Saturday, March 17, 2007

Global Day of Protest

The Democrats were a force to be reckoned with at the Global Day of Protest. Along with the Greens and the more radical Socialist Alliance, the Greens joined the Rally calling for Australian troops to be out of Iraq, and David Hicks to finally receive some justice and be brought home. I also attended, but unfortunately struggling on crutches slowed me down and I had to join the Rally after the march. Unfortunately, the Rally was poorly attended, and even more sadly, Muslims were noticably absent from the protest! The Muslim community must not give up hope that their opinions and attitudes can be reasonably presented and supported. It is vital that they continue to speak out about injustice in a reasonable and intelligent manner and never give up hope that their words are in vain. While listening to speeches, songs of protest and various other unintelligable loud sounds from the stage, I talked to a family of Australian Iraqi's and asked them about their family back home. They told me that one of their uncles had been murdered only 4 days ago in Northern Iraq. He had refused to be involved in an allegedly Al Qaeda based move to drive out or kill Shia Muslims from his area. They had beaten him badly a few weeks ago and he had refused to name them as they were known to him in his area. They came back and killed him in his home in front of his wife. Such brutality is becoming common in so many parts of the world. It is time for good people to step forward and not only condemn such behaviour, but begin to work on changing the conditions that lead to such barbarity. When men and women are brutalised, justice is denied, they are humiliated and driven from their work and their homes, such responses are to be expected. We cannot change the brutality that we see unless we stand against the injustices that occur around the globe.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Channel 9 - Democrat candidate interview

Today I was on the Channel 9 The Catch Up show. It was a lot of fun -
here is the interview
Unfortunately they edited out why I am a Demcrats candidate and why I support the Democrats. So here is the explanation:
Don Chipp set up the party to 'keep the bastards (sic) honest'. The Democrats have worked hard using their balance of power in the past to ensure that good policies are carried through and government is held accountable. The Democrats have excellent policies on health, the environment, support of the migrant community, ethical investments, reducing poverty and so on. In the Upper House, Arthur Chesterfield-Evans has valiantly continued to represent these policies against a factionalised Labor Party and a Liberal party beholden to the top end of town. Not only do I support their policies but to lose the Democrats from Parliament would be a tragedy. I hope to support the party by contributing my own ideas to their policies, and generate a return to this mainstream, comprehensive and highly ethical party.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Hypocrisy of Liberals and Labor

It is with pride that I associate myself with the Australian Democratic party - 'keeping the bastards honest'. On the one hand we have the Liberal party which is giving preferences to the Christian Democrats - the party headed by Fred Nile who wants a racist moratorium on Muslim migration, and on the other hand, we have Morris Iemma damning the Greens for their drugs policy, and then giving them preferences!
From my point of view, I am not damning the Greens - I understand their point of view, but don't agree with their solution. While legalising drugs allows it to be better regulated it runs the risk of having drugs become as casual as alcohol and equally destructive to society.

Fred Nile and Sheikh Taj

Media Release - sent out this week

Fred Nile’s call for a halt to immigration of Muslims directly contributes to the sense of isolation experienced by Muslim communities, Silma Ihram, Australia Democrats candidate for Auburn said today.

“It is a flagrant attempt to stir up the Muslim community and attract the One Nation vote. Such a call is designed to appeal to the worst elements of our society by appealing to the racist and bigoted members of the community. The divisiveness of singling out the adherents of one religion as being unsuitable for migration is even more extreme than the White Australia Policy.” She said.

Ms Ihram was responding to calls by Fred Nile made on Sunday calling for a moratorium on Muslim immigration and included in leaflets distributed by the Christian Democratic Party.

“Fred Nile alleges that Muslims reject Aussie values of tolerance, compassion and care. Yet these are the same values that Rev Nile himself refuses to demonstrate towards the Muslim community,” she said. “Sheikh Taj’s call for a Muslim party is likely to be almost as divisive. The spectacle of Rev Nile and Sheik Taj engaging in religious politicking within Parliament would be the average Australian’s nightmare.”

Ms Ihram pointed out that there are many instances of prominent Christians, Muslims and Jews who are willing to discuss their similarities, their differences and the way forward to a harmonious society. The Affinity event titled “Isolation or Integration” held in Parramatta last night, was just another example of practical, progressive activities which help to break down the barriers between us.

The Rev. Fred Nile was noticeably absent. Fred Nile’s call for banning Muslim migration can only lead to more angst and frustration for the tens of thousands of hard working, ethical Muslim migrants who are contributing substantially to Australia’s economy and lifestyle.

“Some good Christian values that are consistently demonstrated by other leaders of the church should be brought into Parliament by Rev Nile’s party, and Muslims should demonstrate their commitment to Australia by joining mainstream parties and working for the whole community not a narrow representative body such as a Muslim political party,” Ms Ihram said.