Blair MP Shayne Neumann.
Blair MP Shayne Neumann. Unknown

Our Muslims do city proud, says Neumann

THE positive contribution the muslim residents of Ipswich make needs to be recognised, despite the constant media focus on a small group of fanatics.

That is the word from Blair MP Shayne Neumann who has praised local muslims and the work of the Islamic Society of Ipswich, which has a mosque in North Ipswich.

Australia has raised its terrorism level to high due to the barbaric activities of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) and a group of around 60 Australian citizens security agencies believe are fighting with ISIL and related organisations in Iraq and Syria.

Intelligence operatives picked up "chatter" amongst radicals about possible attacks on Australian citizens and a subsequent series of raids on the homes of suspects based in Brisbane and Sydney was conducted.

It is believed up to 100 people in Australia support ISIL's activities by assisting with recruitment, funding and publicity.

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There have been increases in attacks on people of the Islamic faith who have nothing to do with ISIL.

Mr Neumann said it was important to treat muslims with the respect they deserved.

"The Islamic Society of Ipswich has been here for many years and my dealings with people of the muslim faith in Ipswich shows they are tolerant, law abiding and respectable people," he said.

"They run businesses, their children play sport and they are involved in civic life.

"They contribute to our community, as do people of other faiths and a non-faith background.

"One of the marks of a free and democratic society is tolerance, understanding and acceptance of one another.

"Any actions or activities that derogate from those liberties, freedom of association and freedom to worship in ways we want, are a tragedy and a disgrace."

Mr Neumann said the floods of 2011 were a prime example of the contribution of muslims to the betterment of the community.

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"The Islamic Society of Queensland during the floods provided enormous assistance to the Ipswich community in terms of food, water and bedding.

"I distinctly remember being in places like Lowood and Fernvale where they delivered enormous amounts of provisions.

"I pay tribute to the work they did during the floods. It is a classic example of their humanitarian spirit.

"They were at the forefront of assistance just like the churches."

Mr Neumann said Ipswich people were tolerant and understanding, but said it was "natural they have concerns and anxiety in relation to what they have seen on the TV".

"ISIS is a barbarous and treacherous organisation, but in my view they have nothing to do with the Islamic faith and disgrace it in the way that other hate organisations and terrorist organisations have disgraced Christianity, which happens to be my faith," he said.

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