Final Report into the Inquiry into anti-vilification protections
Pauline Hanson Should Apologise For Her Irresponsible StatementsLike all Victorians, we are deeply shocked and saddened by the events that took place in the heart of Melbourne’s CBD on Friday afternoon, we grieve with the families of those that lost their lives, and we pray that those in serious condition in hospital pull through and make a full recovery. We are also dismayed by the hateful statements made by particular political leaders and irresponsible reporting by certain elements of the media. Rather than express shock and sadness at the unfolding tragedy in Melbourne’s CBD on Friday, Pauline Hanson decided that she would take the opportunity to exploit this horrible situation for her own political agenda, an agenda that is divisive, ignorant, and Islamophobic. After being briefed by one of her advisers just seconds earlier, Hanson proceeded to label the incident a terrorist attack and called for discriminatory immigration policies. She went on to (incorrectly) state that “All terrorist attacks in this country have been by Muslims”. Apart from being blatantly wrong, Hanson’s comments are inflammatory and only serve to perpetuate the fear and bigotry that are at the core of her xenophobic narrative. Nothing can reverse the damage already done by her fear mongering, but she should at least have the decency and humility to publicly withdraw her comments and apologise. This evil criminal act did indeed terrorise those caught up in it, and during times such as these, it is incumbent upon those in the public domain including political leaders and the media to exercise prudence until all of the facts are available, and to defer to the authorities before drawing conclusions. This will be in the interests of all Victorians.