Australian Muslims slam Hanson policy

Pauline HansonPauline Hanson’s “chances of winning are next to none” and her divisive policy could incite anti-Muslim assaults, a pro-Muslim activist says. Executive Director of the Forum on Australia’s Islamic Relations, Kuranda Seyit, said Ms Hanson’s new anti-Muslim policy platform was simply “fear-mongering and a grab for attention”. “It’s very sad any person who is in the public arena should abuse a minority community for their own benefit.”

Ms Hanson said her new Pauline’s United Australia Party will look at “putting a moratorium on any more Muslims coming into Australia”. Sydney-based Mr Seyit said she’s just ”jumping on the (anti-Muslim) bandwagon” and “she’s grabbing at straws”. “Indirectly she could be responsible for an assault or attack.”

Mr Seyit was equally scathing of anti-Islam thinker Dr Wafa Sultan, who recently met Attorney-General Philip Ruddock, Foreign Minister Alexander Downer and Deputy Opposition Leader Julia Gillard. Syrian-born Dr Sultan is a US-based psychiatrist who spreads the message that there is no difference between moderate and extremist Muslims.

Mr Seyit criticised Dr Sultan’s blanket assertions of an “evil Islam” and dismissed her as simply being a public figure with no legitimacy or credibility. “She is speaking without any authority,” he said. “She is blackening the name of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world who live in harmony and peace in their societies. How can you suggest that all Muslims are evil? It’s ludicrous! You can’t paint the whole Muslim world with one brush.”

Mr Seyit said Muslims have lived in Australia for almost the past one and a half centuries, and our society reaps major benefits from their involvement.

Courier-Mail, 24 August 2007