Coalition MP George Christensen has suggested that the small child who held up a sign which read “behead all those who insult the prophet” during weekend protests should be put in the care of “better people”.
The Queensland MP said that authorities should track down the parents of the child “immediately” – as they would when another child was exposed to “such a violent upbringing”.
In a widely circulated photo of the weekend’s violent protests, the child – who appears to be about three or four – is holding the sign above his head. A woman is taking a photo of the child, who is standing next to a baby in a pram.
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”Using a toddler to peddle an incitement to violent killing is disgusting and I think the Australian public would expect the authorities to take up the matter with the parents,” Mr Christensen said in a statement.
”If the parents are exposing their children to religious hatred and encouraging violence then perhaps those children should be put in the care of better people.”
Mr Christensen said that authorities should also track down the parents of eight-year-old Ruqya, who talked of her love of jihad at the Hizb ut-Tahrir conference in Sydney on the weekend.
“Kids of this age should be playing hide and seek, not calling for jihad or beheadings,” he said.
Earlier today Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi said the violent protest in Sydney should serve as a “wake-up call” to people who are in denial about a significant problem emerging in Australia.
Senator Bernardi – who bills himself as a “straight talker” – said that the protest was a “portent” of what he had been warning people about for years.
“What occurred in western Europe a decade ago is now happening here,” Senator Bernardi said in a post on his blog today.
“The naive cling to the romantic idealisation of the generations of migrants who have successfully settled in Australia, thinking things will continue just as they have in the past.”
Senator Bernardi argued that even though multiculturalism was seen as a “triumph of tolerance” it undermined national values and cohesiveness.
“Our culture is built upon the two great pillars of Western civilisation – the rule of law and Judeo-Christian values. To allow these great strengths to be undermined by supporting calls for any form of legal plurality or the indulgence of cultural practices that go against our social norms is to abandon reason.”
The Sydney protest followed other protests around the world, sparked by the filmInnocence of Muslims, which was produced in the United States and portrays the prophet Muhammad as a fraud, womaniser, homosexual and madman.
Speaking of the violence that has been condemned by most Muslim leaders in Australia, Senator Bernardi said: “It should serve as a wake-up call to the naïve and just plain foolish who are in denial that a significant problem is emerging in Australia.”
The South Australian Liberal’s comments come as Foreign Affairs Minister Bob Carr blamed the riot on a small minority of Muslims in Australia.
Senator Carr said that he was “pained and bewildered” by the weekend’s events but said it was the work of a lunatic fringe.
“It’s a more nuanced story and we’ve got to think about the hurt and the pain of Australian Muslims, loyal Australians, when they saw that stupid and dangerous and repugnant lunatic fringe – 100 of them, a mere 100 of them – on Saturday night’s TV,” Senator Carr told ABC Radio.
Senator Carr added that the clashes outside the US consulate in Sydney’s CBD on Saturday had undoubtedly sparked debate and soul-searching about the different faces of multiculturalism in Australia.
“It concerns me deeply, and I understand the response of Australians – those of Islamic heritage, those of other backgrounds – who look at the sights and hear the sounds of that demonstration and think: ‘Why do you linger in Australia? There would be other countries where you’d be happier, where you’d be more fulfilled,’ ” he said.
“The talk of beheading, for example, is the talk of people who will never be comfortable with the Australian democratic tradition.”
Mr Christensen also said that the Sydney protests should not be tolerated, adding non-citizens who engaged in violent acts should “head back” to where they came from.”If ur engaging in #SydneyRiot violence & ur not an Australian, jump on the 1st plane & head back 2 where u come from,” he posted on Twitter.
Immigration Minister Chris Bowen said he was prepared to take action against rioters who are not Australian citizens, once the police investigation has taken place.
“Clearly this is not done in the name of Islam, and it is not done in the name of multiculturalism. It’s done in the name of thuggery,” Mr Bowen told reporters in Canberra.
Noting his “powers” as Immigration Minister, Mr Bowen said he would take action “accordingly” after the NSW Police investigation.
“I simply make the point … in relation to any action that might be taken in relation to any non-citizens,” he said.
According to the Immigration Department, a “substantial” criminal conviction could see an individual fail the character test needed to obtain an Australian visa.
NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell has also warned against a repeat of what he labelled the “unacceptable face of multiculturalism”.
“The message is that if they do it again they should expect to be arrested, they should expect to be hauled before the courts,” he told Macquarie Radio.
Asked why riot police did not use the force’s water cannon to quell the protesters, Mr O’Farrell said: “I would have thought a water cannon would have been a sensible approach on Saturday.
“But I’m not going to run, and I shouldn’t be running, the operational side of the police.”
Ed Husic – the first Muslim MP to be elected to Federal Parliament – said he was appalled by the protest.”I think it’s completely over the top and nothing can justify violence,” he told 2UE radio.”Regardless of faith, you would have recoiled.”Mr Husic said that the community needed to have a “zero tolerance” attitude to violence reactions.”While this small group [aren’t] representative of the broader community, they’re representative of someone.”Mr Husic, who is the son of Bosnian migrants, said that migrants and the next generation had a responsibility to “give something back” to Australia.”We all do our part to make sure it remains peaceful,” he said.
A boy protesting in Sydney on Saturday.
This comes as the Coalition continues to pressure the government for giving so-called “hate preacher” Taji Mustafa a visa to come to Australia for the Hizb ut-Tahrir conference.Deputy Opposition Leader Julie Bishop told reporters in Canberra that Mr Bowen had not been able to explain why he had allowed Mr Mustafa’s visit.”It’s not as if the government didn’t know about the potential for Mr Mustafa’s presence to incite discord in the Australian community,” Ms Bishop said, although she was not making a direct link between Mr Mustafa and the demonstrations over the weekend.”In answers to questions [in question time] today it was apparent that the Minister for Immigration didn’t know, didn’t mind or doesn’t care about the presence of Mr Mustafa.”Earlier, Mr Bowen said Hizb ut-Tahrir was not a banned group in Australia, the US or the UK and thus there was no reason for Mr Mustafa to be refused a visa.
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