentional) who blows up a target, and in their words ‘for Islam’ is in any way related to the IRA or TT is quite frankly, a lie.

Additionally the fact that you have plagiarised the comment from a pro-muslim interview that was conducted recently (sorry I didn’t note who conducted the interview, but it was televised) sticks out like dogs b4lls.

To be frank, I think that Stanhope should be told to mind his own business, cause he’s just being a stickybeak idiot making comments like this.

My opinion would be different if he had been asked to provide a response to the Muslim community of the ACT regarding their ‘degree of welcome’ in the region, but I don’t think this is the case, he’s just trying to be proactive, and failing.

To summarise, Shut up dickhead, you don’t know what you’re talking about. (excluding Thumper)

Thumper 11:14 am 27 Jul 05

David,

I think using a term or word immediately takes away all meaning for what it is as it can be misappropriated.

I’d rather hear something like, ‘lots of different people live here’.

Which we all know and accept anyway.

Cheers

David Heidelberg 11:04 am 27 Jul 05

PS – links

David Heidelberg 11:02 am 27 Jul 05

I like the term pluralistic.

bonfire 9:31 am 27 Jul 05

you want a fire give it oxygen.

less publicity for the extremists, the better. unfortunately naomi and ray love this shit.

Thumper 8:48 am 27 Jul 05

I’m frankly sick and tired of the word multiculturalism. It means everything and it means nothing. It has become a buzzword, trendy to use whenever someone, usually a pollie, has nothing better to say.

As if we don’t realise that we have different cultures here? Of course we do, we have since the Chinese in the Goldrush, the Islanders during the blackbirding period, the WW1 and WW2 post war immigrants, the Vietnamese refugees after the fall of Saigon, the lebanese after the late 70s war in Lebanon.

Why can’t people simply accept it without having to put a label on it?

Then again, one you lable something its much easier to manipulate it as it now has a definition and some sort of form.

Arrrghhhh, if I hear Ray Martin or any journo saying anything about multiculturalism again I think I’ll do an Elvis and shoot the TV.

When does the next cricket test start. At least that may take some of this off the news.

RandomGit 8:20 am 27 Jul 05

I’m interested.

David Heidelberg 10:44 pm 26 Jul 05

I agree with Bulldog.

Imams have joined hands around the world to condemn terrorist attacks. Unfortunately, the mainstream press don’t see any advantage in reporting this message. They’d rather show fanatics like Omran, and portray them as mainstream.

I’ve got heaps of links on my site if you’re interested.

bulldog 1:48 pm 26 Jul 05

Ari:
Let me clarify my position for you: The extremists spouting the filth are worse than the media.

However, I think the media have hoodwinked you; unless of course you have lived in the UK and paid very close attention to the political climate since 9/11? How else would you know what Britain’s actions (or lack of) were leading up to the events.

I’m not saying you’re wrong, for all I know you could be right. What I am saying is that you should be more open to the facts surrounding this latest craze rather than let the media manipulate you.

And why would the media publicise the other Imams who ARE condemning this violence when it gets no reaction from the populace? Just because you didn’t see it on the six o’clock news doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen.

And when you say ‘some in our society’, what is preventing you from taking to the streets and expressing your outrage over the latest round of attacks?

Ari 11:44 am 26 Jul 05

So it’s all the media’s fault … yeah, right.

What you’re saying is Sheik Omran and the like shoud be left alone to poison the minds of young men without being troubled by the spotlight.

It’s the lack of highly visible action from Muslim moderates that inevitably leaves the focus on the radicals.

This isn’t an issue that can just be ignored in the hope it will all go away. Britain tried that stance.

The Egyptian people are being courageous in opposing extremism, it’s a pity the same can’t be said about some in our own society.

bulldog 11:16 am 26 Jul 05

That’s exactly what the media is telling us Ari.

Although I wonder how many less radical Imams have had cameras thrust in their faces so they can have the oppurtunity to condemn terrorist’s actions? I haven’t seen many on sixty minutes, current affair, today tonight or even the ABC for that matter.

Granted, there are lunatics within the Muslim community just as there are within the Catholic, Sikh, Anglican, Shinto, Buddhist, Methodist etc ad nauseum.

However it seems that Muslim bashing (figuratively) is the flavour of the month, and to ride this wave of popularity the media shows extremest idiots spouting absolute shit about ‘non-assimilation’, ‘jihad’ and random prejudices. The media should stop portraying these freaks as the ‘normal’ muslim and take a responsable stand.

Look at the protests in Egypt over the latest round of bombings over there. There are thousands of Muslims in the street publically denouncing the acts of a few. How’s that for half hearted mumblings?

Ari 9:02 am 26 Jul 05

It’s a feel-good but useless exercise unless more of Australia’s Muslim leaders actually come out actively condemning terrorism and working against the extremists, rather than just the standard half-hearted mumblings uttered after every fresh outrage.

bulldog 8:45 am 26 Jul 05

Less talk, more action. Another knee-jerk reaction to the problems at hand.

What we need is a Leader to be proactive in building relationships with minority groups. It shouldn’t take a terrorist attack to point out that there are differences amongst our community.

I think he’s doing the right thing, but it’s something that should have been built on a long time ago. I sane man would cast his eye to other religious/cultural groups now in an effort to be seen as truly embracing of all.

Thumper 8:32 am 26 Jul 05

Yeah JB,

He can hardly not do it can he?

Even if it simply paying lip service or its being warm and fuzzy in a Stanhopish way, it still has to be done.

Not that I’m saying it will make any difference. Although that Muslim leader in Melbourne seems to have some rather radical views about the future of Australia.

Anyway, I think its a good and reasonable move, both politically, socially and in a cultural sense. Whether it makes any difference is another question.

johnboy 7:46 pm 25 Jul 05

Leave no modish piece of right-on thinking behind.

Hey, it’s collectivist, it’s the Stanhope way, stitch up cozy deals with a snug coterie of self-proclaimed leaders and hope reality doesn’t intervene.

Still, can’t do much harm and in this case might do some good.

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