Hundreds of people from Sydney’s diverse community gathered together on Wednesday 16 December at the Grand Roxy Hall, Brighton Le Sands to welcome and celebrate NSW MLC Shaoquett Moselmane’s honourable return to NSW parliament and the restoration of his Labor party membership.
The NSW MP was the target of radio shock jocks earlier this year and a police raid under full lime light of the media in June 2020, but later absolved of any wrongdoing.
The reception dinner event was hosted by ‘Ittihad Abnaa Kounine fi Australia’ (Kounine Family Union of Australia) and attended by a large number of diverse members of the Australian multicultural community including grass root supporters from Lebanese and Arab community in Sydney, leaders from Chinese Australian community the Pakistani community and others.
Mr Moselmane during his address, after acknowledging the traditional owners of the land and paying his respects to their elders past and present thanked various organisations and individuals from the grass root community for their support during the painful ordeal he and his family went through for a number months this year.
“Can I say at the outset, that I don’t blame the Federal Police for what happened. They are an agency that takes orders from their political masters. One never blames the stick for the pain they endure. It is those who swing the stick that are responsible for our pain,” Mr Moselmane lamented.
“We live in a democracy where the rule of law is supreme. That is why, Justice, if pursued, will always prevail. With your continued support, I hope to pursue this until we find out who were behind the decision to character assassinate me, to humiliate me and cause harm to me and my family,” Mr Moselmane further added.
“As Australian Citizens, you are entitled to have a voice, to speak out, to protest, to oppose and to support whom and what you please. Of course, you have that right as long as you do not harm others. It’s your right to be praise or to be critical of any government. No government and no person is sacrosanct.”
“That’s why we live in one of the best countries in the world. This is why I speak out about the rights of the oppressed, the underprivileged and the injustices in our society, nationally and abroad.”
“As request by me, The Federal Police is currently undertaking an internal investigation to find out who was behind this media plot to achieve maximum damage to my reputation and I will therefore be asking for a Senate Inquiry, if the Federal police inquiry produces no real outcome,” Mr Moselmane concluded.
The master of the ceremony at the event, Mrs Majida Aboud Saab and the former manager of SBS Radio station for more than 30 years started the program by paying respect to the original custodian of the land followed by the Australian and Lebanese anthems.
A tradition dance together with song and didgeridoo performance was showcased by an aboriginal artist from Tribal Warriors.
Mrs Saab spoke about her long-time association with Mr Moselmane honesty and loyalty to Australia and his role in supporting all Australian communities especially those from Arabic background, Asian and the indigenous Australians.
Mr Ali Hammoud, leader of Kounine Union spoke about the achievements of Moselmane throughout his long career as a politician and the tough time he went through for many months this year.
Mr Hammoud recalled the suffering of the people of Kounine in South Lebanon during Israeli aggression and their struggle through corrupt feudalism in Lebanon.
Mr Antoine Kazi, well-known journalist in the Lebanese community and the editor-in-chief of the Arab Telegraph newspaper began his speech with poetic verses praising the Mr Moselmane, and then spoke about the malicious conspiracy that was hatched against the MLC together with racial discrimination and praised him for his steadfastness in the face of his character assassination by the media.
Mr Zia Ahmad, editor in chief of the Australasian Muslim Times AMUST spoke about the saga around Mr Moselmane since April this year starting with his witch hunt by 2GB Radio shock jocks, Ray Hadley and Alan Jones leading to his political lynching culminating in a dramatic police raid at his house in full limelight of the media that received global publicity in spite of the fact that he was not a person of interest in the AFP and ASIO espionage or foreign interference investigations.
Mr Ahmad said that he was indeed disappointed with lack of support from his Labor colleagues during his ordeal and praised Mr Moselmane for his resilience and a great outcome in November when he was absolved of any wrong doing and restored to his full dignified position at the parliament and in the party.
“Although I am not a believer in conspiracy theories, there is enough evidence to conclude that Mr Moselmane was a targeted by some rich and powerful people for speaking his mind on various issues particularly for standing up for the rights of the Palestinian people in Australia and on the Labor party platform,” Mr Ahmad said.
He further added, “I have lived, spoken and written in Australia for almost half a century, proud to be a citizen of this great country that gives full freedom of thought and expression to all and have fully used this right without fear or favour during my journalistic career to raise voice against oppression and work towards peace and harmony for all.”
A long-time fighter for Palestine Mr Adi Zananiri, President of the Arab Australian Federation and a great supporter of Mr Moselmane talked about what he thought indeed was a conspiracy by a coalition of forces to silence Mr Moselmane speaking on the Palestinian issue and advocacy for the human rights of the Palestinian people.
Mr Charbel Beaynie, a well known poet recited a wonderful poem as a tribute to Mr Moselmane describing his innocence and his triumphant return to his position in the Legislative Council in New South Wales.
Towards the end of the formal program Mr Mahmoud Mohanna presented a souvenir in the name of the people of Kounine to Mr Shaoquett Moselmane while Mr Ali Hammoud presented the Golden Key of the village Kounine in the name of the Mayor of Kounine Haji Mohammad Tohma Abu Qasim to Mr Moselmane.
Mrs Manal Hammoud presented a bouquet of flowers to the MC Mrs Majida Abboud Saab to the Grand Roxy owner Mr Bell, after which the MLC Shaoquett Moselmane presented a certificate of appreciation to Mr Hassan Moussa, Secretary of the Australian Arab Federation, and a certificate of appreciation to Mr Ali Hammoud.