Labor senator Sam Dastyari was confronted by a far-right activism group at a Melbourne pub last night, who badgered the Iranian-born politician over Islam and labelled him a “terrorist.”
Members of the Patriot Blue group surrounded Dastyari at the venue before a scheduled speaking arrangement with Labor MP Tim Watts, filming the incident and uploading it to Facebook.
Footage of the incident shows Dastyari call the Patriot Blue crew racist, to which they ask “what race is Islam?” Watts can be seen replying “what race is dickhead?”
The men surround a table with Dastyari, Watts and several others – all of whom appeared supremely chill, given the circumstances – before leaving the premises, and ‘thanking’ the senator for his “shit comments.”
In his own video uploaded to Facebook later in the evening, Dastyari said “everywhere I go, yeah, I get white nationalists try to follow me.”
When asked by Watts to describe why exactly they’d do that, Dastyari responded it may just have something to do with being Muslim, and linked the apparent rise of far-right groups to the politics of One Nation leader Pauline Hanson.
Dastyari said it was hardly the worst abuse he’s received, but a follow-up post made it clear Watts’ interjection was still appreciated.
— Sam Dastyari (@samdastyari) November 8, 2017
The senator’s place of birth and his faith have long been points of contention for elements of Australia’s far right, and Dastyari himself has had several heated public encounters with Hanson herself regarding Islam.