Tuesday, 3 March 2020
Statements by Members
Australians of Hindu faith deserve our respect, not our mockery. The Liberal-National government and the Treasurer think it's funny to mock one of the great faiths of this world. I ask: would the Treasurer have mocked the robes of a rabbi of his very own Jewish faith or the appearance of an imam or a priest? No, he would not, so why is it that he does so with the Hindu faith? I think it's important that we all reflect on this and that the Treasurer apologises unreservedly to people of Hindu faith. He has spoken in the past about the context of insidious stereotyping of people of faith, particularly in the context of anti-Semitism. Why the hypocrisy and double standard when it comes to Hindu Australians? When it comes to Hindu Australians and their faith, he should apologise. It'd be good if he takes heed of some of the wisdom that we see in the Bhagavad-gita, the great Hindu scripture, where Krishna says that it is important for us to slay ignorance with the sword of wisdom. That's something that this government should reflect on. It's not acceptable for him to make comments like that about any faith or to mock any faith. It's about respect in this place. As political leaders we need to lead by example in respecting people of all faiths and backgrounds, and it starts in this House.