Islamic leaders are demanding the Victorian government use taxpayer's money to provide safe places for angry young Muslims.
The Islamic Council of Victoria proposed that funding for the federal counter-terrorism and anti-extremism programs be diverted to create refuges where “emotionally overloaded” youths can voice inflammatory comments.
“Muslim young people are feeling more emotionally overloaded,” the submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion states.
"A safe space is needed for them to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words which in a public space would sound inflammatory.
3AW radio host Tom Elliot told Sunrise that using taxpayer's money to fund the proposal was “quite possibly the dumbest idea” he had ever heard.
“What they are effectively saying is they want a tax-payer funded place where they can say things that otherwise they wouldn’t be allowed to say.”
Mal Lees from 102.9 Hot Tomato said he believed that the venues could effectively become Jihadi recruitment centres.
“They would be a hot bed of passing ideas and information along,” Mr Lees told Sunrise.
“When I was a young bloke, I used to have a rant room and it was called the pub.”
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The ICV said their submission was justified given the Islamophobia Victorian Muslims are exposed to.
“(It is a) daily threat limiting our freedom to enjoy going to work and school, to apply for jobs, to walk safely in the street, to wear what we want, and to practise our faith free of fear,” the submission states.
While the safe space practice has previously been implemented in more generic environments, Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott said there was no way they would ever support such a proposal.
“This idea is deeply unhelpful and wrong. Under no circumstances would we support the diversion of state funding from counter-terrorism initiatives for such a proposal.”
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