Scapegoating minorities may reap a bitter harvest

Mariam Veiszadeh

The non-toned down version of our opinion piece

As Lawyers, Mothers, and Australian Muslims, we are deeply committed to the rule of law, civil liberties and social cohesion. We rather hesitantly attended a Federal Government “consultation” on Tuesday regarding the Australian Citizenship and the Australian Citizenship Amendment (Allegiance to Australia Bill) 2015. This is despite our “engagement fatigue” in a context where many members of the Australian Muslim community are urging a total withdrawal from further engagement with the Abbott Government.

We were disappointed but not entirely surprised that key Muslim organisations and youth organisations seemed to be excluded from these face-to-face “consultations”. In fact, we only happened to have been invited on recommendation from a colleague in Melbourne. When we queried this – we were told that face-to-face consultations were “not a primary method of consultation” and that apparently, the mind numbing Citizenship paper was emailed to various organisations…

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