I wish to express my sympathy to our Australian and New Zealand Muslim counterparts.
An analysis of the New Zealand carnage shows how Australians and New Zealanders in effect rely on distance when it comes to the tragedies committed in the name of God around the world. Yet we seem to be catechised when such activities occur on our doorstep.
National pride swelled at the horrific news and empathy shone through for our New Zealand Muslim counterparts. What if we maintain this state of mind? Could we prevent further racist actions?
From time to time when such events snatch the headlines, we create a platform so our communities can express hostility and sympathy against violence, then life goes back to normal. Continuity of the empathy displayed in New Zealand is called for, each one of us can contribute just by following the word of God.
Treat others just as you want to be treated. In the words of Kofi Annan, former Secretary General of the United Nations, “Human rights are what reason requires and conscience demands. They are us and we are them” (Annan, 1997, p.1).
In Australia and New Zealand this millennium, Muslim people, are our neighbours, our workmates, our Doctors, our school teachers, our shop keepers, our friends and in many cases our relatives. How can we create a more conducive public policy that honours our Muslim community instead of victimising all Muslims?
By demanding our leaders kerb Islamophobic public rhetoric, by holding our politicians to account for the social dissents, the strong difference of opinion presented around immigrants and refugees that becomes a ‘protect our borders’ voting issue.
Research shows, that many of our Politian’s posture a lack of positive action in order to advance political agendas. An act that contributes to radicalisation, and speechmaking which has a devastating effect on our communities
Around the world, there are numerous calls to help counter violent extremism. For instance, in the United Kingdom, the home secretary Sajid Javid (2018) launched a government strategy for countering terrorism calling for ‘stronger partnerships with communities, civil society groups, public sector institutions and industry’. Hopeful for a shared future Javid urges an approach to developing a community-led response to challenge hateful extremism.
We should; Hail ‘the egg boy’ who put the outrageous Senator Fraser Anning in his place, there is no room for hate speech in Australia or New Zealand. I urge all Australians; to expand your social activities, build trust and relationships through, your Interfaith programs, in a non-stigmatising manner instead of allowing political rhetoric and government discourse about the Muslim Other to shape public opinion. We, must demand policy options which will prevent the horror of genocide occurring in the future.
Litanies are a powerful and natural response but if we follow up with action imagine how more powerful that might be. Why has it required a tragedy of this magnitude to finally bring people of different Faiths together?
Peace be with you.