This week we saw our Federal Parliament become host to a new low in political discourse with the speech given by Senator Anning. His speech was morally repugnant and factually wrong. To hark back to the days of Australia’s racist White Australia Policy as if it were some long lost utopia is an indication of how far into dangerous waters Australia has moved in recent times.
The White Australia Policy is not something that Australians, of any colour, creed or faith, should be proud of. It was a linchpin of a society that had done its best to eradicate the First Nations of this country and their culture and was intent on maintaining the white-washing of culture. Muslims Australia – AFIC is disgusted with any attempt by any politician to paint such policies in a positive light or to seek to reintroduce them in any way whatsoever.
However, Senator Anning did not stop there. He then invoked a phrase, the “Final Solution’, that despite all his empty posturing post the speech, is clearly invoking the days of Nazi Germany and one of the darkest times of human history. We stand with our Jewish brethren who would rightly be appalled and offended by this reference. Further, we will not stand by and allow any politician to raise the spectre of such an atrocity in reference to any community in this day and age.
Muslims Australia – AFIC President, Dr Rateb Jneid, stated “Senator Anning’s speech was a disgrace and no politician should be allowed to make such comments without some repercussions. Politicians are meant to be leaders of this country who bring people together not be the cause of division and hate.”
We note the response from all sides of politics to censure the Senator for his words and we are pleased to see this occur. However, Muslims Australia – AFIC would remind our political leadership that such speeches do not occur in a vacuum. We are seeing an increased normalisation of such sentiments with articles in mainstream media, far-right activists being given air time, overseas hate panderers doing tours of this country etc. The attack on multiculturalism, the demonising of asylum seekers and refugees, the marginalisation of minority communities, the use of wedge politics to create an ‘other’ for the purposes of political gain, these have all contributed to where we are today, where a Senator feels free to make such abhorrent comments in Parliament.
Muslims Australia – AFIC calls on our political leaders to stand up and show true leadership. To stop the politics of hate that has become so commonplace. To stop the division and demonization that has been going on for decades. To stop fostering a social culture that gives rise to people such as Senator Anning.