Stop protecting hate speech: Australia needs a Parliamentary Code of Conduct

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Australians have recently witnessed abhorrent behaviour from a number of Parliamentarians. We have seen politicians inciting violence and hatred. We have also seen examples of divisive, bigoted rhetoric. We have had enough. If our elected representatives will not act with dignity, we will create a Code of Conduct and hold them to account. 

Lately, we have seen the standards of Parliamentary behaviour disintegrate as political debate has become toxic, and dangerous. The recent statement by Senator Fraser Anning blaming the terrorist act in Christchurch on immigration is only one example: Senator Barry O’Sullivan made racist remarks around “biosecurity” against the Chinese community, while Senator Pauline Hanson has described Muslims as a “virus to be vaccinated." Who could forget when Senator Hanson turned up to the Senate in a burqa, a harmful stunt that only sought to stoke division and hatred.  

We have already seen the real-world implications of this behaviour in violent attacks and frenzied media coverage of racial and cultural minorities

That is why we are calling on the Australian Government to develop and establish a Parliamentary Code of conduct that includes race ethics. 

The following are the specific demands for inclusion as part of the code of conduct.

  1.  All parliamentarians and their staff to stop using Parliamentary resources and privileges to incite hatred against any sector of Australian society. This applies equally within Parliament and any other public forum.
  2. All parliamentarians recognise the value and contribution of the First Peoples of Australia; the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
  3. All parliamentarians respect Australians' diversity of colour, national or ethnic origin, culture or religious belief.
  4. All parliamentarians recognise the value and contribution of culturally and linguistically diverse, and new and emerging communities.
  5. All parliamentarians reject discriminatory, divisive or exclusionary statements. This means any statements that are not consistent with the values of social inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all persons, regardless of colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, culture and religious belief.
  6. All parliamentarians uphold values of social inclusion, tolerance, and respect for all persons, regardless of colour, gender, national or ethnic origin, culture and religious belief.


If our elected representatives do not abide by this Code of Conduct, they would be censured, disciplined, and held to account by the Australian people. 

We want to live in a harmonious society where embracing differences underpin our relations. We expect our politicians to act as good role models and stand against those spreading hate and division. We need a Code of Conduct to ensure our elected representatives are held to account. 

Please, if you agree - sign and share this petition. Thank you. 

Mohammad Helmy, on behalf of the Islamic Council of Victoria


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