By Michael Koziol & Leila Abdallah – SMH.com.au
A car has been damaged and daubed with offensive comments, threatening letters have been sent and women have been abused in the street.
A backlash of hate crimes against the Muslim community after the police raids last week has also sparked a rash of social media comments such as “this is how they should deal with them”, “behead them all”, “give them a taste of their own medicine for a change” and “we just need to blow up parramatta n bankstown”.
One of the founders of the Australian Arabic Council and human rights activist Joseph Wakim said “everyone should remember that no faith tells you to harm innocent people”.
“It is not open season on Muslims,” Mr Wakim said. “It is not OK to go Muslim-bashing.
“The raids were about stopping people feared to be terrorists, yet it is the Muslim people who are being terrorised.”
Mr Wakim, a former Victorian multicultural affairs commissioner, has reminded Australians to learn from history and not to make the same mistakes, in particular by treating one group as “collectively guilty”.
Anti-Muslim sentiment has been felt around the country and people are reporting graffiti on mosques and attacks on homes. Threatening letters have been sent to businesses, bookshops and religious leaders with handwritten messages such as “we will fight you … terror for terror … blood for blood and … bomb for bomb”.
NSW Police Superintendent Mark Walton said officers would not “stand guard” outside mosques that received bomb threats, purportedly from the Australian Defence League.
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