Some leaders of Muslim peak bodies have recently asked the
government to deal with rednecks and hostile media following the recent
terror-related raids in Sydney and Melbourne. The leaders allege that the
government has a responsibility to protect Muslims from negative publicity. With
all due respect, the leaders are wrong.

We live in a
liberal democracy. We pay taxes and our government provides certain services.
These include limited social welfare, courts, domestic security and
universities. The government provides lots of things. But good PR for
ethno-religious minorities is generally not regarded as a government

The reality for good decent PR lies with the peak bodies
themselves. We don’t see the government defending the Catholic Church over
allegations of cover-ups in relation to child sexual assault. When Muslims or Islam is attacked, who stands up
and talks? What role do peak bodies and their leaders play? What messages do
they send out?

In the aftermath of the terror raids, a non-English-speaking
gets up and declares that rioting similar to that in France may result
if the government isn’t careful. This same imam was quoted as saying that the
gang-rapists did what they did because of the influence of Australian

Following the first meeting of the Muslim Community Reference
, the President of a peak body stood up and said in a thick accent that
he would sell the new laws. He now stands up and repeats in the same accent that
the government should stop Muslims being victimised by rednecks.

Yet it
is these leaders and their irresponsible statements who give the rednecks good
cause to say what they say and write what they write. And it is peak bodies that
spend more money on litigating against each other than on decent PR that are
largely to blame for the bad image Muslims have.

and other writers can write columns about all members of the Muslim
community being ignorant and resentful toward their host societies. But even
Piers has a point.

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