Page 878 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 6 April 2022

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I would like to think I stand in friendship with Canberra’s Muslims because friendship is about common values—values that include protecting the earth that sustains us, and values about equality between people, whether it be on the basis of religion, race, ethnicity, gender or economic equality.

Friendship is also about sharing the good times and the bad. Whilst breaking bread together is important, friendship is about more than turning up at an iftar and posting about it on social media. It is about standing in allyship, in friendship and in solidarity. Everyone has a right to live without fear of racial violence, abuse and discrimination. Racism causes personal harm and trauma. It is extremely dangerous and a real threat to our wellbeing and safety, and it impacts negatively on our society as a whole.

The othering of Muslims and Islamophobia need to be tackled by political leadership. The Greens recognise the need for anti-racism strategies to tackle racist hate at its core. This can be done through training in anti-racism and allyship; empowering communities to challenge racism and to tackle the structural causes of race discrimination; awareness raising and education in identifying and resisting far-right extremism; countering systemic bias and discrimination in organisations; collecting proper data on hate crimes and racial discrimination; and strengthening and enforcing hate speech laws.

To move on to happier matters, I would like to celebrate Senator Mehreen Faruqi, Greens senator for New South Wales, and the only female Muslim in our federal parliament. In her words, the joy of sharing home-cooked food with loved ones is even more meaningful during this time, when Muslims all over the world come together to reflect and contemplate. I look forward to trying her iftar recipe for pakoras with a mix of baby spinach, onion rings and thinly sliced potatoes in a thinnish batter made with salt, chilli, water and yoghurt.

In closing, and on behalf of the ACT Greens team, I wish everyone celebrating a peaceful and blessed Ramadan. Ramadan mubarak to you and your family.

Question resolved in the affirmative.

The Assembly adjourned at 5.21 pm.

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