Domestic violence more a threat than terrorism
IF YOU'RE looking at the evidence, domestic violence is a greater threat in the Toowoomba community than terrorism, says social advocate Mark Copland.
The Toowoomba Social Justice Commission executive officer is urging residents to be inclusive rather than fearful as the rising terror threat level impacts on the Darling Downs, closing facilities and increasing security concerns and police patrols.
"Those wishing to create fear and terrorism win if we start to be fearful," Mr Copland said.
"They also win when we start turning on each other.
"That's when Australian citizens are giving victory to those who want to create terror and fear amongst us.
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"I think now is the time for people, from a faith background or not, to stand up and say the members of our Islamic community are hardworking and contributing members of our community, who like the rest of us enjoy the Australian way of life and want to work for peace.
"All we can is work on evidence and the evidence is that faith communities in the Toowoomba region over history have never caused death or violence."
Mr Copland said, based on the facts, domestic violence posed a greater threat in our region than terrorism.
"At the same time almost every week there are women and children in their own houses who suffer violence," he said.
"The evidence would say that's a bigger issue and we don't put half as many resources or focus our attention on that."
Mr Copland said while he wasn't a security expert, he hoped the closure of facilities in the region was justified.
The Borneo Barracks Golf Club, the Milne Bay Military Museum in O'Quinn St and the Museum of Army Aviation Flying at Oakey have been shut down by the Department of Defence.
"When we go to the point of closing down museums I just hope there is a legitimate reason. Otherwise, it ratchets up a fear that doesn't need to be there," Mr Copland said.
"(Prime Minister Tony) Abbott said the protestors needed to take a good hard look at themselves, but I say any Australian citizen who is causing fear or targeting people of a different faith, well, they need to take a good hard look at themselves.
Toowoomba's community leaders are gathering today with representatives from Muslim communities in Toowoomba for a session aimed at promoting Toowoomba as a model city of peace and harmony.
Leader of Toowoomba's Iraqi community Dr Shahab Abdullah will be addressing guests.