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Monday, 23 November 2015
Page: 8605


Senator XENOPHON (South Australia) (14:14): by leave—I support the comments of my colleagues and wholeheartedly agree with their sentiments. I stand in unity with the people of France, Egypt, Mali, Pakistan, Lebanon and so many other nations that have been victims of terrorism. We must repudiate unequivocally, unambiguously, what these attacks represent. The death of each victim is a tragedy, but these deaths in particular are murders with the most evil of motives. It demands strong and appropriate responses from governments.

Last Monday I had a chance to give my condolences personally to Christophe Lecourtier, France's ambassador to Australia—a good man, who does his country proud, who was still visibly shaken by those events. He expressed that the places where he would go to have dinner with his friends, listen to music or to a sporting match were subject to terrorist attacks where people just wanted to go about their lives.

In making this statement, I also want to join in a plea for unity and I think that the comments of everyone here today, our Prime Minister and our opposition leader reflect that plea for unity. I also want to quote a few words from broadcaster Waleed Aly, who is perhaps Australia's most prominent well-known Muslim who, on Network Ten, using quotes from ISIL's own publications and its strategy of dividing Western nations along religious grounds to foster what in their sick and twisted minds call the final great war, said:

This evil organisation has it in their heads that if they can make Muslims the enemy of the West, then Muslims in France, England, America and here in Australia will have nowhere to turn, but to ISIL.

He went on to say:

I'm angry at these terrorists. I'm sickened by the violence. I'm crushed for the families that have been left behind … I won't be manipulated.

We all need to come together.

He also said:

… because it's exactly what ISIL doesn't want.

Our strength is our unity in our decency and our repudiation of these evil acts.

The PRESIDENT: Could I ask senators to join me in a moment of silence in respect of the dead.

Honourable senators having stood in their places—

The PRESIDENT: I thank honourable senators.