Just under 500 people braved a hot and humid day in Sydney to send a message to both US president Donald Trump and Australian prime minister Malcolm Turnbull that refugees and Muslims were welcome in their country.
The rally on Saturday, February 4 was organised by the Refugee Action Coalition in response to the newly imposed ban on people from seven Muslim-majority countries entering the United States as well as a temporary halt to accepting any refugees making their way to the country.
It is believed that up to thousands of Australia dual national citizens could be affected by what has been dubbed the ‘Muslim ban’.
NSW Greens MP Mehreen Faruqi said it was to Australia’s shame that its government was one of the only few across the Western world that has not condemned president Trump’s travel ban.
“The sexism, the misogyny, the xenophobia, the racism, the bigotry that has personified Trump’s life and his election campaign is not just going to go away now that he is the president of the United States,” Ms Faruqi said.
The rally took place only a few days after a phone call between president Trump and PM Turnbull made worldwide headlines after the new leader of the United States reportedly said it was his “worst” phone call with any world leader.
Trump then referred to a refugee deal that would have seen asylum seekers on Manus Island and Nauru re-settled in the United States as “dumb” and requiring a re-think.
Muslim community advocate, Ahmed Aboushabana, from Mission of Hope, said it was likely Trump would make more terrorists and refugees with his ban on Muslims travelling to the US.
“They ban refugees from countries that they’ve held organised coups in the first place,” he said.
“They ban refugees from countries that they’ve helped placed dictators and muppets in the first place. They ban refugees from countries they have bombed, invaded and displaced millions of citizens in the first place.”
Many in attendance at the rally were united in the belief that it was now time for the Australian Government to bring the refugees on Manus Island and Nauru to Australia for processing and resettlement rather than work on any deal with the United States.