The disgraceful treatment of the Honourable Shaoquett Moselmane MLC by the Murdoch media led by 2GB shock jocks must be condemned and his witch-hunt by pro-Israel lobbyists because of his proactive support for justice to Palestinians and South Lebanese against Israeli aggression is appalling. The weak-kneed response of this onslaught against a colleague by the NSW Labor leader Jodi McKay MP is highly disappointing and shown to be a leader incapable of standing up for her colleagues and for what’s right.
The COVID-19 pandemic having its origins in China has led to the spread of conspiracy theories against China and racist stereotyping of Chinese people by bigoted people in many parts of the world including Australia.
While responsible political leaders have taken commendable action to contain the pandemic, some of them including President Trump continue to play the blame game in their anti-China stance.
Mr Moselmane had expressed the view in February that China has largely contained the pandemic with swift action most competently and criticised the xenophobia against Chinese people in Australia and elsewhere.
His comments were mistranslated and misquoted and some commentators in the media created a storm, against his right to have an opinion, by bullying members of the Labor Party to ostracise him, resulting in his resignation from the position of Assistant President of the NSW Parliament’s Legislative Council earlier in March.
While responding to radio 2GB host, Alan Jones’ anti-China remarks, Dr Anthony Pun OAM and Dr Ka Sing Chua from the Chinese Community Council of Australia published a letter in the Age newspaper on 7 April saying “Jones has surpassed all extreme commentators in Australia for spreading hatred and racial stereotyping against China and Chinese Australians.”
“His flawed understanding of COVID-19 and his conclusions are so irresponsible and irrational, that it has attracted a cohort of viewers and encouraged their blatant racism including violence and public hate speech. Jones has outdone even President Trump,” they wrote.
Dr Pun earlier wrote a letter to Ms McKay in support of Mr Moselmane saying, “we are indebted to the Hon Shaoquett Moselmane MLC, who have shown empathy and compassion to our difficulties, particularly to racists taunts, racially vilification and hate speech. He has shown a deep understanding of the Chinese Australian community that has won our hearts and to be called a “good friend” of the community. We are aware of the recent media attempting to discredit him and saying that his remarks on China was inappropriate was unwarranted and simply wrong.”
Mr Bashir Sawalha, President of United Australian Palestinian Workers Association (UAPWA) has condemned the spiteful media attacks on Mr Moselmane and has also criticised the lack of support for him by Ms McKay.
“We would also like to express our frustration with 2GB’s Hadley and SKY TV, who have blatantly crossed the line of professional integrity in journalism. We are particularly outraged by Hadley’s acts which we attribute to the resignation of a respected member of the Australian community,” Mr Sawalha wrote.
A number of community leaders have expressed their dismay at the media trial of Mr Moselmane being a victim of tall poppy syndrome where he is considered to be an advocate of Multicultural Australia who is being bullied by the right wing commentators for expressing his views using his democratic right of freedom of speech.
Mr Moselmane, a member of the ALP since 1982, was elected to the Legislative Council of the NSW Parliament in December 2009.
He was earlier elected to Rockdale City Council in 1995 where he served a number of times as Deputy Mayor and was elected Mayor of Rockdale City Council on four separate occasions, from 2001 to 2002 -3, 2005 – 2006 and again in 2009.
He has a long-standing involvement with various communities including South Asian, Arabic, Greek , Italian , Macedonian, Chinese and many other multicultural communities.
Born in Konin, South Lebanon, Mr Moselmane grew up in Beirut until the age of 12 when he migrated to Australia with his family of 12.
He completed an Arts Degree in Government and Public Administration at the University of Sydney, then a Masters Degree in Politics at Macquarie University and finally completed his Law Degree at the University of New South Wales.
In 2012, Mr Moselmane established the Multicultural and Indigenous Media Awards, which recognises outstanding Multicultural and Indigenous media and journalists across Australia.
In 2014, he established the National Indigenous Human Rights Awards, the first of its kind in Australia.
Mr Moselmane is the Chair of the Sydney Institute of Public and International Affairs, the Forum for Middle East Affairs , as well as the Kids-on-Wheels Alliance Inc, registered charity which manufactures and globally distributes wheelchairs for children living with a disability.
Sign petition to The Australian Press Council complaint against Ray Hadley (2GB radio host) for the malicious attack on Mr Shaoquett Moselmane MLC:
The Australian Press Council
Level 6, 53 Berry St PO Box 1014
North Sydney NSW 2059
Dear Sir / Madam
Re: 2GB Ray Hadley 03/04/2020 program, NSW Labor leader ‘really angry’ but refuses to expel China-praising MP.
We write to express our dismay in the series of malicious attacks on the Hon Shaoquett Moselmane, Assistant President of the NSW Legislative Council, with specific reference to 03/04/2020 program, NSW Labor leader ‘really angry’ but refuses to expel China-praising MP.
We appreciate the role of objective and fair media. We are however appalled by what is the low gutter standard of 2GB (and SKY TV). We believe that 2GB’s Hadley had crossed the line on all fair and objective journalistic standards. Mr Hadley should be investigated for breaches of basic journalistic standards, accuracy and clarity, fairness and balance, privacy and avoidance of harm. His failure to observe such standards has caused us, and we are certain, Mr Moselmane and his family a deep sense of harm, prejudice and offence to our multicultural community.
We request that 2GB and Mr Hadley be investigated, and ask that he retract and make an unreserved apology for his attack that we find totally offensive. We are all proud Australians, to say otherwise because someone expresses a view the likes of Ray Hadley do not agree with does not make that person un-Australian and treasonous and deserves hanging as Hadley had insinuated in a previous attack on Mr Moselmane – that is disgraceful, distressing and deeply offensive. Ray Hadley’s slander and an avalanche of malicious attacks are unfounded and unfair. We are at a loss to understand what crime Mr Moselmane is said to have committed in expressing a view? It is the right of all Australians to exercise their democratic right to free speech. As Australian citizens it is the democratic right of all to express their views no matter what they are as long as they do not cause harm to others. Mr Moselmane, a respected member of the Australian community and one that values democracy and who we are did not deserve the slander and the gutter-level trash attack by Mr Ray Hadley. Mr Hadley’s attack goes against all principles of journalistic standards and lowers the reputation of journalists across this great nation of ours.