President Donald Trump’s freeze on immigrants from Muslim nations is a horrific affront to basic human rights – as of Monday morning, here’s what Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has said in response:
At the time of original publication, some two days since the executive order was signed, Malcolm Turnbull has not uttered a single word about the unconscionable, destructive and wildly baseless policy that’s mortified the world.
UPDATE 1:20PM: Turnbull has finally made a statement – as you can see, it’s about as forceful as silence
As thousands of refugees are left stranded in war-zones, and Americans are barred from returning home because they’re brown, Turnbull has abjectly failed to show the faintest sign of moral conviction, leadership or courage.
Meanwhile, in literally everywhere else in the entire world, heads of state have condemned Trump’s actions.
Canadian PM Justin Trudeau greeted Syrian refugees at the airport, German Chancellor Angela Merkel scolded the President, and even Theresa May, who just met with Trump, eventually said she opposed the policy.
Some might point to diplomacy as reasons for his silence, as he seeks to make sure his refugee settlement agreement with the US remains in tact.
But good diplomacy isn’t cowering to fear or abandoning your principles – it’s the opposite.
And if a soft touch is needed, a simple message of tolerance and support to the Muslim community without directly attacking Trump would have gone a long way to a group of Australians already marginalised enough at home.
The entire nation of Australia breathed a sigh of relief when Turnbull assumed the Prime Ministership – ‘finally, an adult in Kirribilli’, we thought.
He was intent on reversing climate change, supported LGBTQI rights and advocated for a more compassionate and rational brand of conservatism.
But whether it be safe schools, gay marriage, immigration or environmental policy – the electorate has been let down by a Prime Minister unwilling to defy a gaggle of hard-right neanderthals in the back corner of the party room.
Now that same feckless leadership style has reared its head in foreign policy.
When your country is looking to you for leadership, you shouldn’t be looking over your shoulder to see if Donald Trump is listening.
We come first.
In October last year, Turnbull told Parliament,
“Everyone sitting in this chamber and every Australian is a beneficiary of the diversity that is at the heart of our nation.
The resolution of this conflict within Islam will ultimately depend on Muslims, but in the meantime the Islamist terrorists have succeeded in raising levels of anxiety about Muslim immigration, about the role of Islam itself within Australia.”
So now when that same anxiety is at its highest point in history, you refuse to condemn it?
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The silence is deafening, Mr Turnbull.