ICV clarification on its submission to government inquiry
In response to media coverage of its submission to the “Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade, Inquiry into the status of the human right to freedom of religion or belief”, the Islamic Council of Victoria (ICV) would like to correct the public record.
The recommendation referred to in media reporting today is one of eleven that were made as part of a comprehensive submission to this important government inquiry.
It calls for additional funding to allow young Muslims to express their opinions on a range of issues in a forum where their views can be respectfully and intelligently debated and challenged.
This is not a controversial suggestion and it is supported by extensive research.
Further, it should be viewed within the context of social cohesion initiatives, particularly amongst youth, that are aimed at increasing youth engagement and belonging.
Government does provide funding for community inclusion and social cohesion programs that, as part of the overall approach, do allow for this type of expression to take place.
The ICV would like to clarify that the additional funds should not be at the expense of funding for existing CVE or CT programs.
The ICV would also like to highlight one of the other recommendations in the submission, which is around ways to improve journalists’ adherence to their own code of ethics in reporting issues related to Australian Muslims.
Finally, the ICV would like to clarify the timing for its decision not to sign-up to the next four years of the de-radicalisation program.
This decision was made well before the Brighton incident and has nothing at all to with any particular individual or event.
The decision does not reflect dissatisfaction with the program’s aims and outcomes.
Indeed, the ICV supports initiatives that seek to tackle extremism and radicalisation of any form.