The Edmund Rice Centre today publicly released a document Debunking the Myths About Muslims in Australia to deal with the stereotyping and discrimination Muslim Australians have had to face in the wake of the war on terror and the riots on Sydney beaches.
“Issues like terrorism, the children overboard affair, the war in Iraq, and the riots in Cronulla have been marked by an unjust and incorrect characterization of Islam and Muslim people”, Edmund Rice Centre Director Phil Glendenning said today.
“When the Provisional IRA were conducting a bombing campaign in Britain, Catholics and Catholicism were not blamed. Christianity was not blamed for the Ku Klux Klan, the massacres of Rwanda, nor the terrorist activities of the groups like the Shining Path in Peru, nor the state terrorism of Chile’s Pinochet and the Argentinian juntas of the 1970’s”.
“Yet when it comes to the war on terror, it is the religion of Islam and Muslim people that have often been blamed, either deliberately by ‘dog whistle’ politicians, or through the intolerance and ignorance of a divided community’, Mr Glendenning said.
“This is deeply unfair and the truth needs to be put on the public record”.
“It is in this spirit that the Edmund Rice Centre has published Debunking the Myths About Muslims in Australia so that people can see that issues like terrorism are less about religion and far more about politics, injustice and warped fundamentalism.”
“Judaism, Christianity and Islam are branches of the same tree. It is important to remember in this Christmas week that Jesus Christ was a Jew and a prophet of Islam, as well as the founder of Christianity.
“He was therefore also a man of Middle Eastern appearance, who today – with his apostles - would probably be locked out of Bondi, Brighton-le-Sands, and Cronulla”.
“Debunking the Myths About Muslims in Australia is a timely and much needed document. This discrimination based on ignorance has to stop”, Mr Glendenning concluded.