The West

Faiths stand as one in WA
Common cause: Faith leaders listen to Aisha Novakovich. Picture: Megan Powell/The West Australian

The heads of Australia's Christian and Jewish communities stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Islamic leaders yesterday to denounce what they described as a rising tide of anti-Muslim sentiment.

Ceremonies were held around the country as a sign of solidarity between all faiths and to renounce extremism in all its forms.

In Perth, Anglican Archbishop Roger Herft joined WA's Chief Rabbi David Freilich and Australian Arab Association chairman Salim Youssef to call for an end to fear and prejudice which had dominated much of the recent national debate.

"Whenever we demonise another person because of their faith or ideology we are actually only diminishing ourselves," Archbishop Herft said.

Mr Youssef said the vast majority of Muslims were outraged at the violence being carried out in the name of religion by groups such as Islamic State, which he said did not represent Islam.

"It is our duty as Australians to speak out against the terror and genocide happening in the Middle East and elsewhere," he said.

"These extremists groups do not represent me, nor do they represent Islam."

Rabbi Freilich said respect and love for others was the foundation of all religions and there was no room in Australia for intolerance of any kind.

The West Australian

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