We are saddened by the recent arson attack against the Imam Ali Islamic Centre in Fawkner on Sunday and wish to convey our sympathies and solidarity with the communities affected by this attack. We stand firmly opposed to such violence, whether directed at people, buildings or institutions. All people, whatever their religious, cultural, or national origin, deserve the right to meet and pray peacefully, free of fear.
Although the arsonist has not yet been identified, the AJDS is particularly concerned that this incident will be exploited by politicians and media wishing to fan Islamophobia and vilify members of the diverse Muslim community. The attack has happened in a climate of a sickening rise of violence directed towards Muslim people in Australia and internationally. There has been a clear link between acts of violence towards Muslims and Islamophobic and racist discourse in political and media institutions which needs to be challenged and countered.
This is an official AJDS statement and was issued 14/12/16