All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke
On a Wednesday afternoon in mid-April, more than 100 Canberrans armed with buckets, mops, brooms and sponges made it loud and clear they would not stand by and do nothing in the face of evil.
And they were flanked by thousands more who had pledged donations and emailed, sent, tweeted and Facebooked messages of support.
On that day, Canberrans from all backgrounds including religious, school and community groups responded to the call to clean up the Canberra Islamic Centre after malicious vandals had trashed every room and damaged years and years of hard work.
On that day, Canberrans of all ages sent a very powerful message that we will not tolerate this behaviour in our community.
Thanks to your good work, the centre is now getting back on its feet. Friday prayers took place after the clean up and the repair work is underway. The police have assigned a case manager and are providing regular updates on the progress of the investigation. And the centre’s community is still overwhelmed by the breadth and depth of support received from Canberrans.
The centre is slowly rebuilding, but there is still more to do. The library and other rooms need to be organised, so if you can spare a few hours in coming weeks please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you Canberra for rallying around and venting your rage with elbow grease. Thank you to the businesses that provided professional advice and equipment. Thank you to the media who covered the story.
We know the majority of Canberrans are decent and tolerant. Your actions in mid-April underscored that, and provided strength to a community when it needed it most.
I am so proud to represent you.
Canberra Chronicle, May 2014