THE HON BILL SHORTEN MP
LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION
MEMBER FOR MARIBYRNONG
MICHELLE ROWLAND MP
SHADOW MINISTER FOR CITIZENSHIP AND MULTICULTULRALISM
SHADOW ASSISTANT MINISTER FOR COMMUNICATIONS
MEMBER FOR GREENWAY
We send our warmest greetings to Muslims celebrating Eid al-Adha in Australia.
Eid Al-Adha is a celebration of faith which demonstrates to all Australians the important symbolic nature of sacrifice; a lesson observed from Ibrahim’s example and the strength of his faith.
Today in Australia we are lucky that the sacrifices we make in our daily lives are not as great as the ones our parents, grandparents and ancestors made. Our country has grown to ensure that we are able to find work, prosperity and benefit from a strong social safety net provided by Australia that allows us to live educated and healthy lives.
It is during these prosperous times, that the celebration of Eid Al-Adha is so important not only for Muslims but for the entire Australian community. It’s a time when we can all reflect on the sacrifices we must continue to make to become better people and the sacrifice many people around the world continue to make in order to live a free and happy life.
We have been very distressed by recent reports about the Australian Islamic community being wrongly blamed for the crimes of ISIL, including assaults and other forms of vilification.
In light of the ugly debate that has intensified in the last week from some elected representatives, Labor will continue to stand with Australia’s Islamic community to stop misinformation, bigotry and prejudice.
We must always remember that a few loud, ill-informed voices do not speak on behalf of all Australians.
Especially at times like this, our nation’s leaders have a responsibility to stand up against prejudice and intolerance.
Now more than ever, Labor is committed to tolerance, social cohesion, mutual respect and multiculturalism.
As we have previously stated ISIL has no right to use the name of Islam.
The Australian Labor Party has always recognised the extraordinary contribution that the Muslim community makes to our country. With the Muslim population in Australia growing each year it is hard to imagine the shape of our nation today without the valuable contributions that Islamic Australians have made.
This reflects modern Australian multiculturalism: a story of cultural enrichment, social cohesion and economic growth and it is a story that the Labor Party is committed to and will always defend.
We strongly believe that multiculturalism has transformed Australia into a vibrant and prosperous nation. We have communities such as yours to thank for this transformation.
We commend Muslim Australians who have completed the incredible pilgrimage of Hajj in Mecca and Medina and wish them a safe return home.
On behalf of the Federal Parliamentary Labor Party we wish everyone a joyous and memorable celebration.
FRIDAY, 3 OCTOBER 2014