Dear Hon Malcolm Turnbull, PM of Australia
On behalf of a growing number of concerned Australian Muslims, I have decided to write and reach you so you can hear a different voice from the Muslim community. The Australian Muslims (including myself) have had enough.
For the last few years, your predecessors were listening only to certain sections of the Muslim community. In the last 5 years the only loud and dominant voices were from the extreme and conservative section of the community. Further, it seemed that the only debates and discussions about radicalisation were made with the very people who were actually involved in supporting extremism.
Following the terrorist attack last week on Parramatta Police headquarter, we were deeply disappointed that you had sought advice from the same extreme and conservative Muslim voices. We are not aware that you have included in the phone hook-up any real anti-extremism leader. In this, you continue to send the wrong message in all directions.
Sadly, the authorities consulted and sought advice on how to fight radicalisation from individuals who were in actual fact part of the problem. The very people the government is consulting are self-appointed community leaders and are only supported by a very small minority. Unfortunately most times this small minority is the root of the problem.
The only way these self-appointed community leaders could have a positive impact, would be for them to admit their past errors in judgement.
Unfortunately this is not the case.
Many of the individuals involved in your phone hook-up last weekend have never left the path of supporting extremism. Yes, they are speaking against ISIS, but only after heavy media coverage on the subject. The names leaked are still very much involved in supporting radical version of Islam and are linked to groups that call for Jihad.
We ask you not to just hear the voice of these “self-proclaimed” community leaders but to hear from the voice of other Muslim representations. I understand that it is easy to take the word from ones who are well resources and are very vocal with their demands. If authorities continue to choose these members you will only have the voice of extremists and radicals.
This is why we are seeking a meeting so that we can present you with some ideas and let you know what is really happening in our communities. We would also like to bring to your attention our deep concerns from a particular section of our community which was subjected to vicious campaigns of bullying and physical attacks in the last 5 years. The voices of these members of the community have never been heard and have never been taken seriously.
To this regard, as you would be already aware, since the beginning of the notorious Syrian “revolution”, a large section of anti-extremists (mainly secular Sunnis, Shias, Alawis..) were subjected to vicious campaigns of violence and attacks. These included shootings, burning homes and businesses, physical and verbal attacks, calls to boycott business and attacks and bullying of students at schools. The stories of the victims of these abuses were never heard.
As proud Australian Muslims and concerned citizens, we are seeking to meet with you. We have been involved in anti-sectarian campaigns and inter-faith activities for a long time. We believe that we can help find a solution to the high radicalisation which threatens our society.
We are well aware that the issue of high radicalisation and extremism are causing deep concerns in our community and the fight against this will be high on the agenda of the next election. We, as anti-extremism activist intend to make this an important issue on the agenda of all political parties. We are very interested to hear your government commitments on this particular issue.