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Lindsay scandal shows bigotry and Muslim baiting has become standard political practice.

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Australian Democrats Press Releases

Senator Andrew Bartlett Deputy Parliamentary Leader and Democrats Senator for Queensland Australian Democrats spokesperson for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Dated: 22 November 2007 Portfolio: Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Lindsay scandal shows bigotry and Muslim baiting has become standard political practice

Democrats' Deputy Leader Andrew Bartlett says actions by Liberal Party campaigners in the seat of Lindsay trying to play on fear of Muslim Australians shows how much bigotry and fear-mongering have become part of political discourse under the Howard government.

"Instead of standing up against prejudice and ignorance, the Liberal's have regularly turned a blind eye or given knowing winks to dog-whistling that plays on fear regarding Muslim Australians," Senator Bartlett said.

"This not only shows a willingness to foster antagonism towards a group of Australians, it shows a total disregard for the damage it does to the entire fabric which holds our whole society together."

"The sort of disregard for the human and social consequences shown in this case is also behind government actions like the Dr Haneef visa scandal and attacks by Coalition MPs on Muslim women for their headwear."

"The Democrats have been actively speaking out for many years in positive support of Muslim Australians and against prejudice, ignorance and fear-mongering. It is time for the major parties to consistently do the same," Senator Bartlett said.

The Democrats have many candidates who are Muslims in a range of seats, including five candidates in House of Representatives seats in Queensland.