1 December 2012: The petition below has been supported by people from the different faith backgrounds within the Arabic Australian communities in Hobart, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney, as well as people from other ethnic backgrounds, and
- Mr Andrew Wilkie MP
- The Unitarian Church, Melbourne
- Pax Christi Vic Inc. International Christian Peace Movement
- St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Melbourne
- St Mary’s Catholic Cathedral, Hobart
- Holy Trinity Anglican Church, East Melbourne
- St John’s Church, Epping
Signed petitions will be collected into the new year, ready to be presented to the Senate in February 2013.
To the Honourable President and members of the Senate in Parliament assembled:
The undersigned wish to protest the Foreign Minister’s statement on ABC TV (8/10/12) that in regard to the ongoing crisis in Syria “an assassination combined with a major defection taking a large part of its military is what is required to get, one, a ceasefire, and, two, political negotiations”. The Foreign Minister’s remarks are both naive and inflammatory. They would be interpreted by most people to support the assassination of a head of state and the mutiny of many members of the armed forces. This is at a time when thousands of foreign fighters are going to Syria, incited by extremist clerics to murder military and security personnel, as well as members of various minorities, who account for over nine million people, and potentially millions of others who neither support their violence nor their agenda and so are deemed to be ‘collaborators’.
Despite the fact that thousands have been killed – both civilians and soldiers – by Islamist militias (including many foreign jihadists with links to Al-Qaeda), sadly Sen. Carr still voices support for the dismantlement of the Syrian army. As well as being cynical and ignoble, this viewpoint is unconscionable when Australian soldiers are also in the firing line of the same extremists in another theatre of war.
We note that Syria is a sovereign state and that Australia has not declared war on it. Australia’s belligerent stand on Syria is hardly justified if virtually no effort has been made to ascertain the situation on the ground in Syria. Soon, a group of Nobel Peace Laureates will travel to Syria to support efforts for peace and reconciliation. We call on the Senate to urge the government to send two representatives from the Senate Standing Committees on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade to join this group and to investigate on the spot the reality of the crisis in Syria, and thereafter to hold a formal sitting of the above committee to receive the testimony of its participants to ensure Australia makes a constructive contribution to peace in Syria and the region.