Statement from the Board of Sydney Alliance:
Our Alliance stands with our beloved Muslim sisters & brothers, as they grieve for the victims of the terrorist attack on Muslims in Christchurch on Friday. We commit our coalition to working towards a safe community for all.
Our Alliance brings together over 40 member organisations that represent over 2 million people across the diversity of Sydney. We are faith groups, unions, community organisations and ethnic associations.
Last Thursday night, at our Town Hall Assembly, we gathered in hope across all faiths and none, strengthened by the presence of many Muslim communities and leaders who work so hard for the well-being of our city and all its people. As an Alliance we recommit ourselves to these communities, and to solidarity today, and every day.
We do not want to live in a society where people are scared to join with their community or practice their faith, where the undercurrent of allowing any to be treated as ‘other’ leaves treasured communities vulnerable to attack & prejudice.
Now is a moment for us as civil society to step up. We need to match the darkness of the attack with the positiveness of our action.
Over the weekend we have made contact with our Islamic partners and we will continue to connect today to leaders to offer our support and our listening. Some of us send prayers, others our thoughts. But we are united in our concern and we are all prepared to act.
We are developing ideas for action together.
We urge all people of good will in Sydney to support the Muslim community and act for a welcoming Australia.
What the Alliance has done so far:
On Saturday we posted on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/sydneyalliance; spoke with leaders from United Muslim Women’s Association and Arab Council of Australia, offering support and solidarity of our Alliance for Muslims in NZ and here in Sydney. They asked us to start with listening to the women. Many of the organisers connected to leaders through Voices for Power projects.
Today we will send this formal statement / letter to all of our partner organisations in the post and commence phonecalls to individual Imams and leaders.
What Council leaders can do now:
1. Distribute a statement of your own (many of you have already done this) or share ours - put it on your website.
2. Make contact yourselves with those Muslims with whom you have a relationship – this is an ideal time to build on our connections with each other. Please contact me if you need contact details of Muslim partners and key organisations.
3. This is a moment for civil society to step up. We are looking for who are the leaders who want to coordinate an Alliance response beyond these first few days. If that's you or someone you can nominate, please email firstname.lastname@example.org .