The Liberal’s, The Muslims and The Westies

Posted on July 30, 2010 by

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There is something rotten in the Liberal Party. The events in Chifley this week are no aberration. They are just the latest in a series of racist fear tactics used by the Liberal party.

This week David Barker the liberal candidate in the western Sydney seat of Chifley was dumped after it was revealed he claimed  on Facebook that Labor would bring Australia ‘closer to the hands of a Muslim country’.

The ALP candidate in the safe Labor seat is Ed Husic, who describes himself as a non-practicing Muslim.

Barker is also said to have written: ‘When I get in, I will give my votes all of them, to God who is on the side of the Liberal Right.’

Unfortunately and perhaps fortunately for everyone else Barker, who is now running as an independent will be denied the opportunity to give God a seat as a Liberal in the House of Representatives.

Tony Abbott was quick to denounce  Barker declaring him ‘gone, finished’ but it is all a little too late.

The Liberal party could be excused if this were a random event, after all every party has an occasional extremist that the most vigilant of screening cannot detect. However this is simply the culmination in a long series of events involving the Liberal party, Muslims and the western suburbs of Sydney.

There was the incident on the eve of the last election in which several Liberal Party members were involved in distributing pamphlets around the western Sydney electorate of Lindsay from a bogus organization called the ‘Islamic Australia Federation.’ The pamphlets suggested supporting the ALP because the party promoted forgiveness for the Bali Bombers and outlined a proposal for a mosque in St. Marys.

Predating that there was also another incident  involving Ed Husic when he contested the seat of Greenaway in the 2004 election. Shortly after the Liberal Candidate Louise Markus won the seat, claims emerged that an anti-Muslim leaflet had been circulated featuring a fake ALP logo and the slogan: ‘Ed Husic is a devout Muslim. Ed is working hard to get a better deal for Islam.’

It is no coincidence that all three incidences have occurred in western Sydney seats. I’m sure the people who live in this electorate are considered as those who this type of rhetoric will appeal to most. However having grown up in Western Sydney, I also know they are people who are given an unfair rap. They may be people who watch Border Scurity ut they are also people who practice unconscious multi-culturalism in their everyday lives. Whether it be sharing a curry with their neighbours for dinner or cheering together at little league games.

Chifley was never going to be won by a Liberal. But the very fact that Barker was allowed to stand, when there were warnings about his views, shows just how far the Liberal Party will go to get back into power. The replacement  for Barker doesn’t seem like much of an improvement either.

Liberal party insiders have said that the endorsement process  is to blame but it is the culture the Liberal Party has been fostering that appeals to fear, not hope to win seats that is to blame.

If the Liberal Party seriously wants people to believe it is not a party that tolerates racism or bigotry then it needs to take a strong stance against such behaviour. Otherwise it risks only be against it when everyone finds out.

Words – Fatima Malik

Image – SMH

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Posted in: Fatima Malik, Opinion