The Australia/Israel and Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today criticised the maiden speech of Senator Pauline Hanson, made Wednesday, in which she said Australia is “in danger of being swamped by Muslims, who bear a culture and ideology that is incompatible with our own”, as well as statements by other members of her One Nation party. AIJAC stated:
“The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council reaffirms our commitment to a tolerant, inclusive society, which we recognise has benefitted greatly from a non-discriminatory immigration policy, freedom of religion and a strong tradition of interfaith collaboration.
“We appreciate that, within a democratic, pluralist society, there will be a range of voices and spectrum of opinions on how best to develop and build a strong and dynamic Australia. However, racism and any vilification of a section of humanity based on ethnicity, national background, religion or other proscriptive factors is totally unacceptable, and is a betrayal, not an expression, of democratic, liberal principles.
“Terrorism and threats to national security, misogyny, social dislocation and other issues raised by One Nation Senators in their speeches to Parliament are all important issues, but we reject totally the idea that they can be addressed by treating hundreds of thousands of Muslim Australians and intended immigrants with suspicion and derision.
“These attempts to divide and weaken our country should be rejected forcefully and vocally by all Australians of good will.”