Our community must stand together against religious vilification

A prosperous and diverse nation like ours is no place for religious vilification, Terri Butler MP has said. 

“Religiously-motivated attacks and abuse are unacceptable,” Ms Butler said.

The Federal Member for Griffith, responding to reports of a number of incidents directed at members of the Islamic community on Brisbane’s South Side, said Queensland had laws against religious vilification, and that people should continue to treat each other with respect and kindness.

“Australian multiculturalism owes its success to mutual respect and tolerance between the many religious and cultural groups that make up our community,” she said.

“The South Side has been home to the Muslim community for a long time. Holland Park Mosque is one of Australia’s oldest mosques. It is more than one hundred years old.

“The South side’s Muslims have, throughout that time, contributed to shared understanding and mutual respect as between cultures.

“Unfortunately, some in our community, including a very small number of elected representatives, have chosen to make comments that unnecessarily inflame tensions, perpetuate fear and damage community harmony,” she said.

“The Anti-Discrimination Act 1991 prohibits public acts of religious and racial hatred.

“I note that the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner has expressed his support for anyone in the community who is experiencing or is exposed to religious or racial hatred,” Ms Butler said.

Information on making a complaint to the Anti-Discrimination Commission Queensland can be found on their website -  http://www.adcq.qld.gov.au/complaints/vilification. It is not necessary to make a formal complaint -- it is possible to provide anonymous advice to the Commission about religious vilification incidents. That can be done via the “let us know” page of their website - http://www.adcq.qld.gov.au/human-rights/let-us-know

If a person's safety or if property is at risk, the police should be contacted immediately.

ENDS

TUESDAY, 30 SEPTEMBER 2014 

MEDIA CONTACT ANGUS SUTHERLAND:  0433 295 099

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