A second generation Lebanese Christian MP has agreed with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s claim that allowing Lebanese Muslim refugees into Australia in the 1970s was a ‘mistake’.
Michael Sukkar, MP for Deakin in Victoria, backed Mr Dutton after he came under fire last week for suggesting the Fraser government ‘did make mistakes by bringing some people in’ to the country during the 1970s.
When pressed on who he was referring to during question time on Monday, Mr Dutton pointed the finger at Lebanese-Muslim immigrants, stating they were responsible for 66 per cent of Australia’s latest terror offences.
According to The Australian Financial Review, Mr Sukkar told the party room that Mr Dutton’s comments were ‘spot on’ and stressed that voters in his diverse electorate had no tolerance for terrorism.
Another conservative Liberal MP reportedly agreed with Mr Sukkar, saying: ‘We can’t just wish away the issue.’
North Sydney MP Trent Zimmerman told Tuesday’s Coalition party room meeting the recent commentary on Muslim immigration had been ‘unhelpful’, but did not go as far as to name Mr Dutton.
Mr Zimmerman said he was concerned about undoing good relationships that had been formed with migrant communities, the Sydney Morning Herald reported.
However Mr Sukkar, whose father was born in Lebanon, dismissed Mr Zimmerman’s comments, instead throwing his support behind Mr Dutton.
Another MP said Sukkar ‘smashed’ the North Sydney MP on the topic, adding that…