I send my well wishes to all those who celebrated Easter recently. I hope you had a meaningful celebration with your loved ones. I also extend my wishes to the Islamic community who have entered the holy month of Ramadan.
For many Muslims, Ramadan is a time of deep reflection and a coming together of friends and family. Unfortunately, it is also a time where many may experience an increase in hate crimes.
I was saddened to read in this ABC article how the Islamic community in Holland Park, Brisbane, fear the worst at this time of year. It is quite normal for this community to experience slurs yelled from car windows, or to have graffiti scrawled on their mosque.
Distressing news like this is why I was relieved to hear that the Queensland Government is likely to establish a Parliamentary Committee to review our state’s Racial Vilification and Hate Crime Laws.
For a while now, Access has strongly supported the call for firmer laws against hate crimes through the Better Laws for Safer Queensland campaign.
We will always advocate for stronger protection for culturally and linguistically diverse communities who are marginalised or experiencing vilification, racism and discrimination. We are proud to be working alongside several other organisations similarly advocating for this.
We will be encouraging our community to get involved in the process of the Committee and will share details of how to take part in the coming weeks.
While we are pleased with the Government’s announcement of this review, work still needs to be done to ensure everyone can live in Queensland safely and peacefully, and we will always be at the forefront of that work.