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An open letter to the Community of Victoria: Victoria Police Multi-Faith Council.

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Latest News An open letter to the Community of Victoria: Victoria Police Multi-Faith Council C 30 September 2014 We, the members of the Victoria Police Multi-Faith Council, are writing to the Victorian community to affirm our rejection of all violence, particularly that which is based on sectarianism. police-multifaith The terrible scenes that have appeared on the internet and on our TV screens over the last few months are abhorrent to all fair minded Victorians. These events have caused many of us to reassess how we live our lives and how we relate to each other across our wonderful multifaith and multicultural community. We need to protect what we have built as a community. Together, we can keep each other safe. Our Prime Minister has raised the public alert levels from Medium to High. In this context, we believe the best way to face potential threats is to work together, inclusively. This approach has served Victorians well for decades. We must remember the things which have made this state great, our commitment to law and order, a history of working and cooperating with each other, and strong support for those in need, no matter what our religion or race. During this difficult time, we need to be culturally sensitive, respectful and understanding. Whilst recognising differences we also need to embrace and celebrate our similarities. All of us have the right to worship and practice our faith. The strength of our multiculturalism and faith diversity has provided a strong foundation to face challenges in a positive and peaceful way. The security of the Victorian community is everyone’s responsibility and we are asking and encouraging all faith communities to work with us to keep Victoria safe. At a local level, we are asking the leaders of our faith groupings to encourage and remind their communities that: • the security changes are about criminal activity occurring both nationally and internationally; • suspicious activities should be reported to the National Security Hotline on 1800 123 400 or 000; • any acts of religious or racial vilification should be reported immediately to Triple Zero (000); and • liaison with local police is encouraged to strengthen safety and community connections. Faith leaders also have a role to encourage community members to pursue their values and beliefs while simultaneously responding and reporting discrimination or other illegal activity. Victoria Police have undertaken to respond to any complaints in a fair and unbiased manner using human rights principles. The Council stands united with Victoria Police in its belief that the cohesion and harmony which exists across our State will be our greatest asset in keeping each other safe so that we can continue enjoying one of the most successful multicultural and multifaith societies in the world. The Victoria Police Multifaith Council is a long established grouping of faith leaders which provides advice to the Chief Commissioner. Following the elevation of the National Terrorism Public Alert Level to 'High', the Council met with the Chief Commissioner and agreed to encourage all members of the community to work together in the interests of public safety. signatures Join Newsletter Name Email Upcoming Events Interfaith Teaching & Meditation: Mela Interfaith Association (October 07, 2014 19:30) Tour to Places of Worship: Dandenong Interfaith Network (October 08, 2014 08:30) Sukkot - Feast of Booths (Jewish) (October 09, 2014) Moonee Valley Interfaith Network: Annual General Meeting (October 09, 2014 18:30) Dialogue - Where it all began: Council of Christians and Jews (October 12, 2014 15:00) Faith and Community Safety Breakfast: Darebin Interfaith Council (October 16, 2014 07:00) The Role of Interfaith in International Relations and Peace Building (October 18, 2014 10:20) Visit to Places of Worship: Casey Multifaith Network (October 18, 2014 11:30) Birth of the Bab (Baha'i) (October 20, 2014) Launch of Gesher 2014: Council of Christians & Jews Vic (October 21, 2014 15:00) Buddhist and Catholic perspectives on “Caring for the soul”: Brimbank & Maribyrnong Interfaith Network (October 22, 2014 14:15) Diwali - Festival of Lights (Hindu) (October 23, 2014) Harmony in Diversity: Casey Multifaith Network (October 23, 2014 18:15) Al-Hijra/Islamic New Year (Islam) (October 25, 2014) Birthday of Guru Nanak Dev Sahib (November 06, 2014) Birth of Baha'u'llah (Baha'i) (November 12, 2014) Exploring Spirituality through the Arts: Moonee Valley Interfaith Network (November 16, 2014 14:30) 2014 Victorian Interfaith Networks Conference (VINC) (November 23, 2014 11:30) Martyrdom of Sri Guru Tegh Bahadur (Sikh) (November 24, 2014) Wyndham Multifaith Dinner: Wyndham Interfaith Network (November 27, 2014 18:30) Ascension of 'Abdu'l-Bahá (Baha'i) (November 28, 2014) Bodhi Day (Buddhist) (December 08, 2014) Tour to Places of Worship: Dandenong Interfaith Network (December 10, 2014 08:30) Hanukkah (Jewish)