Flat White

Muslim immigration: we are all very guilty, very guilty indeed

22 September 2016

7:44 AM

22 September 2016

7:44 AM

So, we now know why Essential Research has found that 49 per cent of the people it polled support a ban on Muslim immigration to Australia.

Or we have a Fairfax explanation, anyway:

“The standard you walk past is the standard you accept,” said Ms Veiszadeh, a Sydneysider who founded the Islamophobia Register to track anti-Muslim sentiment.

“Many of our leaders chose to walk past Pauline Hanson. Some went so far as to hug her.”

Husnia Underabi, a Western Sydney University researcher studying mosques in NSW, said she was not surprised by the poll.

“We know that Islamophobia is on the rise,” Ms Underabi said, blaming parts of the media, “vociferous” far-right groups and counter-terrorism legislation perceived to target Muslims.

“I’ve got the whole weight of the world on my shoulders …The more that Pauline Hanson does, the more work we have to do to repair the damage.”

Keysar Trad, president of the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, said he was “heartbroken” by the poll finding.

“I would never have expected 50 per cent of people to come out with such an attitude,” he said. “It’s all the evidence we need to see that Pauline’s fear politics are influencing people.”

Mr Trad said other politicians — such as Cory Bernardi, George Christensen and Jacqui Lambie — should also bear responsibility for fanning Islamophobia.

Yup. We’re all very guilty. Very guilty indeed.

Funnily, though, Fairfax — and none of its rent-a-quotes — appeared to study the Essential findings in detail, for on page six the members of its sample offered an explanation for their decision.

Forty-one per cent of those who favoured a ban on Muslim immigration did so because “They do not integrate into Australian society” — an integrationist, but not necessarily racist, viewpoint.

Only four per cent justified their stand with the far more definitive “Australia is a Christian country”.

But 27 per cent of those opposed justified their position because of the “terrorist threat”.

That’s something very different to issues of culture, race and religion.

Funny it got overlooked.

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