The server encountered an internal error or misconfiguration and was unable to complete your request.Please contact the server administrator at [email protected] inform them of the time this error occurred, and the actions you performed just before this error.TONY JONES: Well one young Australian's taking a different approach to building bridges between Muslims and non-Muslims.Sydney man Kaveh Arya is a boxing coach by day and a speed dating host by night.KAVEH ARYA, HOST, SPEED DATE A MUSLIM: The intention obviously, hopefully you know, is not actually dating. We're gonna limit these sorta conversations to about five minutes. It's widely assumed that the Islamic community are represented generally by conservatives or - on one hand and extreme fundamentalists on the other hand. PARTICIPANT III: I mean, I don't know many people who outwardly say that they're gay or lesbian or transsexual, etc. PARTICIPANT IV: I just had this experience recently where I was - I just finished performing and there were a lot of Muslim women performing poetry about feminism. Like, they're - like, they're too different to me or something like that. I have invited a massive array of people within this community who always, I guess, complain about not having enough representation. But what I'm hearing is a lot of people have rejected and boycotted the event because it's non-Islamic, yeah?
For Muslim participants it's an opportunity to break down taboos and challenge orthodox views. And we're going to ask two people from non-Islamic backgrounds and two people from Islamic backgrounds to sit on each table. It's a - faith is - faith comes from a set of principles that you believe in.
The event is called Speed Date a Muslim and Lateline's Tierney Bonini reporter couldn't resist the invitation. Each table is then gonna have one topic of discussion on it. You know, they - immediately they had an opinion and they had already categorised. I'm not a Muslim and I'm a guy and I'm a white dude. But it's like there's obviously some kind of, like, intimidation factor. KAVEH ARYA: So, you know, I have invited so many people.
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull used this rare opportunity to reach out to the local Muslim community and to call for unity.MALCOLM TURNBULL, PRIME MINISTER: The aim of extremists, including those committing violence through a warped and nihilist interpretation of religion, is to divide us and to turn our citizens against each other.