The statement below was released by Socialist Alliance on December 16.
The Socialist Alliance has warned of a dangerous escalation of incitement of racial violence against Australia's Muslim communities in the wake of the tragic hostage incident in Sydney.
“Our heartfelt sympathy goes out to the families and loved ones of the two victims who died and to all those caught up in the terrifying and tragic siege in Sydney's Martin Place over the past 24 hours,” said Socialist Alliance national co-convener Susan Price today.
“Waking up to the news that the gunman was out on bail facing multiple charges of assault, including domestic violence begs the question of how this tragedy could have been avoided. It should also be a wake-up call to the tabloid media, who exploited this unfolding tragedy for their own selfish ends.
“Socialist Alliance condemns the right-wing and racist groups and individuals who used social media during the course of this tragic event to incite racial violence against the Muslim minority in this country.
“While the most overt incitement has come from the far-right 'Australian Defence League' – which has called on 'Australians' to 'converge on Lakemba' – Murdoch's News Ltd and right-wing radio shock jocks are not far behind.
“The Abbott government has also exploited this incident to promote the lie that it acts in the interest of all Australians when the truth is that it acts in the selfish interest of the corporate rich. That is plain to see in Abbott's May budget and the mini-budget delivered yesterday.
“This tragedy is a case of system failure.”
Fellow national co-convener Alex Bainbridge also warned that the Abbott government would use this incident to further deepen its military intervention in the Middle East and to justify more attacks on our civil liberties.
“This government has been shamelessly using fear of Islamic terrorism to justify foreign military interventions that inflict terror on millions of innocent people and in turn provoke terrorist blowback.
“It's been used to justify the illegal, indefinite detention and even torture of people who have never been properly tried let alone convicted of any crime.
“Western imperial wars have inflicted a vicious spiral of violence on the world's population just to protect gross global inequalities and the systematic plunder of the world's resources,” added Bainbridge.
“A world where the richest 55 people own more that the poorest 3.5 billion people is both unjustifiable and unsustainable. It inflicts permanent war and terror on the world.
“If we want to end war and terror, we will have to end this gross inequality and the capitalist system which has created it.”