Australian Christians, Jews vow to ‘love Muslims’

Faith leaders launch campaign of support to counter growing anti-Islam hostility

Rabbi Zalman Kastel of Together for Humanity in 2008. (screen capture, YouTube)
Rabbi Zalman Kastel of Together for Humanity in 2008. (screen capture, YouTube)

Christian and Jewish religious leaders in Australia have launched a campaign to express love and support for the country’s Muslim population.

The campaign, called “We’ll love Muslims 100 years,” was initiated in response to a perception of growing anti-Islam hostility in Australia. The name is a riff off on a recent headline, published in the Weekend Australian, that stated, “We’ll fight Muslims 100 years,” according to a report in The Guardian.

The effort is the work of several religious leaders, including Rabbi Zalman Kastel, of the Together for Humanity Foundation, and pastor Brad Chilcott, national director of Welcome to Australia, a non-profit that focuses on issues relating to immigration and asylum.

Chilcott criticized the Australian government for using rhetoric that raised the threat of another September 11-style attack and demonized Muslims, arguing that such an approach would encourage radicalism, according to The Guardian.

Kastel expressed similar concerns, telling The Guardian, “We have Muslims who are made to feel like terrorists in the past few years and they report the atmosphere is similar to post-9/11 and it is simply as a result of cultural incompetence.”

The organizers plan to hold three public events this week.

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