Conservatives MPs call for Saudi snub and potential Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup boycott after major concerns about Islam’s clash with Australian values like a minutes’ silence to honour Australian victims of Islamic terrorism
Australian Conservatives: Saudi snub warrants immigration policy review as Australians ‘have had a gutful’
SA Conservative Senator Cory Bernardi says the Saudi football team should go and play “somewhere else” after members refused to observe a minute’s silence before the World Cup qualifier in Adelaide last night.
Another SA Australian Conservatives politician, Dennis Hood, went a step further to say the incident warranted a reassessment of the country’s immigration policy.
One Nation Leader Pauline Hanson described the Saudi players’ behaviour as “a total disgrace”.
Senator Hanson wrote on Facebook: “Why is it that everyone’s culture must be respected except our own?
“How anyone can justify not observing a minutes silence for the victims of the London bombing, including the two Australian girls, is beyond me.
“A total disgrace.”
The outrage was sparked when the Socceroos gathered around the centre circle on Thursday night before kick-off to pay their respects to the victims of the recent terror attacks in London.
The Australian team lined up with their arms interlocked to observe the tribute. But the Saudi Arabian team refused to line up opposite their opponents.
An angry Senator Bernardi said Australians had had a “gutful” of people from Middle Eastern backgrounds failing to respect the nation’s values.
“If this sort of behaviour is endorsed by the Saudi Government, then we should have to consider this as a significant diplomatic incident,” Senator Bernardi said.
“I’m tired of having to accept this sort of disrespect both on our home soil and yet at the same time being told we have to respect the cultural differences emanating from the Middle East.
“The Australian people have had a gutful.
“If they will not respect our values and our culture, well they can go and play football somewhere else.”
Senator Bernardi also questioned whether Australia should boycott the 2022 World Cup, which will be held in Qatar — a country he said was a state sponsor of terrorism.
“A corrupt process gave the World Cup to Qatar,” he said.
“Qatar is a state sponsor of terrorism. They do not accept the freedoms or the values that are inherent in the west.
“And I think we’ve got to ask ourselves why we would we even consider participating in a sport event under such a banner.”
Senator Bernardi quit the Liberal Party last year and later founded the Australian Conservatives.
SA Australian Conservatives MLC Dennis Hood said the actions of the Saudi team was “utterly disgraceful” and called for a review of Australia’s immigration policy.
“There is no excuse to not pay respect to the innocent victims of these heinous acts of terrorism right around the world,” he said.
“This just shows how incompatible some brands of Islamic culture are with western values.
“There can be no excuse for this.
“Our cultures are now at as crossroads — we must determine as Australians if we should reassess our immigration policy based on what appears to be absolutely incompatible cultural values.”
His colleague MLC Robert Brokenshire also condemned the snub.
“Saudi Arabia needs to understand as much as the rest of the world that terrorism is an evil act and whether its government leadership or sports leadership the world needs to combine and do everything they can prevent what is clearly increasing terrorism activity,” he said.
“If I was in Saudi Arabia and they decided there to have a minute’s silence, I would respect that as I am in their country.”
Premier Jay Weatherill this morning said the incident was “deeply regrettable”.
“I note the Saudi Arabian Football Federation has apologised, which I think is entirely appropriate,” he said.
While senior Labor frontbencher Anthony Albanese also slammed the Saudi players: “That was a disgraceful lack of respect not just for the two Australians killed, one of whom was a young South Australian, all of those victims of that terror attack in London. There is no excuse here,” he told Today.
Malcolm Turnbull was asked by reporters in Hobart about the incident, he said he hadn’t seen the video but it had been raised with him. “The whole world, the whole free world is united in condemnation of that terrorist attack and terrorism generally,” he said, without directly criticising the Saudi players.
“Everybody, everyone should be united in condemnation with the terrorists and love, and sympathy and respect for the victims and their families.”