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Open Letter to the Islamic Community

Bill Shorten and Michelle Rowland have written an open-letter to the Islamic community following concerning reports about Australia’s Islamic community being assaulted, vilified, and being wrongly stigmatised for the crimes of ISIL. 

In such difficult times, Labor will continue to speak out against ill-informed and dangerous views and stand up for tolerance and multiculturalism. Read their letter here:

To whom it may concern,

We have been very distressed by recent reports about the Australian Islamic community being wrongly blamed for the crimes of ISIL, including assaults and other forms of vilification.

Labor stands shoulder to shoulder with Australia’s Islamic community and, now more than ever, we are committed to tolerance, social cohesion, mutual respect and multiculturalism.

Labor will continue to work with you to stop misinformation, bigotry and prejudice directed at the Australian Islamic community.

Regrettably, some in our community, including a very few elected representatives, have made comments which have the potential to damage community harmony and inflame tensions. Labor strongly opposes these ill-informed and dangerous views and we will continue to speak out against them.

We know that the twisted ideology of ISIL bears no relation to a faith of peace, love and tolerance which is followed by millions around the world – and we will continue to make this point.

ISIL has no right to use the name of Islam.

We will work with you to help stop ISIL spreading division, radicalising disaffected and vulnerable young people. We will not allow them to nurture intolerance and create a world where people fear the unknown and resent differences.

The Islamic story in Australia has a rich history and grows stronger each year. Australia’s Muslim community continues to do our nation a great service by fostering enduring cultural and religious harmony, and making a substantial contribution to our national prosperity.

This reflects modern Australian multiculturalism: a story of cultural enrichment, social cohesion and economic growth and it is a story that the Labor Party is committed to and will always defend.

We are keen to engage with you and your organisation, to listen to you about how we can further these goals together. Please contact Ms Rowland’s office on 02 6277 4833 or Michelle.Rowland.MP@aph.gov.au if you would like to make such arrangements. We look forward to hearing from you.

Finally, on the upcoming occasion of Eid Ul Adha, we wish you, your family and your community a heartfelt Eid Mubarak.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Shorten
Leader of the Opposition

Michelle Rowland
Shadow Minister for Citizenship and Multiculturalism