Tonight I had the pleasure of hosting a panel discussion, ‘The Right to Remain Muslim’. This was the first public forum of its kind held in Melbourne’s SE region to examine the impact of Islamophobia and strategies for resilience. Speakers included academic, Dr Yassir Morsi, Psychologist, Monique Toohey and Mohamed Hersi (Islamophobia Watch). 
With a room full of locals passionate about addressing this issue, it was evident by the numerous questions posed to the presenters that this would be the first of subsequent forums here. 
Full credit to Inaz Rasheed who took the initiative for this event, organising speakers, publicity and logistics. Her commitment to eradicating the fear and ignorance eliciting Islamophobia is clear. Combatting racist elements in the City of Casey as well as ongoing right wind media pundits and MP’s, the work ahead in this area is strewn with obstacles. Yet, this reality is simultaneously buffered by an enormously dedicated, capable and intelligent community, determined to counter the tide of hate and assert their right to live without prejudice or fear for their wellbeing. This is the inalienable right of every Australian Muslim.