On Friday 29 June 2007, Affinity in partnership with Macquarie University; Centre for Social Inclusion, the University of Newcastle, Faculty of Education & Arts; and the University of Technology and the University of Western Sydney, College of Arts, held a panel to tackle the issues of ‘integration’ and ‘social cohesion’.
Held at Macquarie University and with over 200 attendees, The Honourable MP, Barbara Perry officially opened the event. Speakers on the night included Prof. Terence Lovat, Prof. Ghassan Hage, Prof. Greg Noble, Adjunct Prof. Peter Manning and Mr Mehmet Ozalp.
First speaker Prof. Terence Lovat, said “Islam gave us an all time great model of social cohesion – with respect to the constitution of Medina back in the time of the Prophet Muhammad pbuh”.
Taking the audience through a personal journey, Adjunct Prof. Peter Manning, proposed an institutional study of racism, colonialism/imperialism in order to better understand the ‘demonisation of Muslims’. He further encouraged “active Muslim participation in particular with political and economic action”.
Affinity’s Mr Mehmet Ozalp, explored the migration wave of the Muslim community and highlighted five key phases that have given a natural character to integration of the Australian Muslim community.
The chairperson, Mrs Silma Irham, then opened the panel to the audience who engaged with the panelists stimulating further discussion on the presentations..
On conclusion the new elect President of Affinity, Mr Mehmet Saral, gave an official vote of thanks. One of the organisers of the event, Dr Christina Ho, commented that “the timing of the event was noted because multiculturalism, social cohesion and integration are hot topics in the federal election”.