Jul 18

Group unites women

Beth Robinson, Alison Atkinson and Roslind Sultan of the Illawarra Interfaith Women’s Network which links people of various religions. Picture: ADAM McLEANWOLLONGONG ADVERTISER

The Illawarra Women’s Interfaith Network has decided to combat fear and intolerance towards Muslims with tea, biscuits and conversation.

I-WIN’s November 13 meeting aims to foster friendship and ties between Illawarra’s diverse religious communities over afternoon tea.

Rosalind Sultan was motivated by the harassment some women in the Islamic community faced in the aftermath of recent conflicts in the Middle East.

“One woman in Wollongong had a man abuse her on the bus for wearing the hijab,” she said

“Some women aren’t comfortable doing the shopping alone because of the stares and people saying things like ‘Go back to where you’re from’.”

Ms Sultan said that Muslim women have often borne the brunt of anti-Islamic abuse.

She joined forces with Alison Atkinson and Beth Robinson to build solidarity between women’s communities.

“We’re trying to rebuild trust in the community and provide an open and non-judgmental space,” Ms Atkinson said.

“We want to show Muslim women we’re supporting them in these times.”

I-WIN emphasises that educating each other on their respective faiths is the key to unity and harmony.

“Through talking about our differences and our sameness we discover the similarities in our faiths, which is particularly relevant now there’s a suspicion of difference,” Ms Robinson said.

I-WIN’s Strengthening Friendship event will take place at 5pm on November 13 at Multicultural Communities Council of Illawarra, 117 Corrimal Street, Wollongong.

Women of all faith are encouraged to attend in order to grow the network.

Information: 0419 614 378 or 0412 047 146.

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