By Ridwaan Jadwat
March 23, 2019
Australians share their deepest sympathies
with those affected by the devastating terrorist attack by a right-wing
extremist in Christchurch and share the grief of New Zealanders and Muslim
communities the world over.
What took place in Christchurch was an
abhorrent attack based on an ideology of hate. As we have seen since this time,
this attack does not reflect the fundamental values of tolerance and diversity.
As Prime Minister Morrison has said: the
Christchurch attack “was an attack on all peace-loving peoples, on all innocent
peoples and that’s why we can all stand together in support of our Muslim
brothers and sisters who were the specific targets of this attack”. He also
said: “Muslim Australians are us” and “an attack on one faith is an attack on
The day after the attack, the prime
minister and foreign minister reached out to the Muslim community to convey
deep condolences and show solidarity, visiting a mosque and meeting Muslim
leaders including the Grand Mufti and the Australian National Imams Council.
The Australian government will continue its
close engagement and dialogue with the Muslim community. The Australian
government completely denounces comments that seek to denigrate Muslims and
Islam and will always speak out against this.
The prime minister will lead a bipartisan
motion in the Parliament to denounce these terrorist acts of hate, and those
who make excuses for them, including by acting swiftly to denounce the
appalling comments by an isolated Australian senator. Such comments have no
place in Australia.
We will always protect and defend our
Muslim community in Australia and our people’s right to practise peacefully
their religion without fear. Everyone has a right to feel safe in their places
We welcome any process that encourages
respect, tolerance and interfaith dialogue. This is something all nations must
strive to achieve.
Australia is proud of its diversity, which
has greatly enriched our nation, and made us one of the most harmonious
multicultural societies in the world.
The Australian government is strongly
committed to ensuring our migrant and faith communities continue to feel
welcomed and safe in Australia. The Australian government is accelerating and
extending community safety grants to protect religious schools, places of
religious worship and religious assembly.
Australia stands by New Zealand, and we are
doing everything we can to assist its response to this tragedy, and we will do
this as long as our New Zealand friends need us.
Our two nations, including our Muslim
communities, stand in solidarity, and we stand in solidarity with Muslim communities
across the world.
This is the time for unity and inclusion.
We must all work together against extremism and take care to ensure our public
debates about this horrific incident do not encourage the very divisions
between faiths and cultures that extremists seek to create.
This act of terror in Christchurch was
designed to put fear in our hearts but we will not be cowed by terror and
The aim of terrorists is to divide us and
to turn our citizens against each other — but we will not let them win. We must
stand together as we do today as an international community, united against
terrorism, racism, extremism, discrimination and violence.
Ridwaan Jadwat is Australian ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman
and Yemen and special envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).
The article is based on his remarks delivered to the OIC meeting in Istanbul.