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Australian Muslim community expresses 'utter shock and horror' at Sydney siege

The Australian Muslim community have released a statement expressing their ‘utter shock and horror’ as customers and workers in a downtown Sydney cafe have been taken hostage.

The statement also asks media to be responsible in their reporting of the current events and said they are praying for the hostages’ safety.

“The Australian Muslim community shares with fellow Sydneysiders their utter shock and horror at the unprecedented scenes emerging from the Lindt cafe in Martin Place this morning,” the statement reads.

“Our immediate thoughts go to the hostages and their loved ones. We pray for their safety and hope this matter is resolved quickly and peacefully.

“We reject any attempt to take the innocent life of any human being, or to instill fear and terror into the hearts.”

The statement also says any ‘despicable’ act like this seeks to ‘ridicule the religion of Islam’.

“Any such despicable act only serves to play into the agendas of those who seek to destroy the goodwill of the people of Australia and to further damage, and ridicule the religion of Islam, and Australian Muslims throughout this country,” the statement continues. 

“We remind everyone that the Arabic inscription on the black flag is not representative of a political statement, but reaffirms a testimony of faith that has been misappropriated by misguided individuals that represent no one but themselves.

“We urge everyone to stay calm as the police and authorities continue to deal with this incident and the facts come to light.

“We ask Australian Media to be responsible in their reporting. This is a time for all Australians to stand together and support each other,” it added.

“We pray for a swift resolution to this crisis with no injuries or loss of life.”

The lone gunman is believed to be holding up to 30 hostages inside the cafe. 

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