The Anti-Muslim Tilt? “Absurd”
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.