I have been involved in the Inter-faith activities for a long time. I find it quite fulfilling to discuss related issues with people of other beliefs. People of other faiths tend to bring varying perspectives into the discussions. My involvement has gradually developed into joining with others to petition parliaments and governments when some issues of concern were brought to the public arena. Issues related mainly to social justice, families, homosexuality and the like were portrayed in the light of religious teachings. I was and still am mostly involved with Christian and Jewish groups and found out that our three faith groups seem to have the same attitude towards these issues.
A few weeks ago I was contacted by an associate whom I worked with on some of these issues in the past. He presented me with a statement related to his attitude towards the laws that should deal with family affairs. He made it clear that the statement would be used to lobby Victorian Parties before the State elections this year.
I found the statement quite reasonable and agreed to affiliate with it. Unknown to me that the statement would eventually be adopted by the Rise Australia Party headed by a dreadful Islamophobe.
When I discovered the association of that Islamophobe, I asked for my name to be removed from a proposed Press Conference and any further action in that regard. With the Grace of Almighty God the group decided to withdraw their endorsement of the Party concerned and would publish an independent release instead. The situation could have developed in a way that may show that some Muslims lend their support to an Islamophobic organisation!
I implore any Muslim contemplating involvement in such issues to be very careful and to examine very closely all related issues and materials before consenting to be part of the process. It would also be helpful if advice is sought from ICV and other respectable Muslims before allowing their names to be used in the public arena.
May Almighty keep our Ummah safe and protect our families from the abundant evil surrounding us.
Riad Galil, OAM
Imam, West Heidelberg Mosque