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Byron Shire
February 26, 2021

As-salamu alaikum – Peace be with you

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President of the Northern Rivers Muslim Association Abdul Aziz says ‘Terrorism is a religion on its own, regardless of race, colour or religion, it attacks anyone, any one, any innocent being – it takes the lives of innocent people.’ Photo Tree Faerie.

Eve Jeffery

As-salamu alaikum – Peace be with you.

So began an event recognising the need to publicly stand up and say that terrorism is not acceptable, no matter who the perpetrator is.

A large gathering of those who believe that everyone should be safe from violence and that we all need to support each other in peace with respect and goodwill  was held last Saturday at the library in Lismore.

The afternoon was hosted by Remembering and Healing Inc (RaH).

Marlia, Sabina, Abdul and Colin at Saturday’s Remembring and Healing event in Lismore. Photo Tree Faerie.

Local leaders, clergy and members of the community came together to mourn, reflect and support each other after the recent terrible terror attacks in Christchurch.

Jenny Dowell MCd the afternoon which saw many speak about the need for respect, unity and love across all religions and people and an understanding that we are one mob on one planet.

Group coordinator Sabina Baltruweit and the RaH group created an atmosphere of warmth and togetherness in the foyer of the library.

Speakers included Abdul Aziz, President NR Muslim Association, Bishop Greg Homeming, Reverend Al Shaw, Colin Cussell representing the Jewish community, Judith Light from the Baha’i faith, Christina Peebles for the Buddhist community, Ruth Haig representing the Religious Society of Friends (Quakers) and chaplain from SCU Robert Lingard – those gathered also heard from Isaac Smith, Mayor of Lismore. Janelle Saffin, soon to be Member for Lismore and Police Inspector Susie Johnston.

Abdul Aziz spoke earnestly about the difficulty of being a Muslim in an often bigoted atmosphere and his appreciation for the community support after the terrorist attack in Christchurch.

‘It’s great. It makes me feel really safe and loved in this community and accepted as a Muslim,’ said Abdul during afternoon tea following the official part of the day. ‘For the last whole decade we have been struggling with the fact that anyone with a beard, any Muslim, is labelled as a terrorist.

‘There is at least a goodness that has come out of this which is that terrorism is not isolated only to Islam. Terrorism is a religion on its own, regardless of race, colour or religion, it attacks anyone, any one, any innocent being – it takes the lives of innocent people.’

Abdul says he was really surprised about the event. ‘I really want to thank Sabina who organised this whole thing and the RaH group’.

A minute of silence for the victims of terrorism in Christchurch. Photo Tree Faerie.



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  1. I was with you in spirit on Saturday afternoon though could not attend. Thank you to the RaH group for organising.

    The enormous outpouring of support, love, strength and shared humanity that has followed the horror in Christchurch has transformed that awful event into an opportunity to honour all that is best in us.

    I am sure that does not lessen the gaping wounds in the hearts of families and friends of victims but they can know that millions wept with them and for them and that those they loved were laid to rest with the respect of millions who did not know them.

    As-salamu alaikum.

    Jo Wearing

  2. Religion itself proposes life after death and even glory in the afterlife for actions in the current life. IMAGINE (thanks, John Lennon) if there were no religion – nothing to kill or die for (he included country, but here we are talking about religion). IMAGINE if we all thought that this current life is all that we have, this is it/no dress rehearsal as they say. Wouldn’t we make the most of our lives in this world and prepare the world in the best possible way for the future, for our children, grand children and beyond? What a difference that simple ‘belief’ system would have on the safety of the world.

  3. Funny how we view things
    The opportunity has been hanging for thirty years. My how quickly and cynically the media crawls when something happens. But after thirty years even slow learners have gone from squint to school on an issue very real for the future of Australian communities
    The real terror we face remains our colonial ignorance on global affairs. Eg Zionist terrorism which this country has had shoved into their daily intake is rife. An egalitarian society does not include a class system which is not only social deficiency but terrorises families who cannot afford to buy decent food for example


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