Stoking the fires of the inevitable ‘gotta hear both sides’ war, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has described Greens leader Richard Di Natale and NSW senator Mehreen Faruqi as part of the “extreme left“, saying they are “as bad in these circumstances” as racist senator Fraser Anning.
Dutton’s latest prodding comes after the Greens senators called him out for comments he made in 2016, suggesting it was a mistake to resettle many Lebanese Muslims in Australia.
For the record: Anning released a widely condemned press release shortly after the Christchurch attack on Friday, saying Muslim immigration was the real cause of the Christchurch massacre.
Faruqi and Di Natale, meanwhile, have spent the weekend denouncing Islamophobia at all levels, demanding that hate speech from elected officials needs to be addressed with an official code of conduct.
Politicians like Peter Dutton, who said settling Lebanese Muslims was a mistake, contributed to this. When media outlets like SKY News ran footage of a killer whose intent was to magnify a message of hate, they contributed to this.
— Richard Di Natale (@RichardDiNatale) March 17, 2019
These two things are not the same, regardless of what Dutton might want the public to believe.
Speaking to PEDESTRIAN.TV, Senator Faruqi said Dutton’s comments proved he wasn’t fit for the job.
“He still refuses to take responsibility for his role in demonising Muslims, migrants, and refugees,” she said.
“Trying to claim that my response to the horrific massacre and Senator Anning’s disgraceful comments that harm our community are in any way equivalent is just vile.”
Fifty people have been confirmed dead in the wake of the Christchurch massacre, the deadliest mass shooting in New Zealand history, while 36 remain in hospital receiving care.
Dutton’s attempt to make this about the left (or far-left) has been likened to US President Donald Trump‘s infamous “blame on both sides” comments in the wake of the 2017 attack in Charlottesville.
This is Australia’s Charlottesville moment. https://t.co/cs3z3BQLmG
— Richard Cooke (@rgcooke) March 17, 2019
It was only two weeks ago that Dutton, along with prime minister Scott Morrison, claimed the arrival of refugees in the country for medical care would displace Australians from medical services.