Religious leaders of multiple faiths gathered at Lakemba Mosque on Friday to express solidarity with Islam and reject what they called a "barrage of negativity" directed at Australian Muslims.
Local imam Sheikh Yahya Safi was joined by Rabbi Zalman Kastel, Father Patrick McInerney and the Reverend Andrew Dutney, president of the Uniting Church. They called upon political leaders to avoid language and policies that could marginalise or vilify the Muslim community.
"Demonising Muslims is wrong on so many levels," Rabbi Kastel said. "We want everyone to feel that they belong here, that they are valued members of – yes – the same team."