SPEECH – 90 SECOND STATEMENT
HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THURSDAY, 2 OCTOBER 2014
Maha Abdo is a friend of mine. For the last 30 years she has been providing help for victims of domestic violence in my community. In 2008 she was awarded an OAM. Late last Thursday she received a phone call at her house from a man who said, ‘I know where you live and I am coming round to cut your head off.’
In the last few weeks people have been abused, people have been victimised, they’ve been threatened, and a woman was bashed and pushed off a train. This is not us. This is not who we are. This is not the Australia that I know and love.
We are the best country in the world, and we are the best country in the world because we have people from all around the world, with different religions and different backgrounds who live together in harmony.
When I talk to kids at schools in my electorate I say: ‘We are like a fruit salad. We all like apples, we all like oranges and we all like watermelon, but they are better when they are all together.’ And it is the same with us—it is the same with Australia. We are better when we are all together. That’s us—not people preaching poison or morons making death threats.
At times like this we need to act like leaders. We need to work together to bring the community together. The things that we say and the things that we do in this place matter because if we make non-Muslim people feel afraid and we make Muslim people feel isolated and that they do not belong then that just divides us as a community, and that is very dangerous. That is what organisations like ISIS want.
Remember who we are. We are like a fruit salad. We are a family and we need to treat each other like a family.