One Nation’s Malcolm Roberts Accused Waleed Aly Of Condoning Terrorism On ‘The Project’

Ugh. This guy.

Malcolm Roberts

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One Nation Senator Malcolm Roberts has used an appearance on The Project to defend his party’s claims that Australia is being “swamped” by Muslims. To the surprise of absolutely no one who has ever heard this man speak, it wasn’t the most enlightening experience.

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Addressing controversial statements made by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson, as well as the horrifying results of yesterday’s Essential Poll showing that nearly 50 percent of respondents approved of a ban on Muslim migration, fill-in host Hamish MacDonald asked Roberts to provide statistics to support his party’s position, asking “how fast are the numbers [of Muslims in Australia] growing?”

“I don’t know that, we’ve got an advisor who goes into all of that,” replied the Senator. Off to a good start.

“What we need to focus on is whether Islam is an ideology or a religion,” said Roberts. “It’s quite clear in our mind that it’s an ideology, and it doesn’t fit with our culture. It disrespects women. Think of the way gays are treated in the Middle East. Surely you’re not in favour of that are you?”

At this point panelist Gretel Killeen chimed in, saying “I really don’t that’s a good reference point considering [gay people] don’t have the right to marry here.”

But Roberts wasn’t done. Asked by Peter Hellier whether he’d like to see Muslims deported – the comedian quipped that maybe Waleed Aly, who was off sick, could get a job on “breakfast TV in Syria” – Roberts  responded by saying “no, but it would certainly be nice if Waleed condemned and didn’t condone Islamic terrorism.”

Accusing Muslims and people of Middle Eastern heritage of failing to condemn extremists is a fairly common play by conservatives, and was a much-loved tactic of Tony Abbott. For the record, and not that it is in any way his job to do this, but Aly has spoken about terrorism on The Project before, slamming ISIS in the wakes of the Paris terror attacks. But why let the truth, or basic decency, get in the way of a good story?

This whole saga also speaks to the depressing lack of diversity in the Australian media. Waleed Aly deserves a night off without being accused of condoning terrorism, and Muslim Australians deserve to have more than one voice speaking for them on TV.