A hate-filled attack

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Australian Government Community Equality Law & Safety

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Hate-filled attackers unleashed a terrible tragedy on our brothers and sisters in New Zealand yesterday. 

Forty-nine Muslim men, women and children in two Christchurch mosques were gunned down as they prayed. It was a coordinated onslaught born from long-fuelled bigotry and Islamophobia.1 

We know the attackers, including an Australian man, listened to and lived out words of hatred.2 It was not hard for them to find. 

For years bigotry – stoking fear and division in the community – have flowed from the mouths of right-wing politicians and blared across the headlines of the Murdoch Press. In his days as a shadow Cabinet Minister, Scott Morrison reportedly saw votes to be won in targeting Muslims and stoking the electorate's fears.3 

When anyone gives a platform to racism or islamophobia, or exploits it for votes or profit, they legitimise hate. When our major parties make preference deals with parties that clothe themselves in bigotry, they endorse hate. And hate kills. 

We cannot ignore this threat any longer. No party seeking to form government can partner with hatred. No media outlet should give a platform to hatred. And they are accountable to all of us. 

Sign the petition calling for every politician and media outlet to reject scare-mongering, islamophobia and bigotry. 

The words of yesterday's white supremacist attackers are horrifyingly familiar. 

Only months ago, One Nation put forward a motion in our parliament endorsing a white supremacist chant – which was initially backed by Coalition senators.4 The office of our first Muslim woman MP was later plastered with that hateful chant.5 

And while the front pages of the Murdoch tabloids stoke fear and resentment of Muslim communities, Tony Abbott said "Islamophobia hasn't killed anyone."6 

It can feel like there's nothing we can do at times like these, but there is. 

We can send an overwhelming message of support for those targeted in our community by demanding better of our media and politicians. Put simply, we won't listen to, watch or vote for anyone who doesn't respect everyone. 

Demand better – sign the petition calling for an end to scaremongering, bigotry and hate in our politics . 

It's easier to lay blame on the few who turn to violence, but remain silent against the many who feed it. 

But silence is capitulation. Silence is its own endorsement. And as we've seen in this tragic moment, the cost of that silence is unacceptable. 

So today we mourn with purpose. We commit ourselves to stand up to bigotry and hatred, in all its forms. To shout it down, rather than pass it by. 

We demand minimum standards of decency and respect for all peoples, from anyone who would hold public office or command our attention on air or in print – knowing when we speak and act together, we are stronger than hate. 

Stand together against scaremongering, bigotry and hate in our politics. 

If we ignore the causes of violence, we are doomed to repeat it. 

If we stand silent in the face of hatred, we affirm it. 

If we let bigotry go unanswered, we fail the test of our own humanity. 

Thank you for standing against hate, 
Paul Oosting, for all of us at GetUp 

PS. On social media, we are calling out examples of hateful words and deeds that fuel bigotry and violence. Join us with your own examples from politicians, parties or the media, or even from your own lived experience. Join us and others with the hashtag #HateKills 

References: 
[1] "New Zealand shooting: everything we know so far", The Guardian, 15 March 2019. 
[2] "Do the Christchurch shootings expose the murderous nature of 'ironic' online fascism?", The Guardian, 16 March 2019. 
[3] "Morrison sees votes in anti-Muslim strategy", Sydney Morning Herald, 17 February 2011. 
[4] "Here's how 'It's OK to be white' made its way from internet trolls to a vote in our Senate", ABC Online, 18 October 2018 
[5] "'Words matter': Anne Aly targeted in 'It's okay to be white' campaign", Sydney Morning Herald, 1 November 2018 
[6] "Tony Abbott Says 'Islamophobia Hasn't Killed Anyone'. He's Wrong.", Huffington Post Australia, 5 June 2017. 
GetUp! Australia :
PO Box A105, Sydney South, NSW, 1235, Australia Wide
GetUp! Australia
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