Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

Governments, Australian Muslims, must work together to contain the threat from domestic Islamic extremists

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1 August 2005


The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today called for a thorough and immediate review of legal and policy counter-measures in the wake of new revelations about the extent of extremist hate material and pro-terror propaganda in some Australian bookshops in Mosques and Islamic schools.

"The latest revelations make it clear that the problem is worse than anyone imagined," said AIJAC Executive Director Dr. Colin Rubenstein. 'AIJAC's study of material sold at the IISCA Mosque bookshop in Brunswick shows that hatred, racism and violence against non-Muslim is being taught as part of Islam. Press reports indicate similar material is being sold in more than one bookshop in Sydney. In addition, prominent Muslims have expressed concerns about similar problems at some Islamic schools, specifically in Werribee in Victoria and Auburn in NSW. (See Sunday Age, July 31, 2005, and ABC-TV "Lateline," July 29)

Dr. Rubenstein continued, "The leadership of the moderate and mainstream Muslim community has admitted that more needs to be done to root out Islamic extremism, and deserves to be commended for its forthright willingness to help deal with this problem. Now is the time for all Australian governments, state and federal to support and work with moderate Muslim leaders, to review our laws and vigorously enforce existing law, and to speak out forthrightly to expose bigotry and extremism. Their goal must be to expose and marginalise extremist clerics here and to provide those from overseas from visiting this country, to prevent the dissemination of violent hate material, and to make sure all schools support the core principles of tolerance, democracy and the rule of law that are at the heart of Australian multiculturalism."

"In the aftermath of London, it is clear to everyone where such pockets of extremism can lead if unconfronted. This toxic combination of unregenerate bigotry and the promotion of violence threatens the multicultural fabric of Australian society and thus endangers us all," concluded Rubenstein.

For further information please contact Dr Colin Rubenstein on (03) 9681 6660 or 0418 339 721.

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