How Can We Allow A Faith-Based Housing Development?

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Let's be clear; we SUPPORT multicultural policies and practices, and we support our Muslim brother's and sister's rights to engage with Australian society freely and safely. That being said, how can we support the Iqra Village development when it screams of separatism, anti-multiculturalism and community isolation?

We do not believe in assimilation, we believe in integration, but how are people to integrate and engage with the broader Australian community when they create isolated "faith-based developments" like Iqra Village?

This village in Melton South, Victoria, is targeted at the Islamic community, with 75 separate lots and a mosque built in the middle of the neighbourhood.

This sets a very dangerous precedent.

Is this the version of multiculturalism we wish to promote?

The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils treasurer Keysar Trad told Nine's A Current Affair that Muslims may want to live in the estate to be free of discrimination and misunderstanding. But how does this action alleviate the problem of racism? Surely community isolation and separation only exacerbates the issue, further dividing and promoting the "us" against "them" dichotomy.

How could Melton Council planning general manager Peter Bean support this? It's simply not good enough to say "there was no reference in the planning applications that the development was a faith-based community development" because that's what it so self-evidently is. And how does "Melton City Council continue to build an inclusive community that embraces and values cultural diversity" when it approves culturally isolated, exclusionary developments intended for one group of people over the diversity of all?

We call on the Melton City Council to formally explain how separatism promotes an inclusive community?

How does community segregation promote cultural diversity?

How will Australia look in a hundred years time when everybody withdraws from a diverse, multicultural society in favour of living in segregated faith-based or "x-y-z"-based communities?

We ask all people, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, to sign this petition, and to continue to promote integration over separation, inclusion over exclusion.

Thank you and as-salāmu ʿalaykum.



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