An Australian Senator from Queensland, Fraser Anning gave a speech on the Senate floor calling for a total shutdown of Muslim and third world immigration. He called for a national referendum to decide on the ‘final solution’ to the immigration problem.
But even though the target of Anning’s rhetoric were billions of people from Muslim and third world countries, the ensuing outrage from the media has been over how a certain phrase from Anning’s speech might offend people of Jewish heritage.
Where the focus of the news should have been the far-right factions in Australia, who want the country to return to the White Australia Policy, the part of the speech that was predominantly singled out for condemnation was Anning’s use of the phrase ‘final solution’.
The core message of his speech was to ban Muslims but instead of focusing on that, mainstream media outlets focused on a single phrase he used to express his convictions.
Here is the headling from a British news outlet Independent:
This is how ABC News covered it.
BBC, the media arm of the British Government wasn’t any different in their coverage of the issue.
The Guardian reporting on Anning’s speech does not even mention Muslims until about in the 12th paragraph but even that was completely unrelated to the speech itself. The mention in the 12th paragraph was a previous comment by Pauline Hanson who had previously said that Australia could be ‘swamped by Muslims’.
The Guardian piece makes no mention of the Anning’s call for Muslim immigration ban. It only quotes condemnation to Anning’s remarks without mentioning what he actually said about Muslims. Even in the subtitle following the main headline, there are no allusions to his comments about Muslims and third world citizens.
The word ‘Muslim’ is only mentioned twice in the entire article and none mention anything Anning said about Muslims. The second use of the word ‘Muslim’ comes in the last paragraph quoting Senator David Leyonhjelm on his disagreement with Anning on Muslim immigration.
Not one condemnation that Guardian quotes mentions Muslims directly. Prime Minister Turnbull called the use of phrase a ‘shocking insult’ to the Jewish people without talking about how much of an insult and offense Anning’s remarks were to the Muslims and other third world citizens living in Australia. It gives the impression that Anning and Turnbull do not disagree much on Australia’s immigration policy, just the use of language to describe it.
Anning refused to apologize for his comments only adding that offending Jewish people wasn’t his intention and that he was their advocate.