Australian (Qld) Police Commissioner Condemns Racism

Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart. Photo: Harrison Saragossi

QLD, Australia—Queensland Police Commissioner Ian Stewart has co-signed an open letter, condemning “abhorrent” acts of racial and religious violence.

The letter, also signed by members of the Police Ethnic Advisory Group and the Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, encouraged Queenslanders to report acts of racial or religious vilification to the police or the Anti-Discrimination Commission.

It condemned recent acts of vilification in Australia.

“We are all aware of abhorrent actions, by a small minority of the Australian population against ordinary, law abiding members of our community,” said the letter.

“In some of the incidents, members of the Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist and Orthodox and Coptic Christians are being singled out and vilified because of their appearance or religious attire.”

Police Ethnic Advisory Group chair Peter Forday said the letter was not prompted by any specific incident, but there had been problems with graffiti and vandalism as well as violent incidents reported in the media.

“It’s not so much as a reaction as wanting to let people know that we’re committed to a harmonious, peaceful community,” he said.

Mr Forday said the Queensland Police would be employing more police liaisons to communicate with the community.  

“I want to applaud the Police Commissioner for getting behind us,” he said.

The letter cautioned against a community divided by “fear and suspicion.”

“As a community we want our legislators and law enforcers to take proportionate and reasonable steps to prevent acts of violence occurring in Australia, including terrorism,” it read.

The letter was signed by Mr Forday, Police Ethnic Advisory Group Deputy Chair Sultan Dean, and Anti Discrimination Commissioner Kevin Cocks as well as the Police Commissioner.

PEAG is an advisory body consisting of police and community members.


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