Senator Mehreen Faruqi gave her maiden speech on Tuesday 21 August 2018 in the Australian Federal Parliament as the hundredth woman and the first Muslim to sit in the chamber.
At times she was blunt, bold and being fair dinkum addressing the issues of bigotry, racism and discrimination in her own way.
“Being a Senator gives us the immense privilege of having a platform, and I intend to use it, just like my colleagues in the Greens, to speak out against injustice and amplify voices that seek justice, whoever or wherever they are.
The reality is that my presence in the Senate is an affront for some. They are offended that people of colour, and Muslims, have the audacity to not only exist, but to open our mouths and join the public debate.
Some, if they had their way, would ban us from making Australia our home.
So it is with great pride I stand here before you unapologetically – a brown, Muslim, migrant, feminist woman.
Instead of being accepted, because this is our home, we are asked to apologise for every action of someone who looks like us. We are subject to rules that white people never will be.
These are uncomfortable truths for many people, and there is sometimes an inexplicable disbelief that racism exists in Australia.
But not talking about it because it might make people uncomfortable creates the very silence that allows institutional racism to persist.
Calling out racism is not about making ourselves feel better or making others feel worse, or even looking for sympathy: it is a statement of reality, of what is happening every day, and that all is not ok.
My presence here and that of a handful of other people of colour is just the beginning of the process, not the end.
I reaffirm my commitment to stamping out racism and sexism in every way I can. Let us have the courage to acknowledge it, wherever it happens.
To those who want me to F off back to where I came from, I say: Sorry, not sorry. This is my home and I’m not going anywhere.
I want us to be the best we can be. To build a society where all of us matter.
(Read her reflection on her maiden speech: Page 7 and watch video and read on line: https://www.amust.com.au/2018/08/a-vision-for-australia-beyond-its-borders/).