Sydney University students say halal not Hanson
Sydney University students say halal not Hanson)

Hundreds of students and staff at Sydney University attended a “Halal not Hanson” barbecue on 14 September. The anti-Islamophobia, anti-Hanson event was organised by Students for Palestine, Sydney University Muslim Students’ Association (SUMSA) and the Socialist Alternative club together with the Social Justice department of the Sydney University Student Representative Council.

On offer were halal sausages along with Halal Snack Packs – which have become synonymous with the rejection of Islamophobia in general and Pauline Hanson in particular. Anti-racist messages were scribbled on a large banner while attendees bombarded a Hanson target with water balloons.

“It was great to see multiple groups on campus working together to create a great event that was met with wide support”, said social justice officer Kim Murphy, who chaired the event.

The timing of the barbecue could not have been better. Hanson gave her maiden Senate speech on the same day. It was riddled with poisonous racism, as you would expect. But SUMSA vice president Hasan Tahir told Red Flag that Hanson was symptomatic of a wider problem: “While challenging Hanson’s outspoken views is important, they are a mere reflection of underlying currents of rampant elitist institutionalised Islamophobia”.

The collaboration of the different student clubs at this event points toward the unity needed to combat Islamophobia in Australia. Students can play an important role in fighting against Pauline Hanson and the far right, as well as the racism coming from the government.

Hanson BBQ

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