A governor who endorses Islamophobia should not be allowed in a position of influence and power.
Walls divide our countries and our people. They’re said to be designed to protect us from the “different”– but this is merely an excuse to display hatred.
It’s been this way since the first human civilizations. No matter one’s skin color, wealth, and beliefs we are all humans and should respect one another, right?
If your beliefs include believing that due to one of these attributes, other people are inferior and you treat them so, you are wrong. This hatred towards other cultures has manifested in today’s society as hate crimes.
A recent example of a hate crime committed was the shooting at a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand. So many things were wrong about what had happened– including the Islamophobic reaction from the Australian senator, Fraser Anning. After the Christchurch attack, Anning tweeted “Does anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence?” His abuse of free speech is only promoting hatred. Senator Anning is an amplifier of hate.
In response to this, Sajid Javid, the UK Home Secretary, tweeted in the retort of Anning’s comments that in this time for grievance, Anning’s comments were merely “fan[ning] the flames of violence and extremism.” Javid wasn’t the only one who criticized the Senator, as the prime minister of Australia, Scott Morrison, stated: “The remarks by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the murderous attacks by a violent, rightwing, extremist terrorist in New Zealand on immigration are disgusting.”
Yes, people have condemned and shamed him on twitter– but is that really enough? Should someone with such hateful views be in a position of such influence and power? I believe the answer to this is no. People such as Senator Anning should be revoked of their power. This is where the promise and power of democracy have failed us.
A leader is someone who commands a group, and ideally, guides them into a brighter future. A leader should be someone who has the best of the group in mind. A leader, most importantly, should be able to bring a divided community together. How could Senator Anning be a leader, when he does not do this?
According to the Guardian post by Davidson, Australia’s politicians have promoted xenophobic attitudes since 2016, especially towards Islam and Muslims, and it’s given people who share the same views permission for them to act xenophobic. Bringing it back to more recently, according to Wilson from the Guardian, Anning was elected into the Senate by the revival of the anti-immigration populist party, One Nation. The revival of the strong right-wing party was because of the Australian politicians promoting it since 2016. If this party had grown large enough to vote one of their own into the Senate, it must mean that this increase in anti-immigration views isn’t new.
Senator Anning isn’t the only political leader who projects hate towards immigrants, especially Muslims. The notorious Trump is another example of an amplifier of hate. He literally wants to build walls in order to emphasize that immigrants are not welcomed.
I understand that the people in power had to somehow get there– through being voted in, or somehow they deserved it. This is the democratic system in place. I do realize this– but democracy was designed to give the power to the people; to give social equality. Immigrants are part of this “people”. I realize the hypocrisy in my words, judging these people for their views towards Muslim refugees. However, they should be judged. One should not harbor feelings as such while leading a nation. Whether they like it or not, Muslims are part of their country, and people in power have the responsibility to take care of them.
With great power comes great responsibility. Leaders are responsible to take care of their people, no matter their religion, beliefs, and color of skin. They’re all human beings. Leaders should be tearing down walls, not building them.
Association, Press. “Fury as Australian Senator Blames Christchurch Attack on Muslim Immigration.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 16 Mar. 2019, www.theguardian.com/world/2019/mar/15/australian-senator-fraser-anning-criticised-blaming-new-zealand-attack-on-muslim-immigration.
Davidson, Helen. “Australia’s Politicians Have Promoted Xenophobia: UN Expert.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 18 Nov. 2016, www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2016/nov/18/australias-immigration-policies-have-promoted-xenophobia-un-expert.
Klaas, Brian. “A Short History of President Trump’s Anti-Muslim Bigotry.” The Washington Post, WP Company, 15 Mar. 2019, www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/03/15/short-history-president-trumps-anti-muslim-bigotry/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.3f90eaa12e19.
Twomey, Anne. “Could Fraser Anning Be Expelled from Parliament for Offensive Statements?” ABC News, 16 Mar. 2019, www.abc.net.au/news/2019-03-16/could-fraser-anning-be-expelled-from-parliament/10908860.
Wilson, Jason. “Australians Are Asking How Did We Get Here? Well, Islamophobia Is Practically Enshrined as Public Policy | Jason Wilson.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 17 Mar. 2019, www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/mar/17/australians-are-asking-how-did-we-get-here-well-islamophobia-is-practically-enshrined-as-public-policy.