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The Anti-Muslim Tilt? “Absurd”

March 1, 2011

Ed Husic, the Labor member for Chifley in NSW, beat off a snide anti-Muslim campaign to win his seat at the last Federal election. It was good to see. Really good to see – because at the previous election, standing for Greenway, he had lost out to another Liberal Party anti-Muslim campaign. Ed is of Bosnian background, describing himself as a non-practicing Muslim.

On February 22 the House debated Scott Morrison’s advice to the Coalition to take up anti-Muslim campaigning. Ed spoke with the eloquence you’d expect. He made the very measured, national self-interest argument, saying:

Let me take the House in broad terms through the value of our exports to the following countries during 2009-2010:

• Indonesia $4bn
• Malaysia $3bn
• United Arab Emirates $2bn
• Saudi Arabia $1.5bn
• Pakistan $600m
• Bangladesh $400m
• Turkey $300m
• Jordan $150m
• Iran $150m
• Lebanon $25m

Just out of those countries, during that time, we earned a shade over $12bn in export dollars. Nations with over 50% of people who consider themselves Muslim.

Don’t forget the other $18bn we earned from countries with sizeable Muslim populations in our region – India, the Philippines and the Russian Federation.

If we were to regress to a discriminatory immigration policy we would effectively say to those countries – we’ll take your dollars, but not your people.


Important, I think, this anti-Muslim thrust gets rebutted on national self-interest grounds as well as grounds of principle.

  1. Mr Squiggle permalink
    March 1, 2011 6:04 pm


    I would like to show the world that I am not racist and not against muslims, but I also don’t want a larger population.

    Is ramping up migration and spruiking multi-culturalism the only way to combat anti-mulsim sentiment?

    • Jimbo permalink
      March 2, 2011 8:54 am

      Mr Squiggle, why would you raise the issue of population in response to a piece about rebutting anti-Muslim comments?

      Immigration levels rose to their highest levels under the Howard Government. They are dropping back now.

      If you don’t want a larger population, then we should start killing older Australians. The largest single reason for our population is longer life expectancy. Over the next 25 years, the number of people aged 65+ in Sydney will grow from one in eight now to one in six. It is already our fastest growing age bracket.

      • Mr Squiggle permalink
        March 2, 2011 10:21 pm

        Jimbo said,

        ‘The largest single reason for our population is longer life expectancy’

        No it isn’t.

        The largest contributer to our aging population is the 2: 1 ratio of net migration to net births.

        Migrants are on average 30 years of age when they add to our population. Check it out on the ABS website.

        Babies are, on average, zero years of age when they add to our population.

        There are no medical advances or life expectancy increases that can compare to the 30 years difference between net migration and net births.

  2. Peter Pando permalink
    March 2, 2011 7:06 pm

    Dear Mr Carr,

    The speech which follows Mr Husic’s rates a mention too, surely. It spells out why the attempts to tar all Liberals with one brush ignores (or worse, misrepresents) the public record on at least two prominent Liberals. It also speaks of a ‘handshake’ – if you want respect when you come to Australia, be prepared to give it to Australians as well.

    I disagree with Mr Husic’s arguments and the strategy it suggests very strongly. I think it appeals to the wrong motives entirely. Unfortunately the comment by Mr Bowen in backing up Mr Husic that “No church is broad enough for religious intolerance” implicitly accuses one religious tradition of intolerance. Perhaps this could be a situation in which there is a speck in the others’ eye, but a log in their own.

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