One Nation leader Senator-elect Pauline Hanson made a number of remarks when she appeared QandA on Monday 18 July 2016 . Let’s see how her statements stack up once we “fact check” them.
“Grand Mufti won’t even come out and condemn the terrorist attacks that happened overseas” Senator-elect Pauline Hanson on Q&A Monday 18 July 2016
The Grand Mufti of Australia is Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, an Islamic scholar from the Australian National Imams Council (ANIC). ANIC is made up of Imams from across Australia representing their respective communities.
Following the Paris attacks in late 2015, ANIC issued a statement that said the Grand Mufti “mourned the loss of innocent lives due to the recent terrorist attacks in France”.
The Grand Mufti also used Facebook to condemn the July 2016 attacks in Nice “My deepest sympathies are with the victims and the families of the recent attack in France, whilst celebrating Bastille Day. We continue to stand united in condemnations against such evil acts on humanity.”
Australian Muslim leaders and spokespeople have publicly condemned terrorism and Islamic States on numerous occasions.
In fact, contrary to what is alleged, Muslims have led protests against Isis, Australian imams have issued refutations of terrorism, suicide bombing and fighting in foreign conflict, and a cohort of some of the world’s most esteemed Muslim scholars have issued a point-by-point classical, scholarly refutation of Isis and made it available in 10 languages.
In fact, Muslims have done and continue to do grassroots work within their own community to counter violent extremism and build community cohesion , and they have reported their fellow Muslims to security agencies on numerous occasions when they feared they were a risk to community safety.
In fact, Muslims are some of the largest victims of Isis, in terror attacks like those recently in Baghdad and Medina, and within the Isis-controlled area itself . Isis regularly publishes a hit-list of global Muslim leaders in its online magazine, which certainly helps to explain why Muslims from Syria and Iraq may want to migrate to countries like Australia.
2. Claims that we haven’t had terrorism on our streets before
“We have terrorism on our streets that we’ve never had before, under the name of Islam” Senator-elect Pauline Hanson on Q&A on 18 July 2016
Host, Tony Jones did interject to point out that "But when you say we’ve never had terrorism in this country before that’s simply not the case. In the 1970s there were multiple bombings by Croatian-Catholic extremists… we should at least get the facts straight.”
Acts of terrorism became increasingly common in Australia in the 1970s , with a number of bombings at Yugoslav consulates, letter bombs addressed to Israeli officials and members of the Jewish community, the kidnapping and wounding of an Indian official and his wife, and the assassination of the Turkish Consul-General and his bodyguard.
Below is a complete list of "terrorist attacks" in Australia;
3. Calls for a ban on Muslim immigration
Calling for a blanket banning of further Muslim immigration smacks of Trump style, discriminatory and insidious dog-whistling tactics. Attempts to introduce a legislative ban may also be very well inconsistent with the restriction on the making of laws "prohibiting the free exercise of any religion" in section 116 of the Constitution
Imagine that instead of banning Muslims, we banned Catholics. If you’re Catholic, you can’t migrate to Australia. Surely no court today will ever hold that as constitutional. This is exactly what Pauline Hanson is proposing but against another religious community. This policy aims to legislate an “us vs them” mentality, making Muslims or anyone perceived as Muslim, them.
“Human rights must be at the center of any analysis of migration and xenophobia (ILO, IOM, & OHCHR, 2001).” This quote is from the publication for the World Conference Against Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Related Intolerances (WCAR). As it states “human rights” is what is crucial, and by using the international standards that have been established to protect human rights seems like the best way to keep them at the center.
The UN General Assembly Third Committee regularly discusses how to deal with xenophobia and racism on the international level (UN General Assembly Third Committee, 2015). One of its treaties, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), states in Article 26:
“All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law. In this respect, the law shall prohibit any discrimination and guarantee to all persons equal and effective protection against discrimination on any ground such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status (UN General Assembly, 1966).”