The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) strongly condemns today’s remarks made by Pauline Hanson in Parliament, which openly discriminate against Muslims and undermine the principles of Australian democracy. These comments, which label the political participation of Muslims as a threat, are not only misleading but also deeply offensive.

Dr. Rateb Jneid, President of AFIC, stated, “Such statements from a member of Parliament are not only irresponsible but dangerous. They foster divisiveness and hostility within our multicultural society. The suggestion that Muslims are somehow less entitled to participate in the democratic processes is an affront to the very foundations of our democratic society.”

Pauline Hanson’s speech inaccurately portrays Islam and the Muslim community, suggesting that Islam is incompatible with Australian values. This could not be further from the truth. Australian Muslims contribute positively in every sector of society and are an integral part of Australia’s social fabric. Our community’s efforts to engage in political processes reflect our commitment to a vibrant, inclusive, and democratic society.

Dr. Jneid added, “Democracy is a right afforded to every Australian, and to suggest otherwise is to undermine the principles that bind our nation. It is essential for all political leaders to support the inclusion of all citizens in our democratic processes, regardless of their faith.”

AFIC calls on all members of Parliament and the Australian public to reject these divisive and unfounded statements. We urge our leaders to stand together in promoting unity and respect among all Australians.

Furthermore, the Muslim community in Australia, like any other community, has the right to voice its concerns and participate fully in the political life of the nation. The inflammatory rhetoric used by Ms. Hanson not only marginalises a significant part of our community but also contradicts the very essence of democracy.

It is vital for all sectors of society to reinforce the values of inclusion and mutual respect that define us as a nation. The Muslim community, like every other community in Australia, has not only the right but also the obligation to engage fully in our democratic processes. This engagement is a testament to our shared commitment to a prosperous, harmonious Australia.

We call on all Australians, particularly our leaders and policymakers, to actively support and encourage the participation of all citizens in our democracy, thereby strengthening our collective social fabric.

AFIC, established in 1964, stands as the Peak Muslim Organisation in Australia, with 170 members including 9 State and Territory Councils. It has a rich history of pioneering numerous community services and actively advocating for the rights and representation of the Muslim community.


Dr Rateb Jneid, President

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