In a provocative first speech to Parliament, Queensland senator Fraser Anning has called for a return to a “European Christian” immigration system and a ban on Muslims migrating to Australia.
ABC (h/t Adrian G) “We as a nation are entitled to insist that those who are allowed to come here predominantly reflect the historic European-Christian composition of Australian society,” he told the Upper House.
He said migrants should embrace the English language and Australian values, saying cultural diversity undermined social cohesion. “Ethnocultural diversity … has been allowed to rise to dangerous levels in many suburbs,” he said. “In direct response, self-segregation, including white flight from poorer inner-urban areas, has become the norm.”
The Queenslander called for migration numbers to be slashed, and a ban on Muslim people migrating to Australia. He said the Muslim community had “consistently shown itself to be the least able to assimilate and integrate”.
The Katter’s Australian Party Senator remarks have been swiftly condemned as “vile” and “bile” by his parliamentary opponents. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said “Australia is the most successful multicultural society in the world built on a foundation of mutual respect. We reject and condemn racism in any form. (What ‘race’ is Islam?)
ABC Labor frontbencher Tony Burke slammed the Senator for invoking the phrase and labelled his speech “bile” against Muslim Australians.
Greens leader Richard Di Natale demanded an apology for the “vile comments”. “Referring to Muslim immigrants, with the same language that the Nazis used to discuss the extermination of Europe’s Jews during the Holocaust is vile, racist, bigoted, and has no place in out society, let alone our Parliament,” Dr Di Natale said.
Senator Anning’s speech was reminiscent of Pauline Hanson’s first speech as an MP in the mid-1990s. The One Nation founder called for multiculturalism to be abolished, saying Australia was in “danger of being swamped by Asians”.