Right wing group ‘Patriot Blue’ has been widely condemned for a racist verbal attack on Iranian-born Labor Senator Sam Dastyari.
Members of the group approached Senator Dastyari in a Melbourne pub, calling him a terrorist and little monkey and demanding to know if he was a Muslim. They filmed the incident and posted it on their Facebook page.
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said there was no place for racial vilification in Australia and Opposition Leader Bill Shorten said he was disgusted by the “ugly” incident.
But One Nation leader Senator Pauline Hanson claimed Senator Dastyari was a “pipsqueak” who was using the incident to “plug his new book”, which is titled tongue-in-cheek One Halal of a Story.
Far-right campaigner and convicted stalker Neil Erikson told ABC radio: “Sam’s a strong bloke, he’s got a thick skin, he’s been in politics for a long time”.
Are politicians fair game for such attacks or should any racial slur made public be punishable?