Govt MP advocates limiting Islamic immigration
MEMBERS of Mackay's Muslim community have been abused in the streets and Islamic Society of Mackay spokesman Ali Kadri said Dawson MP George Christensen is partly to blame.
Mr Kadri said Muslims attending the Mackay mosque have been bombarded by abuse from motorists passing the Bakers Creek place of worship and were being marginalised by Mr Christensen's persistent criticism of Islam in Australia.
"When I went to (Mackay) mosque, I spoke to the Muslim community, doctors, engineers, they've been here for a long time and they're productive members of the community but they're afraid," Mr Kadri said.
"It was heart-warming to see so many people come along (to the mosque's open day) to provide support but it was disappointing to see a lot of people yelling abuse as they drove by on the highway next to the mosque.
"I urge people of Mackay to put yourself in the shoes of these people who are working in Mackay and want the same things you do. They're at their place of worship and are having abuse hurled at them.
"How would you feel if that happened to you?"
Mr Kadri, who is also a spokesman for the Islamic Council of Queensland, said Mr Christensen was invited to attend the open day on July 10 to discuss issues relating to Islam but did not attend.
"It's his constitutional obligation to represent all its (Dawson's) citizens regardless of religion and I think he's failing to do so in representing minorities and failing in his democratic duties," Mr Kadri said.
"If people are afraid due to misinformation or lack of information, it doesn't give them a right to attack people who look similar to those committing these crimes.
"It's (terrorism) not about Islam. It's about some individuals who say they are Muslim, committing crimes to achieve whatever political outcomes they'd like to achieve.
"I'm not only worried about that (young Muslim's turning to extremist causes due to marginalisation), but I'm also worried about young non-Muslims reading things like this and thinking it's okay to kick a person or persecute a person of a different colour or minority group because they're afraid.
"When we talk about our country, we're talking about all of our country. It's as much my country as it is George's."
Mr Kadri placed "people who respond to these type of things (terrorist attacks) with hatred in two categories".
"One is the people who want to take advantage of the fears of the people and the second category is people who are genuinely afraid," he said.
"Populist politicians are thinking they can become demagogues out of this but what they don't understand is eventually it will harm our own country.
"By taking extreme positions and fanning hatred and fear they are going to fracture the fabric of our country."
Christensen: Kadri is 'drinking the politically correct Kool-Aid'
Member for Dawson George Christensen said he welcomes "moderate" Muslims to the Dawson electorate but will continue to speak out strongly against "radical Islam".
The conservative Liberal-National Coalition politician was unapologetic regarding his comments this week about severely curtailing "immigration from countries where radicalism and violent extremism is rife".
He said attempts to silence discussion were an attempt at dismissing free speech and an act of political correctness.
"I'm not sure how it's irresponsible to suggest immigration be halted from countries with a high level of radicalism and violent extremism," he said.
"That's taking the precautionary principle very seriously when it comes to national security. I'm not sure how that's an attack on local Muslim people."
Mr Christensen said Ali Kadri, who suggested Mr Christensen was marginalising Muslims, was "drinking the politically correct Kool-Aid too much".
"He needs to accept the fact we have freedom of speech and should be able to discuss these matters without people jumping up and down saying 'racism' or things like that," he said.
Mr Christensen said he did not attend Islamic Society of Mackay's Open Day as he "wasn't in Mackay at the time due to a long-standing arrangement", but he said he was glad to meet with Mackay Muslims.
Hot Topic: Islam in Australia under spotlight following Nice terror attack
Sonia Kruger's call to ban Muslims immigrating to Australia following the July 14 terrorist attack in Nice has been met with heated opinions on social media.
Supporters flocked to defend the media personality over Monday's comments, cheering her aversion to 'political correctness', but others derided the views as bigoted, or perhaps racist.
Ms Kruger later conceded the views "may have been extreme", but the issue of Islam's place in Australia, or whether there actually is an issue, has been doing the rounds prominently as of late.
The resurgence of Pauline Hanson's One Nation at the Federal election, on an anti-Islam platform, shows the discussion has legs, rightly or wrongly.