UN Secretary General Message

Ringing of Peace Bell

Double Book Launch

“Stuff not Fluff: Improving Narratives on Refugees and Migrants Though Increased Dialogue & Informed Debates Influenced by Scholarly Literature”

Background: The UN International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) has been observed around the world each year on 21 September since being established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution. The day is devoted to “commemorating and strengthening the ideals of peace both within and among all nations and peoples”. The 2017 theme set by UN for this day is “Together for Peace: Respect, Safety and Dignity for All” with a focus on improving negative narratives about migrants and refugees

The TOGETHER global campaign brings together the organizations of the United Nations System, the 193 member countries of the United Nations, the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and individual citizens in a global partnership in support of diversity, non-discrimination and acceptance of refugees and migrants.

Basmala Islamic Street University (ISU) in partnership with the Dulwich Hill community and Fighting Fathers Ministries rang the peace bell on 17th September 2017 at Dulwich Hill Anglican Church to kick off the project.

On 21st November Basmala ISU and Islamic Council of NSW will hold the following event “Stuff not Fluff: Improving Narratives on Refugees and Migrants Though Increased Dialogue & Informed Debates Influenced by Scholarly Literature” in Bankstown library.

The UN International Day of Peace videos will be played and there will be a double book launched

We recognise that the current level of discourse on Migrants and Refugees in NSW to be highly toxic and poorly informed. This is leading to an increase in unfair and prejudiced discourse and emotional and irrational debates that targets anything deemed as the ‘Other’.

There is an urgent need to recalibrate and reframe dialogue and debate on migrants and refugees. While there are a number of strategies, one important method is using scholarly literature. It cannot be fluffy social cohesion strategies that appear popular or seem good at face value. Rather we emphasise on substance.

Scholarly literature across history has always and even today will continue to inspire and shape conversations and exchanges in society. Then and even today this is true even if masses do not each buy a copy of those books. Debates, when influenced or shaped by such literature, can become more informed and promote a shift away from current contests of trading insults.

Australia already has a sizeable number of scholarly publications being produced. However they urgently need to be better promoted in schools, libraries, radio, tv and communities using innovative ways.

This project has been supported by NSW Government and community.

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