It’s not tribalism, fearmongering is government policy

The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is only trying to cover up the reality of government policy by suggesting that “tribalism” is dividing Australia.

“Division” is official government policy. The Prime Minister, the Home Affairs Minister, and now Liberal Senator Linda Reynolds on Q&A have all suggested that the Medivac Bill should be opposed because refugees in Australia’s offshore prisons are a supposed threat to Australian society.

“Without evidence, all of them have suggested that there are potential terrorists, pedophiles, criminals among the refugees held in offshore detention,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “Scott Morrison used those very arguments to try and justify re-opening the Christmas Island detention centre.

Last October, Peter Dutton explicitly used the security scaremongering in relation to refugee families on Nauru, saying there were 13 refugee children whose parents were deemed security risks by the US.

But Dutton’s scaremongering has come to nothing; All children and their parents are now in Australia or the US. His dark warning about 57 refugees who supposedly ‘fail the character test’ doesn’t pass the pub test.

Among the government’s most recent divisive claims was Peter Dutton’s declaration that sick refugees from Manus and Nauru would displace people in Australia from medical services.

It was a lie backed up by Scott Morrison who defended Dutton’s claim, telling ABC radio, “It’s just a simple fact.”

Senator Fraser Anning’s white supremacist views were government legitimacy a year ago by Peter Dutton’s very public pronouncements that protection applications by white South African farmers would be fast-tracked.

“Scott Morrison’s comments about ‘tribalism from both sides’ is more dog-whistling, to cover-up the government’s particular role in whipping up Islamophobia and anti-refugee sentiments,” said Ian Rintoul, spokesperson for the Refugee Action Coalition, “The Coalition government continues to trade in vilification and division. We look forward to Morrison’s sincere apology to Muslims, asylum seekers and refugees, and his announcement that Christmas Island, along with Manus and Nauru, will be closed.”

The Refugee Action Coalition is supporting the “Stand Against Racism” candlelight vigil in solidarity with Muslims and the people of Christchurch called by Unions NSW, Thursday 21 March, 5.30pm Town Hall.

“Welcome Refugees” rallies calling for an end to offshore detention will be held across Australia on Palm Sunday, 14 April. Speakers at the Sydney Rally include refugee and Iraqi surgeon, Dr Munjed Al Muderis and former Socceroos captain Craig Foster.

For more information contact Ian Rintoul 0417 275 713