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Boycott AFP Eid Dinners

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Muslim Community Members Encourage Leaders, Imams and Representatives to Boycott AFP Eid Dinners

This statement, signed by many members of the Muslim community, seeks to urge Muslim community leaders, Imams, representatives and prominent personalities to boycott Eid Dinners organised by the Australian Federal Police on the 21st of July 2015 in Sydney and the 24th of July 2015 in Melbourne.

We affirm the following points in this regard:

1) The Australian Government has over the last 12 months executed a concerted and prolonged campaign of anti-Muslim hysteria, pulling out all stops to demonise, marginalise and victimise the Muslim community. Under the pretext of international developments and a supposed impending domestic threat, many tranches of counter-terrorism legislation have been passed that ostensibly target Muslims specifically.

2) Federal and State Government bodies such as their police forces (including the Australian Federal Police) and intelligence agencies (such as ASIO) have been a key strategic component in the Australian Government’s deliberate targeting of the Muslim community, used to execute phoney raids that have often amounted to nothing. Where specific threats have been prevented, the raids have been dramatized beyond any reasonable measure to reinforce the notion of a Muslim threat via media and ministers/departments’ public commentary.

3) Investigations into key incidents remain unresolved with answers around police action missing in this regard. This is exemplified by the case of 18-year-old Numan Haider, whose shooting by Victorian police, and months of harassment by intelligence agencies prior, still remain shrouded in curious mystery.

4) Police raids and increased surveillance by intelligence agencies have created immense distress for families and entire communities, making victims out of those with no part in the Government’s ill-defined “extremism”. Police brutality is also a serious concern, with increasing reports of physical violence being used against innocent Muslims.

5) The creation of this atmosphere has also directly led to an increased backlash against Muslims, particularly the vulnerable, in all walks of life. An Islamopbobic atmosphere is directly resulting from the actions of police and government agencies.

6) In its bid to shore up tokenistic support for the above and other measures, the Government, through its various agencies, invites Muslim leaders and organisations to dine with its policy makers and bureaucrats, attempting to create a false image of cooperation, harmony and trust which could not be further from the truth. We interpret these overtures as insult to injury: it is incredulous that the same agencies that harass, discriminate and target the Muslim community would expect it to break bread with them.

Call for Action

In light of the above, we call upon all earnest and well-intentioned peoples, Muslim and non-Muslim, to strongly urge Muslim community leaders, Imams, organisational executives, spokespeople, media personnel, academics, representatives and other prominent personalities to boycott all such events. We do not doubt the sincerity of those invited and their attempts to search for avenues to better the situation of Muslims. However, we call upon them to respond to Muslim sentiment and to avoid attending any such events by Government departments and agencies, specifically those related to police and law enforcement.

We refuse to be treated like a national security threat and call on you to recognise such events as attempts by the Government to paint a false picture of cooperation between it and the Community. We thus call upon you to take the only action befitting as a response, and to refuse in principle to sit with the Government while it continues to treat Muslims in the most underhanded way possible.

2 July 2015

 



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