Leader of the Australian Greens Dr Richard Di Natale spoke during Friday prayers at Granville Community Centre on 1 March, at the invitation of the Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed.

“We are a country of many different cultures, many different faiths, people from right around the world who have come to Australia to make it their home. We are a better country, a stronger country because of the contributions of people like your community, and we thank you for what you have done,” Dr Di Natale said during his remarks.

“We acknowledge the contributions that the Muslim community has made to Australia, not just now but from the time Australia was founded. From the Makassans trading in northern Australia with our indigenous people, from the Afghan Cameleers who helped build the interior of this country to the new generations of Australians who have chosen to make Australia their home.

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“When people like Peter Dutton stand up and say that bringing Lebanese people to Australia was a mistake, he’s not just attacking Lebanese Muslims, he’s attacking all of us. He’s attacking me and my family because we’re one people, together doing what we can to make this a better country.”

“When Pauline Hanson and other Senators stand up and disrespect Muslims, they’re disrespecting all of us. They’re making it harder for all of us, they’re making it harder for the young girl, young boy on their way to school, they’re making their lives harder and we will not accept it. It’s why when Pauline Hanson came into the senate and expressed their hateful fear, we turned our back on her and we stood in solidarity with the Muslim community.”

“We have a lot in common, the notion of humility, the notion that we must protect the environment, the world around us because it sustains us, the notion of giving people less fortunate than us, we stand with you, we thank you for the contributions you’ve made and once again, let me acknowledge the wonderful work of Dr Ibrahim and all of you here today.”

Grand Mufti of Australia Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed gave the sermon at the Granville Community Centre immediately before Senator Di Natale’s speech.

“Contributing and participating in the voting process is critical for anyone who claims a right to citizenship to a country. Voting acts as a means of upholding one’s rights and responsibilities to the country in which they are a resident and citizen,” said Dr Ibrahim.

“Ignoring or refusing to vote serves nothing other than it demonstrates one’s absence and lack of desire to voice their presence and contributions to a country.

“It is essential for anyone who has been granted the right to vote by their country of citizenship to utilise this right since it will serve in their best interests and the best interests of future generations to come. Voting is not only a social duty but also a personal obligation as well,” Dr Ibrahim said.

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