Race Discrimination Commissioner Dr Tim Soutphommasane has called for calm ahead of planned protests outside Parramatta Mosque this evening and in Bendigo tomorrow.
Commissioner Soutphommasane said the tragic shooting in Parramatta last Friday should not be used to justify racial or religious hatred.
“The community is right to be shocked by the murder of Curtis Cheng and to condemn such abhorrent violence. However, no one should be taking the law into their own hands,” Commissioner Soutphommasane said.
“People should not be judging entire communities based on the extremism of a few.”
Commissioner Soutphommasane said recent events do not justify intolerance and division.
“While I support the right of individuals to express their opinions, any planned protests must remain peaceful. There is absolutely no excuse for vilification, intimidation or violence," he said.
“Our society is stronger when we uphold the values of civility and respect. We should not let fear and division prevail over tolerance and unity.”