The following statement is written by Ned Curthoys, a Research Fellow at the Australian National University, and is being circulated around Australia:
As progressive Jewish Australians we are deeply disturbed by the recent outbreak of politically motivated attacks on asylum seeks and Muslims. As Jews we know that most of the criticisms being directed at Islam, that it is a ”˜totalitarian’ religion incompatible with Australian civic norms, that its practitioners are obdurate and backward, and that the religion itself is too atavistic to be incorporated within the modern West, are simply anti-Semitic stereotypes now applied to a softer target. For example the argument that Jews are incapable of being truly loyal to the modern state was a perennial argument against full Jewish emancipation in Europe. We call on all major parties to unequivocally denounce Islamophobia and to recognize that rhetorically disenfranchising and othering any section of the Australian community will have appalling long term consequences for Australian democracy.
Eva Cox AO
If you’d like to sign as a concerned Jew, please email Ned ([email protected]).