IMPARTIALITY QUESTIONED: Anti-Islam Australian lawmaker comes under fire
KUALA LUMPUR: AUSTRALIAN senator Nicholas Xenophon, who was an independent observer at Bersih 3.0 rally last Saturday, has come under scrutiny.
The lawmaker’s independence and neutrality, as well as his views on the rally, have come under scrutiny, particularly in the wake of his past association with opposition leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
In an adjournment speech he made in the Australian Parliament on Nov 17, 2009, the lawmaker was seen to be critical of Islam as well as came out openly in support of “lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issue.
An extract from his speech saw him saying: “What we are seeing is a worldwide pattern of abuse and criminality. On the body of evidence, this is not happening by accident; it is happening by design. Islam is not a religious organisation. It is a criminal organisation that hides behind its so-called religious beliefs.”
The independent senator also questioned whether Islam deserved any support.
In the same adjournment speech, Xenophon, touching on gay same-sex marriage, did not oppose it.
He went on to say other lawmakers would support same-sex marriage and it would eventually be passed as law to allow such unions to take place.
Commenting on the turn of events, Bayan Baru member of parliament Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim said this showed that Xenophon not only was very outspoken against Islam, but also defended the LGBT issue.
“Should we let someone like Xenophon influence our culture and moral values through politics? By confiding in Xenophon, is Anwar also supporting the LGBT movement?” he asked.
“I also challenge Pas’ ulama to question Anwar on why he sought Xenophon as a confidant, as clearly Xenophon stands against Islamic values.”