The increasing threat of terrorism, global patterns of immigration, and racial and religious discrimination were at core of this week’s Q&A following the London terror attack.
Three separate questions from a One Nation voter, a Muslim-Australian and a Jewish rabbi sparked the most heated exchanges between the panellists, particularly after a One Nation voter asked the panel to discuss how the West should respond to the “threat of Muslims worldwide to establish worldwide caliphate, which seeks to destroy the sovereignty of these nations.”
The questioner, who identified herself as a One Nation voter, said Pauline Hanson was identifying a problem that needed to be addressed and which was being ignored by other politicians.
However, Victorian Nationals senator Bridget McKenzie said the One Nation leader was simplifying a more complex problem which is doing more harm than good.
“The greatest protection against domestic terrorism is a strong and cohesive Australia,” she said. “This is an incredibly complex issue and nobody is rejecting the complexity of it nor should Senator Hanson try and simplify it to the point where we actually do more harm than good within our communities.”
Labor frontbencher Amanda Rishworth agreed, saying the Muslim community was Australia’s biggest ally in the fight against terrorists and warned against alienating them, while Hunters & Collectors frontman Mark Seymour described One Nation as a party which “deliberately cultivates hatred in the Australian community.”
“The view you were expressing is a view which a lot Australians are thinking,” government relations adviser Kerry Chikarovski told the audience member. “If you look at the people who have said those things, they get attacked … the problem for the mainstream parties is they have to take a question like that and say, ‘What is the solution?’”
Read the full article by Simone Fox Koob at The Australian (subscription only).