THE ugly scenes in Sydney at the weekend when radical Islamists clashed with police are both frightening and unwelcome.
And the fact the protest was directed at the Consulate of the United States of America was also troubling.
Australia, and the US Consulate in Sydney for that matter, are a long way removed from an unknown backyard film maker whose cheap creation has triggered anger across some parts of the world.
What’s that got to do with Australia and a diplomatic mission whose primary role is to provide assistance?
In the Middle East this type of reaction and anti-US sentiment is to be expected, but not in the central business district of Sydney, NSW.
Placards with slogans “Behead all those who insult the Prophet” show a total disregard for Australian law and customs.
Our democracy allows freedom of speech and freedom of religion, but offensive and sickening protests advocating death and violence are unwelcome in Australia.
The events over the weekend are unacceptable. It flies in the face of what Australia stands for.
The actions of a few will do nothing to advance Islam’s reputation in this country.
The scenes which resulted when protestors and police clashed will fuel suspicion and concern among many Australians.
The violence also makes Australians wary of Muslin refugees who are attempting to come to Australia via the people smuggler network in Indonesia. Unacceptable outbursts of violence and offensive behaviour will do nothing to help the cause of genuine refugees from Muslin countries.
The actions of the Muslim faith’s radical element also adds to the opinions which have created a stereotyping of followers of the faith.
The vast majority of Muslims in Australia go about practicing their religion without incident and do not share the views, or support the actions of a radical few.
The message in Australia is that those associated with all religions must live in harmony – and the laws and expectations of Australia must be respected and upheld.