People Against Violent Extremism Founding Chairperson Dr. Anne Aly will run as Labor’s candidate for the Cowan’s West Australian seat.
Dr. Aly, serving two terms as a council member of the Australian-Arab Relations, dedicated her life to counter-terrorism works. “I have met parents of children who have joined ISIS. I have dedicated my life to stopping young people from making this decision,” Dr. Aly told 9news.
According to ABC Online, Dr. Aly will run against Liberal Party’s Luke Simpkins who has held the seat since 2007.
Recently, Simpkins attracted controversy for raising remarks against a Muslim candidate. He said that Australians are being unknowingly converted to Islam by eating halal meat. It is deemed a remark that is factually wrong.
Dr. Aly, a Muslim herself, said that there is nothing to be against her religion.
“The fact is, yes, I am Muslim,” she said. “The fact is also I am a very strong believer in a liberal-secular democracy and particularly in the principles of our constitution that states religion and the state are separate.” Although her chance to win the seat is “critical”, she is determined to pursue her candidacy.
“I understand that is going to be a challenge but I will be there every single day,” Dr. Aly said.
Labor leader Mark McGowan said that Dr. Aly’s differing religious views and background compared to Simpkins will represent Australia’s multicultural perspective.
“It’s one of the most diverse electorates in Australia, and I think in Anne, Cowan would have a great representative,” McGowan said.
Dr. Aly is also a professor at Edith Cowan University and an adjunct associate professor at Curtin University. She has regularly appeared on ABC’s Q&A program and other media platforms. She was born in Egypt, but has lived in Perth for 25 years. She is married with two children.