CHRISTIANS AND MUSLIMS STAND TOGETHER

Statement from Christian leaders in Logan City
Kuraby Mosque, Friday 26 September 2014

   A Call for Christians and Muslims to Stand Together

As Christians and church leaders, we are standing today side by side with our Muslim brothers and sisters, to condemn all violence and to plead for peace and respect in our community of Logan City.

All of us, Muslims and Christians, condemn all acts of violence. Tragically, throughout history, all religions have had their violent extremes, and have been co-opted by ideologies and militants for causes and actions that are the opposite of their religion’s teachings and values. The values and violence of extremists like IS and ISIS are not representative of the vast majority of Muslim people in Australia, who are distressed and appalled at the actions of these militants and their supporters, and who have always been committed to peace, mutual respect and community well-being.

Criminal activity and military aggression need to be dealt with by the appropriate authorities in accordance with law. What is not helpful is scapegoating an entire group of people on the basis of religious belief. As people committed to building cohesive and diverse communities in Australia, we are very concerned at how Muslims are being unfairly smeared in the eyes of the public by being associated, through their religion, to violent extremism which they themselves oppose.

In recent conversations with our Muslim friends, they have told us how one member of the community in a hijab (or scarf) had been attacked in the street, and another member of the community in a niqab (or veil) had been stalked and then assaulted in her own home, and another member had been abused by a complete stranger who threatened to run her over in his car, and of other unprovoked attacks on vulnerable Muslim women.

We are all people of faith. An attack on any of us because of our religion, is an attack on all of us. All of us have the right to feel safe on our streets and in our homes. All of us have the right to practise our faith freely without fear. We appeal to every member of our community: Stop this harassment, stop these attacks, stop this climate of suspicion.

This is a time for all people of goodwill to act decisively and positively to protect the fabric of our community. We ask all people to:

  1.      Act in an exemplary manner, being strong but gentle.
  2.        Adopt a dignified, friendly, courteous approach towards all.
  3.        Respect people regardless of their faith. Don’t tell other people what you think they believe, let them tell you. Please listen.
  4.        Respect other’s views, even if we disagree with their views. Acknowledge both similarities and differences between our faiths.
  5.        Not treat an individual as a spokesperson for their whole religion, nor judge people by what other people of their faith may do.
  6.        Speak positively of our own faith, not negatively of other’s.
  7.        Encourage positive relationships between our faith communities.
  8.        Encourage constructive relationships with the wider community.
  9.        Use their wisdom, knowledge, skills and resources to serve others. 
  10.   Discuss any problems face to face so we can solve them peacefully.

 

Tags: Islam, Interfaith, Kuraby Mosque, Logan City

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