19 October 2014
Islamophobia is a form of cultural racism and racial vilification which has been prominent in Western Society since the start of the “War on Terror” in 2001. Attacks on the Muslim and Arab Communities of Australia have escalated in recent weeks in the wake of the so-called “terror raids” which have targeted the Muslim and Arab communities. Ordinary Australians from all backgrounds have been horrified at the greenlight given to racists by the Australian Abbott government and are taking a stand to say no to racism and Islamophobia. Racism in all it’s forms shouldn’t be tolerated in a Multicultural Society was one of the key sentiments of the ‘No to Islamophobia’ demonstration which took place today in Melbourne.
Today’s rally opposed the Abbott government’s use of the politics of fear to promote a wave of racist attacks on the Muslim and Arab communities. Prime Minister Tony Abbott and his government, aided by the mainstream media, have sought to create a moral panic by scapegoating the Muslim and Arab communities in order to fast track through laws restricting civil liberties and to distract from their unpopular budget.
The widely publicised “terror raids” and Abbott’s march to war, coupled with the government’s dogwhistle racism has given a green light to racists and bigots. In the last month, we have seen knife wielding attackers enter Muslim schools to threaten school children and teachers and Muslim women attack on the streets because of what they wear, including a terrifying attack where a Muslim woman was beaten and pushed from a train.
Speakers at today’s rally included:
- Adel Salman, Member of the Islamic Council of Victoria
- Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens
- Aseel Sammak, Muslim Students Association of Victoria
- Heba Bendak, Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth
- Jeff Sparrow, Author, Journalist and writer for the Guardian
Aboriginal activist, Viv Malo give acknowledgement of country and speaks about racism in Australia, against both the Aboriginal community and the Muslim and Arab communities.
Adam Bandt, Deputy Leader of the Australian Greens speaks at the rally
Heba Bendak, Federation of Australian Muslim Students and Youth
Jeff Sparrow, author and journalist.
Aboriginal activists in solidarity with the Muslim and Arab communities
Oh dear, I can’t believe its been 6 weeks or so since I last posted something! To make up for such a long absence, here is Block B with their dance practice version of their latest single, Her.
And as an added bonus:
First Dog on the Moon (Andrew Marlton) is an Australian Walkley Award winning political cartoonist and satirist. His cartoons appear regularly in The Guardian.
First Dog on the Moon also has his own website, which you can check out here.
This cartoon first appeared in The Guardian’s online edition on 21 July, 2014
this beautiful and moving poem about Gaza is by my good friend Samah Sabawi. Samah has kindly given me permission to reproduce it. It has already been posted on my Live from Occupied Palestine blog, but I also wanted to share on Red Butterfly Effect.
Samah is a Palestinian-Australian poet and playwright, who writes regularly for a range of media websites on Palestine and human rights. She is currently preparing for the premier of her latest play, Tales of A City by the Sea, which is a Palestinian story of love, separation and resistance set in Gaza. The play will premier in November in Melbourne.
Samah tweets at @gazaheart and you can check out her website, Tales of a City by the Sea by clicking here.
in solidarity, Kim