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Racism haunts ten years of Howard Government.



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Kerry Nettle, Senator for New South Wales

Racism haunts ten years of Howard Government

20th Feb 06

Australian Greens Senator Kerry Nettle today said the Prime Minister's comments in 'The

Howard Factor' regarding Muslim immigration, bookend a decade of government sullied by

xenophobia and racism.

"It is irresponsible for Mr Howard to single out one religion as undesirable for immigration to

Australia. There are good and bad individuals in every religion," said Senator Nettle.

"To slur a whole religion or race is not good leadership and only feeds xenophobia in the

Australian community. These comments echo his comments in 1988 on Asian immigration.

"It is a sad fact that Mr Howard has exploited racism and xenophobia for political gain

throughout his ten years as Prime Minister.

"First we had the scare tactics over native title. Then the failure to condemn Pauline Hanson and

One Nation's polices. In 2001 there was the blatant exploitation of xenophobia during the

Tampa incident and the lies about children overboard.

"Last week Mr Howard failed to clearly speak out against anti-Muslim comments by Coalition MP

Dana Vale.

"The abhorrent policy of mandatory detention of asylum seekers is also based on racism. The

overwhelming majority of asylum seekers detained have been from the Middle East and Central

Asia.

"The Greens call on Mr Howard to stop exploiting xenophobia and racism for political gain as he

enters his second decade in power."

Contact: Jon Edwards - 0428 213 146