Lawyer and advocate Mariam Veiszadeh has put up with racist vitriol on her Facebook page for a long time now, but she recently posted a status about the xenophobic policies of Pauline Hanson and the One Nation party, and the xenophobic comments made by radical anti-immigration parties has gotten even worse.
Hanson, a well-known and infamously Islamophobic politician won a seat in the Senate in the Federal Election over the weekend, and since then, her notoriously ring-wing supporters have become even more vocal about the need to erase Islam and a range of Islamic practices – such as Halal certification and the commonly misquoted Sharia Law – from Australia.
Mariam’s post, which made the completely valid and correct point that Muslim people are “slaughtered at the hands of ISIS or indirectly via Western forces in the East [and] vilified and abused at the hands of neo-Nazi far right political groups in the West”, was immediately and without hesitation trolled by Hanson‘s supporters, who take great enjoyment in perpetuating hate and vilification of Muslim people.
Some of the comments below this article were heart-stoppingly aggressive, threatening and the epitome of unbridled and uneducated hatred:
The abuse got to the point that Mariam had to post legal consequences of cyber-harassment and ‘using a carriage service to menace, harass, or cause offence’ as a comment on the post, which was met with cries of ‘YOU’RE TRYING TO LIMIT OUR FREEDOM OF SPEECH’ (which, as many are aware, does not exist under Australian law, and ‘freedom of speech’ under United Nations guidelines has literally never included hate-speech about race or religion):
While some of these commenters seem to be blissfully unaware that just last month, a 64-year-old chiropractor from Woy Woy named was arrested and charged with the aforementioned crimes after posting aggressive racist comments on a Facebook post by Senator Nova Peris (and tried to claim his Facebook was “viciously hacked” by South Korea. YUP.)
P.TV spoke to Mariam, and asked her for her thoughts RE: Hanson gaining a seat in the Senate:
“Pauline Hanson was democratically elected to the Senate so she’s entitled to be there but by the same token the public is entitled to challenge and critique her ideas and policy positions, especially as many of them are completely baseless, ignorant and potentially inciteful.Remarks made by politicians should be held to a much higher standard as there is an obvious power imbalance between them and the average Tom, Abdul or Harry. Whilst the bulk of Donald Trump’s inflammatory remarks may be perfectly legal, they are nonetheless, morally unacceptable as they have incited hatred and violence against Muslims and Arabs.We know that Pauline Hanson, similar to Donald Trump is exploiting the current islamophobic political climate for their own personal gain so the media and our elected officials should ensure that she is not given a free pass to continue to spout her xenophobic views, unchallenged.”
These racist and/or xenophobic comments seem to have both increased and gotten more aggressive since the announcement that One Nation had won seats in the Senate; some are drawing parallels to this and the increase of racial attacks after Brexit occurred in the UK.
Dumbfounding. But, those who want to live in a multicultural, inclusive, compassionate Australia must now acknowledge that we gotta call out this behaviour when we see it.
Because we can’t pretend it doesn’t exist; it’s not okay, it’s not acceptable, and it’s bloody well not Australian. Call ’em as we see ’em.
Source/Photo: Facebook / Mariam Veiszadeh.