Australia’s first Muslim Senator has lashed out at Senator Cory Bernardi after the Australian Conservatives’ leader introduced a bill banning facial coverings at commonwealth sites, including public places in the Northern Territory and ACT.
Senator Mahreen Faruqi criticised Senator Bernardi in Parliament saying he will never experience the racism that Muslims are subjected to in Australia.
“I’m so sick of this rubbish,” Senator Faruqi said. “I’m so sick of people who will never experience racism telling us that it doesn’t exist.”
“Senator Bernardi will never be told that you have no place in public life because of the colour of your skin. I hope that one day Australia will not need a race discrimination commissioner, but that day is definitely not today, because racism is a reality. And millions of people are harmed by it,” she said.
“Sudanese Australians are demonised by the media, Aboriginal Australians are dying in custody, Muslim Australians have been demonised and demeaned in this very Parliament. So don’t pretend that racism doesn’t exist.”
I am so sick of this rubbish.
I am so sick of people who will never experience racism telling people of colour that it doesn’t exist. pic.twitter.com/cKpphDoMZC
— Mehreen Faruqi (@MehreenFaruqi) September 13, 2018
Senator Bernardi responded on Twitter, “I am sick of ignorant people claiming Muslim is a race.”
Senator David Leyonhjelm similarly responded, “Islam is not a race, it’s a religion. Suggesting Muslims in Malaysia are the same race as Muslims in Pakistan or Chechnya because of their religion is obnoxious.”
Islam is not a race, it's a religion. Suggesting Muslims in Malaysia are the same race as Muslims in Pakistan or Chechnya because of their religion is obnoxious.
— David Leyonhjelm (@DavidLeyonhjelm) September 13, 2018
Last month, Senator Faruqi made headlines after she used her maiden speech, not only to suggest that opposition to Islam is racist, but to accuse Australians of building their nation on invasion and land theft.