The federal government has proposed several initiatives which aim to take a more socially-inclusive approach to help address the complex issues faced by many Muslim Australians.
These initiatives include a revival of the Council for Multicultural Australia, as well as a new-look Muslim advisory body that would feature leaders and role models from a cross-section of ethnic backgrounds and focus on everyday Muslim Australians.
Australian Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tom Calma, has welcomed the proposed federal government initiatives.
“The level of social alienation faced by many Australian Muslim people, particularly young Muslims, has to be turned around,” said Commissioner Calma. “Racist, religious or cultural hatred directed towards any member of the community is a breach of human rights and is absolutely unacceptable.”
Commissioner Calma referred to the concerns covered in a 4 Corners television program this week which focused on the need to promote social inclusion, multiculturalism and zero tolerance to racism in order to avoid the continuing alienation of young Muslims.
“Ongoing fear and misinformation in the wider community remains a major threat to social harmony,” said Mr Calma. “Social inclusion measures are likely to be much more successful at protecting the community from violence than many of the tough security initiatives advocated under the ‘war on terror’.
The Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC) has been working for several years to form strong partnerships between Muslim communities, NGOs, universities and government agencies in an effort to build awareness and engagement with Muslim communities.