Australian Greens Deputy Leader and Anti-racism spokesperson Senator Mehreen Faruqi has urged the Government to reckon with the ugly reality of racism in this country, noting that 15 March is the International Day to Combat Islamophobia and anniversary of the Christchurch Mosque shooting.
Senator Faruqi said:
‘Four years ago, racism killed 51 people in the Christchurch Mosque massacre.
“The Christchurch shooter was a product of Australia and far right extremism continues to threaten our safety and well being.
“We must reckon with the R-word and acknowledge the scale of racism in this country which seeps into every day lives, policies, and practices.
“Report after report tells us that Muslims in Australia continue to experience horrific levels of racism and hate.
“Disturbingly, Muslim women and children bear the brunt of Islamophobia.
“Racist and Islamophobic prejudice feeds into the cruel immigration system that detains, dehumanises and deports people seeking asylum.
“For too long politicians have fanned the flames of racism, stood quietly on the sidelines or gaslighted people like me who dare to call it out.
“As a start, let’s mandate anti-racism training for all politicians so they are forced to confront their privilege, bias and prejudice.
“Let’s ditch the name ‘Harmony Day’ for 21st March and revert to the original purpose and name of International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination.
“The time to trivialise and whitewash racism is over.
“We need proper data collection on hate crimes and racial discrimination and we need to strengthen and enforce hate speech laws.”