Australian Liberal MP Kevin Andrews, an ex-immigration minister in John Howard’s government famed for his role in the notorious Dr. Haneef Affair in which Andrews insisted that Haneef, an Asian Muslim, be kicked out of Australia despite being found to have played no part whatsoever in any ‘terrorist plot’ that a relative was involved in, is now, again, demonising by inference Muslims that are in this country. Andrews is now calling for a debate on what he calls ‘Muslim enclaves’ in Australia.
Andrews call for the debate comes at a time when the debate about immigration and boatpeople is raging over the plight of a boatload of Sri Lankan refugees, all Tamil, who were recently rescued by an Australian ship when their own vessel was in imminent danger of sinking while on their way to seek asylum in Australia.
Andrews was speaking with Alan Jones, the ultra right-wing Sydney radio broadcaster and well known fellow Australian Islamophobe and racist agitator. Andrews told Jones that to “have a concentration of one ethnic or one particular group that remains in an enclave for a long period of time is not good”.
Andrews views are, of course, supported by other ‘journalists’ and ‘commentators’ in Murdoch’s Australian media stable. Greg Sheridan, Foreign Editor for ‘The Australian’ newspaper, unashamedly demonises the current crop of asylum seekers as being ‘illegal immigrants’ ignoring altogether the fact that are not immigrants since they are not actually in Australia yet, and that there is absolutely nothing illegal about seeking asylum in Australia.
Naturally, Murdoch’s other propagandists working at some of Murdoch’s metro newspapers are also mounting a determined attack against these asylum seekers and Muslim immigration generally. Three of Murdoch’s most outrageous racist bloggers, Piers Akerman, Tim Blair and Andrew Bolt, have for days since the so-called ‘crisis’ began, all used their newspaper’s online hate sites to foment anti-Islam and anti-Asian racism.
Akerman in Sydney uses the propaganda of fear in his rhetoric endorsing the notion “that possible terrorists could slip into the nation among the asylum seekers the RAN is busily ferrying to our shores”. Akerman then leaves it the usual mob of bloggie followers that comment at all three blogs.
Tim Blair, also in Sydney, who’s not over-keen on actually writing too much himself preferring instead to cut and paste suitably cherry-picked quotes from other peoples work to make his point (that way, if it proves to be wrong, he can always blame someone else) works in a similar way to Akerman letting his coterie of predictable bloggies actually say what he might otherwise be sued for saying.
Andrew Bolt, Murdoch’s Melbourne propagandist, follows the predetermined demonising game plan but attacking Rudd from a slightly different angle saying: “Kevin Rudd’s dilemma is this: he must order the Sri Lankans to be forcibly evicted off the ship and into Indonesian jails, thereby looking the utter bastard and hypocrite. Or he must relent and bring the asylum seekers to Christmas Island, signally to people smugglers everywhere that all they need do now to get here is to do as these boat people did - send out a distress signal when near some Australian ship, after first disabling their own boat.” Bolt’s bloggies respond predictably.
For the sake of the those asylum seekers now in distress as a result of being used as the racists political football, and for the sake of others that wish to seek asylum in Australia, I hope that Rudd does the right thing for our fellow humans and gives them the refuge they seek here in Australia without any further delay and that we as Australians put an end once and for all this nonsense of abusing people who are different from us.