Source: Star News Group
On June 28, 2006 Star News Group reported, "Local police and Muslim youth came together last week for a youth forum, proving the axiom that communication promotes understanding. Senior Sergeant Craig Matters from Altona North Police said about 120 people went to the forum, which he said was 'an open and very positive exchange of views between groups'. A wide age group was represented, with many local Muslims keen to meet police and bringing their families along. Sen Sgt Matters said police members became more aware of the 'cultural and religious implications' of dealing with the local Muslim population, which would make their work in the community more effective. A highlight of the evening was the signing of a community accord, a document cementing the good will generated at the forum. Police Inspector Michael Millan and Sheikh Abdul Azim from the Newport Mosque both signed the community accord, which was written in Arabic and English. Copies of the accord went to the mosque and Altona North Police. Sen Sgt Matters said everyone involved saw the community accord as an important document. 'It reaffirms what people’s rights and responsibilities are and it talks about promoting respect and cultural and religious tolerance and respecting the equal rights of men and women,' he said. Mohammed Hawli, a committee member and youth liaison with the Newport Islamic Society, said having religious leaders involved in the forum carried a lot of weight with the local Muslim population."