Australian-Iranian Senator racially abused in Melbourne

Nov 09, 2017, 12:21 IST | IANS

An Iranian-born Australian Senator has been racially abused by members of a far-right group in Melbourne.

An Iranian-born Australian Senator has been racially abused by members of a far-right group in Melbourne.

Sam Dastyari, the Senator representing New South Wales (NSW) for the Australian Labour Party (ALP), was abused by members of the Patriot Blue group in a city bar here on Wednesday night, Xinhua news agency reported.

A video of the incident posted on social media by Patriot Blue shows the men surrounding Dastyari while abusing him.

"You terrorist, you little monkey," they said.

"Why don't you go back to Iran, you terrorist?"

Dastyari fired back at the men, calling them racists to which they replied: "What race is Islam? We are the real Australians. Look at this terrorist."

Speaking about the incident on Thursday, the Senator said he would consult with his family before deciding if he would pursue legal action against the men.

"There is a rise in the extreme right and there is a rise of white nationalism and it needs to be called out," he said on Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) radio.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull on Thursday said there was "zero tolerance" for racism.

"There is no place for racial vilification in Australia," Turnbull said on Australian breakfast television.

"We are the most successful multicultural society in the world and that is because... our society is built on a foundation of respect," said Turnbull.

"We should have zero tolerance for racism and racist abuse like that," he added.

Dastyari was at the bar for an event that provided young people with an opportunity to speak openly about politics.

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