The media focus on Senator-elect Pauline Hanson and her constant hate speech against Islam and Muslims seems to be having a detrimental effect on community harmony in Australian community.
Support for her call for banning of Muslims entering Australia by Nine Network celebrity Sonia Kruger has started an ugly debate in various sections of the community.
The LNP MP George Christenson has been preaching hate at various forums and promptly blamed Islam and Muslims for an attack on Merrylands Police Station, yesterday 21 July, that was carried out by a non-Muslim with mental health issues.
There have been evidence of polarisation between various sections of the community on social media, comments in major newspapers as well as statements for and against the views by politicians and community leaders.
A Muslim teenager Adam Abu Mahmoud was stabbed to death by allegedly three young men presumably of white Christian background on Monday 18 July. Police has yet to determine if it was a hate crime.
Muslims have reacted with alarm at the blatant hate speech with vilification of Islam and demonisation of Muslims by extremist and racist politicians and media celebrities.
In a media statement, the Australian National Imam’s Council have shown great concern from certain quarters proposing to ban Muslims migrating to Australia. The statement on the other hand praised an overwhelmingly great number of courageous Australians who have spoken against hate and bigotry.
Countering the Islamophobia with positive action, a team of Australian Muslim community representatives, in collaboration with several non-Muslim Australians, have launched FactCheckOneNation.com.au – a website which seeks to place One Nation’s policies under the microscope to test whether the party’s positions are based on fact or fiction.
Media spokesperson for FactCheckOneNation.com.au Mariam Veiszadeh said: “In a free and open democracy people are entitled to their opinions, however unsavoury they may be, but politicians and people in positions of influence must rise above divisive, inflammatory, baseless and unconstitutional rhetoric. We are therefore seeking to hold One Nation to account by fact checking our way through their policies, starting with their positions on Islam and Muslims.”
The website’s launch coincides with Queensland One Nation senator-elect Pauline Hanson’s appearance as a panelist on the ABC’s Q&A program on Monday night. The website will offer a source of factual information to equip both the media and the general public who are interested in sifting through One Nation’s policies on Islam and Muslims.
“Whilst we believe that a multi-faceted approach is required to tackle the misinformation and xenophobia that is increasingly on the rise, separating fact from fiction is a good starting point to counter the fear and mistrust being peddled in the community,” Veiszadeh said.
The public is being urged to share the website on social media, using the hashtag #FactCheckOneNation and #FactsOverFear