OPINION: white supremacy scares me more than terrorism
LOVE is a verb.
These four words inscribed on a poster behind speakers at an Iftar dinner at Parliament House seemed profound and yet simple.
As anti-Islamist groups peddle their message of hate and division this weekend, many Muslims are opting instead for love and unification.
Iftar is a sunset meal eaten when Muslims break their daily Ramadan fast.
But it's also a time for community as Muslims are encouraged to break the fast with their neighbours and engage with those around them.
Muslim families around Queensland have opened their homes in the month-long Ramadan to share their beliefs and customs with people interested in learning about them.
Their valiant and visionary work to bridge the religious and cultural divide is a great way to breakdown stereotypes about Islam at a time when the Muslim faith has been under attack from extremists.
Whether intentional or a by-product, the global war on terror has sent messages around the world suggesting Islam is a religion that promotes violence and is incompatible with western society.
Yes, terror attacks are frightening, that is their purpose. And the people who perpetrate them will succeed if we let them.
But what scares me more are the white supremacist creatures crawling out of the shadows like monsters in a child's nightmare.
Latching onto the fear of more attacks, Reclaim Australia and other anti-Islamic groups feed off Islamic stereotypes through rallies designed to spread hate messages.
It is frankly repulsive.
And saying they represent patriotic Australians is insulting to the rest of us.
NSW police today named the rise of white supremacist groups as one of the main threats to social cohesion in Australia.
I fear these regressive beings will stretch peace that much further from our grasp.
Like monsters, however, they can only create fear if we give them a voice and bolster their uneducated beliefs.
- APN NEWSDESK
* Love is a verb is a documentary