On Sunday afternoon, five of us, representing Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran and Uniting, met with the Imam and two members of the Marion Mosque. Although we did not formally present a communique to the Imam, the following points which we Christians had agreed on before the meeting, were communicated:
1. We regret the recent insinuations of the Minister for Foreign Affairs reported in the media, later revealed as unsubstantiated, concerning funding for the building of the new Parkholme mosque, and the suspicion such publicity generates in the wider community.
2. We recognise that aspects of international situations place the Muslim community in Australia under suspicion.
3. We want to express our support for efforts to reduce such suspicion in the community.
4. We recognise that there are aspects of Western culture and the behaviour of some individuals within the Christian church which also places the Christian community under suspicion.
5. We seek closer relations between our Christian and Muslim communities encouraging respect and greater understanding.
The meeting helped increase confidence and respect for each other and we plan to meet again in April.