Young Muslims need taxpayer-funded 'space to rage'
YOUNG Muslims should have access to taxpayer-funded "safe spaces" in which they can make "inflammatory" comments, according to Victoria's peak Islamic group.
In a highly controversial submission to a parliamentary inquiry into freedom of religion, the Islamic Council of Victoria is demanding that funding for federal counter-terrorism and anti-extremism programs be diverted to create the refuges.
"Muslim young people are feeling more emotionally overloaded. A safe space is needed for them to meet and talk about a range of issues in emotional terms, where they can be frank and even use words which in a public space would sound inflammatory," the submission says.
"That they cannot express irony, humour, anger or joy in words and facial expressions that would make them a target for 'surveillance' is a cause for despondency leading to mental health issues among many."
Multicultural Affairs Minister Robin Scott said: "This idea is deeply unhelpful and wrong. Under no circumstances would we support the diversion of state funding from counter-terrorism initiatives for such a proposal."