Fraser’s “close our borders” comments get mixed reactions
THE public has not responded unanimously to Member for Coffs Harbour Andrew Fraser's "close our borders" Facebook post at the weekend after the Paris terror attacks.
The call came after it was revealed one terrorist involved in the attacks posed as a Syrian refugee.
Mr Fraser said essential screening should be re-evaluated before the arrival of 12,000 Syrian refugees to Australia.
"I support the influx of refugees in Australia but let's make sure what ever filters we put in are strong enough so we don't get terrorists in the mix," he said.
"We have a crisis in the Middle East at the moment, in the interim, we need to close our borders and make sure that the filters are good enough."
Mr Fraser said he had an overwhelming number of emails and phone calls over the weekend in support of his call.
Others, including Refugee Council of Australia president Phil Glendenning have hit out at Mr Fraser's comments, calling them "a knee-jerk reaction" to the attacks.
"If anything, what we learned from Paris over the weekend is that this is a very clear example of what the refugees are running away from," Mr Glendenning said.
He emphasised the effectiveness of refugee screening in Australia and said the nation has nothing to fear.
"There's a long-standing process of professional organisations who do this work and they've been doing it for years and years ... that's why it takes a long time because it needs to be done properly," he said.
"Australia has shown that when it takes refugees from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees Humanitarian Program they make excellent and magnificent Australians,
"They need protection they don't need demon- isation - Australia has nothing to fear from refugees."
Mr Glendenning said the "not every Muslim is a terrorist but every terrorist is a Muslim" rhetoric referenced by Former One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and Mr Fraser ignored other non-Muslim groups around the world that have committed acts of terror such as the Hutu militia, also known as the Interahamwe, in Rwanda in the 1990s.
"It's just ignorant, silly and divisive and doesn't help anyone and it also ignores the reality of the many other groups across the world who have engaged in terrorist activity over the years who are not Muslim," he said.