The lens we choose to look through determines our perception of reality. Over the last few days, I have watched and listened to some people quickly judging and abandoning our Muslim community.
People, who choose to view the world through the frame of one lens, have only a one dimensional view of reality.
One dimensional people have little experience with the Muslim community and perpetuate racism based on media commentary which only represents one experience and focuses on the extreme.
If we look through a one dimensional lens we risk becoming voices of contempt, judgement, and irrationality.
The challenge for me is to view the world through many lenses to acknowledge the diversity within our country.
If I look through the lens of the evil acts of the Lindt Café, of a police accountant murdered, of the recent incidents in France and Germany and the reality of I.S. – I see brutality and evil and denounce these acts with every fibre of my being.
If I look through the lens at our Border Protection I see a conflicting reality where we must ruthlessly scrutinise anyone who tries to enter our country whilst keeping in mind those who need our refuge and support. If I look through the lens of the young Muslim people I see they feel judged and threatened, unsure whether they should venture outside their home because of the verbal abuse and racism of a small minority.
When I look through the lens of mainstream Australians I see the desire for peace and acceptance of all people.
When I look through the lens of mainstream Muslim community, I see decent people who value Australia and its values and we cannot label them with the experience of terrorists and pure evil.
I work across many communities and with many young Muslim kids. I have some of the best youth workers, some of whom are Muslim, and they work with all young people regardless of their backgrounds.
We must embrace our common humanity and as a united community, shout down the evil done around the world from extremists.