Islamaphobia

It is disappointing to see our postal survey victory marred by racism from No and Yes campaigners alike, as they descend on Western Sydney, which turned out 12 of the 17 highest No voting electorates in the country.

But not only is the anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant dog-whistling that shapes this assault on people who live in the west more or less overtly racist, it is also a poor analysis of what went wrong in the west.

A young, white, French-speaking, Quebec-born man opened fire inside a Quebec City mosque on January 29, killing six Muslim worshipers — Azzeddine Soufiane, Abdelkrim (Karim) Hassane, Khaled Belkacemi, Aboubaker Thabti, Mamadou Tanou Barry and Ibrahima Barry — and injuring 25.

The six victims were first-generation immigrants who had lived in Quebec for years, some for decades. The shooter, Alexandre Bissonnette, had expressed anti-immigrant positions online and was a fan of US President Donald Trump and France’s far-right National Front leader Marine Le Pen.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has turned playing the national security card into a cliche in his desperate attempt to reverse his unpopularity by promising to protect Australians' lives from a serious threat of terrorism.

On May 26, he again gave a press conference in front of half a dozen Australian flags, arguing that stopping Australians from being harmed by terrorists was his government's overriding priority and foreshadowing announcements in the coming parliamentary sitting week of a new round of legislation attacking fundamental civil liberties.


Adelaide. Photo: Welcome to Australia via Facebook.

About 2000 people joined a rally against racism in Federation Square on April 4.

The Melbourne rally was the largest counter-mobilisation against the racist, “Reclaim Australia” protests organised across Australia. The Melbourne “Reclaim Australia” event was attended by about 500 people.

Many local residents in Victorian regional city Bendigo were shocked when right-wing groups from outside of Bendigo began mobilising residents against the proposal for the city’s first mosque.

The mosque is planned to be built on underdeveloped industrial land in East Bendigo. It is to include a prayer centre, a cafe and a sports centre which would be available for the general community to use.

A heated council meeting on June 18 approved the mosque plans by a vote of 7 to 2. However, opponents say they will appeal to the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT).

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