SHAFAQNA -Â Muslim community members are urgingÂ their leaders,Â imams and representatives to boycott Ramadan dinners being held this year by the Australian Federal Police.
A group called Concerned Muslims Australia hasÂ started a petition on change.org and encouragedÂ all Muslims to stay away from the annual events in Sydney and Melbourne this month.
In the petition, the organisersÂ say: “We refuse to be treated like a national security threat and call on you to recognise such events as attempts by the government to paint a false picture of co-operation between it and the community. We thus call upon you to take the only action befitting as a response, and to refuse in principle to sit with the government while it continues to treat Muslims in the most underhanded way possible.”
Nearly 500 people have already signed the petition, with some commenting that their reason for joiningÂ is that the AFP “stab us in the back and then invite us for dinner”.
Another comment read “itÂ is incredulous that the same agencies that harass, discriminate and target the Muslim community would expect it to break bread with them.Â Not only incredible but disingenuous in the extreme.”
The online petition outlined six points of contention, including that theÂ Australian Government during theÂ past 12 months had “executed a concerted and prolonged campaign of anti-Muslim hysteria, pulling out all stops to demonise, marginalise and victimise the Muslim community. Under the pretext of international developments and a supposed impending domestic threat, many tranches of counter-terrorism legislation have been passed that ostensibly target Muslims specifically”.
It said federal and state governments andÂ their agencies, including theÂ AFP andÂ ASIO, have been a key inÂ targetingÂ the Muslim communityÂ and wereÂ used to execute phoney raids that have often amounted to nothing.
“Where specific threats have been prevented, the raids have been dramatised beyond any reasonable measure to reinforce the notion of a Muslim threat via media and ministers/departments’ public commentary,” the petition says.
It also cites concerns over investigations into matters such as the death of Numan Haider in Melbourne that remain shrouded in mystery, police brutality against Muslims and the creation of an Islamophobic atmosphereÂ directly resulting from the actions of police and government agencies.