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Howard with Connects Australia’s Muslim Community

New Initiatives Connecting Australia’s Muslim Community

Following the Prime Minister’s Summit with Muslim community leaders, the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, John Cobb, today announced a Reference Group to work with the Australian Government and Muslim communities.

‘Muslim communities are working extremely hard, with the Government’s support, to demonstrate that they are united with all Australians in condemning extremism and maintaining Australia’s security.

‘The group announced today will be working with the Australian Government, and with their respective community groups in creating communication and support networks that will promote understanding between the Muslim community and the wider Australian community,’ Minister Cobb said.

‘We are all Australians and we all share the same aspirations of safety, security and opportunity for our families.

‘Our best defence against those who seek to divide us is to work together as Australians,’ Mr Cobb said.

‘The Government is also supporting the Australian Multicultural Foundation’s proposal to host a Muslim Youth Summit to take place in the next few months.

‘This will build on initiatives I am developing in recognition of the critical role of young Muslim people in ensuring a secure Australia into the future.

‘It may lead to additional forums to provide opportunities for young people from various faiths to focus on common values and hopes for Australia’s future.

‘Younger members and women in the Islamic community have expressed a desire to make a contribution in how better to engage with the wider Australian community. I look forward to working with them.

‘The Reference Group is among a series of new initiatives which will assist Australia’s Muslim community and help them build a common future with all Australians.

‘I have met with community leaders in Sydney, Adelaide and Melbourne, and propose further meetings in Brisbane, Darwin, Hobart and Perth in the coming weeks to discuss this,’ Minister Cobb said.

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