Australians ‘Wrong’ On Islam - Liberal MP
Paul Zanetti is a Walkley award winning syndicated cartoonist with over 30 years in the media. He blogs at www.zanettisview.com
DON'T you hate it when you’ve accidentally joined the wrong party, stood for pre-selection, got yourself voted in, then look around and find you’ve got almost nothing in common with your parliamentary colleagues?
That’s what’s happened to Craig Laundy, the Assistant Minister for Multiculturalism. He’s a Liberal MP with Green blood running through his veins.
Craig reckons Australians are doing Islam wrong.
He told Fran Kelly on ABC radio, “People that dive into this debate and say controversial things, I would argue, the vast majority are speaking from a position that is not well informed.”
“The perceptions they have are wrong.”
Craig Laundy has not yet been sworn in as the Assistant Multiculturalism Minister. That takes place on Thursday.
The greenhorn 45 year old first term backbencher rode into Canberra at the 2013 election on the wave of anti-Labor voter anger. He won the seat of Reid in Sydney’s western suburbs from Labor with a 3.5% swing. He’s the first Liberal to hold the seat since it was formed.
Since then he’s worked hard to be anti-conservative.
Why? Self preservation.
Without that anti-Rudd-Gillard-Rudd factor in the electorate there’s a pretty good chance the traditional Labor seat will go back to the ALP, thus relegating Craig to the ignominious ‘One Term Wonder Club’.
Then it’s back to pulling beer at one of dad’s pubs (Arthur Laundy owns 30 Sydney pubs, and has a personal worth of around $500m)
What to do? What to do?
Turn radically left.
Slapped down PM Tony Abbott, when Laundy loudly and publicly opposed changes to Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act, forcing Abbott’s hand to dump his election promise to repeal the odious section of the Act which smothers free speech
1. Slapped down PM Tony Abbott when Abbott said the ABC acts in a way that "instinctively takes everyone's side but Australia’s.” Laundy defended the ABC’s right to be biased, saying it is not the role of the ABC to be patriotic.
2. Opposed Israel and supports Palestine. Laundy is the co-chair of the Parliamentary Friends of Palestine group. On 5 June 2104, the Abbott Government announced the term “occupied” would no longer be used to describe East Jerusalem. Laundy publicly opposed the shift in language, saying the area was “occupied” by armed Israeli forces.
3. Demanded an increase of Syrian refugees to 20,000 when PM Abbott said Australia would accept 12,000 persecuted refugees.
4. Publicly applauded and supported Human Rights Commissioner Gillian Triggs’ attacks on the Abbott Government when Abbott questioned her political partisanship. Laundy told Triggs to keep doing her job, telling her, “My door is always open to you.”
So why would a so-called Liberal MP (who admits he comes from a “Labor family from all sides”) turn on his own party and especially his PM, Tony Abbott, who backed Laundy in his seat preselection, above others, despite Laundy never having been a Liberal Party member until an opportune 18 months before the 2013 election? (Q. Would you really want Laundy in the trenches with you?)
When you take a close look at Loundy’s voter base you’ll find he has the Liberal seat with the biggest Muslim representation.
According to the 2011 census, the seat of Reid is one of Sydney’s key migrant electorates with the nation’s fourth highest proportion of Muslim residents, the fifth highest proportion of residents born overseas and the fifth highest proportion born overseas in a non-English speaking country. The electorate also has the seventh lowest proportion of residents of Christian faith and has fast growing populations from Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bosnia, Sudan and Somalia, all Muslim majority countries.
Golly, those dots linked up pretty quickly.
So back to Laundy rubbishing Australians who are ‘wrong’ and ‘not well informed’ on Islam.
Questions for Craig Laundy:
1. Have you ever asked your Muslim constituents if they’ve read the Qur’an?
2. Have you asked your Muslim constituents if they agree with everything in the Qur’an?
3. Have you ever read the Qur’an?
4. If you have read the Qur’an, which of the 100+ Qur’anic verses calling for terror and death to unbelievers do you believe Australians are ‘wrong’ and ‘not well informed’ about?
5. If you haven’t read the Qur’an does that make you ‘not very well informed’?
There are also a few questions for the Liberal Party to answer.
1. Were you aware of Laundy’s extreme left Green position before you preselected him?
2. Were you aware of Laundy’s coming from a “Labor family from all sides”?
3. Do you support Laundy’s non-conservative positions?
4. Will you be endorsing Laundy as the Liberal party candidate at this year’s Federal election?
If the Libs do re-endorse Laundy that’s a clear signal to the party faithful of the future direction of the party.
If the Libs decide they’re not Labor-Green lite and give Laundy the flick, Craig Laundy could well seek preselection with the Greens, his natural home.