Assembly President Rev. Prof Andrew Dutney spoke to supporters in launching ‘We’ll Love Muslims 100 Years’ statement at Lakemba Mosque on 22 August.
“Recent public statements and media coverage about Muslim-Australians in some sections of the Australian media have been inflammatory and divisive,” said Rev. Prof Dutney.
“We recognise the deep concern and hurt this is causing to our Muslim friends and the risks these kind of generalisations present to social harmony and cohesion,”
"In our multi-faith society, Jesus' call to love your neighbour means that Christians are called to meet, befriend and care about our neighbours who are Muslim."
"Because of this, we can't just stand by if they are unfairly insulted or marginalised."
The Love for 100 Years statement is a reference to a banner headline in the Weekend Australian on 9 August that said ‘We’ll Fight Islam 100 Years.’
Signatories to the Love for 100 Years statement declare that “vilification and alienation are not the way to peace or social harmony, but that authentic relationships, solidarity, listening, learning and mutual respect go a long way to building the kind of community we’d like to live in.”
A few days after its launch by 150 interfaith leaders the statement had already attracted the support of almost 2000 people of many faiths and of no faith at all.
“I am delighted by the interest in ‘Love for 100 Years’ and by the support that it’s already received from around Australia, particularly among Uniting Church members,” said Rev. Prof Dutney.
“I encourage Uniting Church members wherever they are to consider signing up to this important statement.”
The full text of the Love for 100 Years statement is available at the website www.lovefor100years.com where supporters can also add their names to the list of signatories.
Current signatories include many of the UCA’s interfaith and ecumenical dialogue partners, such as the Affinity Intercultural Foundation, the Australian Council of Christians and Jews, and the Together for Humanity Foundation.