A much ignored petition
Political correctness trumps the voice of the people
The controversial petition calling for a ban on Muslim immigration has been tabled 48 times in Parliament, The Canberra Times can reveal.
ACT Liberal senator Gary Humphries angered the Muslim community when he tabled a petition on behalf of three Sydney residents last week, calling for a 10-year moratorium on Muslim migration to Australia. Several other senators had declined to do so.
However, an analysis of the history of the petition which appears to originate with the Christian Democrat Party reveals it is not the first time Senator Humphries has tabled it. Another 35 politicians 19 Liberals, six Nationals, eight Labor MPs and senators and two Independents have also tabled it since 2007, several more than once.
The petition calls for Christians to be given priority in immigration and for a 10-year ban on Muslims coming to Australia "so an assessment can be made on the social and political disharmony currently occurring in the Netherlands, France and the UK".
Senator Humphries said yesterday he would have tabled it the first time for the same reasons as last week. Although he disagreed with its sentiments, he had a responsibility to allow people's views to be presented to Parliament.
He was "not anxious to become the patron saint of ... extreme points of view" and sorry the publicity had given some people the chance to express bigoted or racist views, but stood by his decision to table it.
"I would do so, and in fact I will do so, again, because this situation is bound to recur in some form or another; not necessarily this issue, but something else that people consider to be controversial," he said.