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Xenophobia is not the answer

By Dilan Thampapillai - posted Friday, 22 July 2016

I wonder if ‘as a mother’ Sonia Kruger has heard of Tara Costigan and Marcus Rappel. Costigan was murdered by her ex-partner a day after she took out a domestic violence order. I wonder if ‘as a mother’ Sonia Kruger has considered that honour killings in countries like Pakistan might not actually be greatly dissimilar in substance to all the other intimate partner and family killings in Australia and other Western nations. After all, in these cases a man decides to kill a woman because he feels that she has slighted him. The nature and structure of the violence might not be the same between the different societies, but the core notion of male entitlement and consequent violence remains essentially the same.

More importantly, ‘as a mother’ has Sonia Kruger ever thought that Marcus Rappel or the other men like him, might be representative of all Anglo-Australian males? Such a thought would obviously be ridiculous. We know this because there are literally millions of everyday examples of decent Anglo-Australian men that demonstrate that it is ridiculous. 

Why then would any intelligent person go on live television and advocate banning all Muslims from entering Australia?


Nobody is denying that there is a problem with radical Islam. Nobody is unconcerned by ISIS. Every decent person is immensely saddened by what happened in Nice.

Yet, it beggars belief that anybody would ascribe the actions of radical terrorists to every Muslim. Leaving aside the fact that there are major cultural differences between Muslim societies, it is simply not tenable to think that each member of the Muslim faith is a threat. The actions of a few do not define 1.6 billion people.

I doubt that Sonia Kruger is blessed with a great deal of natural intelligence.

If she was then perhaps she might have remembered that the first victim in Nice was an elderly Muslim woman.

I wonder how her family would feel about Sonia’s ‘reaction’.

In the aftermath of Sonia’s statement, a gallant Waleed Aly spoke out against the ‘cycle of outrage’. Aly’s point was that we should try to understand where Sonia was coming from and to forgive her.


For her part Sonia’s explanation was that the image of a dead child ‘shocked her to the core’.

Apparently, that is why she came out with a statement that would not have been out of place in Germany in the 1930’s. Worse still, quite a number of Australians supported her.

Let’s not worry about the fact that previous images of deceased brown children have not sparked a similar emotional reaction in public from her.

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About the Author

Dilan Thampapillai is a lecturer with the College of Law at the Australian National University. These are his personal views.

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