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People for Human Rights and Equality Inc:-

 

People for Human Rights and Equality Inc:-

 People for Human Rights and Equality Inc. (PHRE) Reg. No. A0037233S E-mail: contact@phre.org.au Web: www.phre.org.au NOT IN OUR CITY! NOT ON OUR STREETS!

People for Human Rights and Equality (PHRE) views with serious concern the recent rise of right wing groups and parties in Australia. Using rhetoric chillingly similar in tone and imagery to the language of anti Semitism in the early days of Nazi Germany, organisations like Reclaim Australia and the United Patriots’ Front (UPF) have begun a countrywide agitation against what they call unpatriotic elements, specifically Muslim Australians. The emergence and expansion of organisations like Reclaim Australia and its offshoot the UPF forms a threat to the fundamental values and beliefs that underpin our multicultural society. Indeed, PHRE believes that it is the most serious threat to multiculturalism in Australia since the rise of Pauline Hanson’s One Nation party. Reclaim Australia and UPF have disguised their intolerance in anti-Islamic rhetoric, fanning irrational fears and phobias about the future of Islam in this country. That is abhorrent in itself. Whilst we find the rhetoric and practices of organisations such as ISIS repugnant in the extreme, PHRE believes that militant Islam needs to be understood in the social, economic and political context in which it occurs rather than in the context of Islamic teachings. Fascism cannot be defeated with Fascism. Using the activities of a few Muslims to demonise an entire community and calling for drastic measures to deal with that community undermines the foundations of multiculturalism we have come to value and cherish. It also smacks of a more sinister agenda to prosecute, vilify and marginalise. Equally alarming is the potential such Islamophobic rhetoric has for turning into generalised xenophobia with a White-supremacist bent. Islamophobia taps into deep-seated fears of foreigners, especially non-European migrants that have been amply demonstrated during the last two decades in the general response to the so-called ‘boat people.’ The growing marginalisation of many sections of the community due to worsening economic conditions and cut backs to social services will only enhance the appeal of such sentiments that pits ‘us’ against ‘them’. If unchecked this new wave of intolerance can and will turn into something far more sinister than an association of a few hundred fear-mongers, attracting wide support from parties and groups in the mainstream who are happy to exploit such movements to further their own agendas. Already there are indications that the main parties are watching from the sidelines, refraining from condemning right wing extremism while little restraint is shown in criticising Islamic extremism. This is a dangerous trend that can have serious ramifications for the future of Australia’s social cohesion and inclusiveness. As an organisation promoting human rights and equality, PHRE calls upon all Australians to take the threat from Reclaim Australia and UPF very seriously. It is unfortunate that many, particularly non-Muslim migrants seem to consider that this is not their battle. On the contrary, it is important to remember that what touches one community can and will touch us all. Watching from the margins while the Muslims get ‘put in their place,’ while being deplorable in itself, is also an invitation to be put in our place in the future. We stand together or fall together.

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