CAUTIOUS WARNINGThis is a very disturbing development. AUJS is the peak body of Jewish tertiary students. It purports to represent the interests of all Jewish tertiary students on campuses across Australia.
I'm sure that all readers of this paper were angered by the recent race bashing on Carlisle Street. According to the victims, the thugs shouted racist slogans such as “Aussie Pride”.
For all to see on their website, the Australasian Union of Jewish Students (AUJS) is advertising a rally to be held by a group called SIOOz (Stop Islamisation of Oz). The group is holding a rally on the steps of the state library to protest the apparent threat of Islam and shari’a law to all Australians. SIOOz encourages people to bring banners with slogans such as “Help Muslims escape Islam”. The advertisement goes to great lengths to point out “(SIOOz) is not against Muslims, who are also prisoners of this racist, oppressive ideology. This is a battle against an evil ideology. We [SIOOZ] are Islamophobic, not Muslimphobic.”
Last year, a number of Jewish organisations, as well as some members of AUJS, took part in the Embracing Youth Project, a valuable cross-cultural program held with Muslim and Jewish youth.
A number of friendships were forged and it was a learning experience for all. Has AUJS changed its position since last year? Is AUJS serious in thinking that advertising this clearly racist rally is acceptable?
Hopefully, the only AUJS involvement in the SIOOz rally is its foolish support rather than an active role in the organisation.
For such a senior body within the Jewish community to be actively promoting an organisation which describes itself as "islamophobic" is a worrying development. The leadership of AUJS needs to explain its involvement in "Aussie Pride" groups such as SIOOz.
Words © 2007 Irfan Yusuf