A senior Islamic cleric said community support for the ALP would be withdrawn if unionist Paul Howes took a senate seat expected to be left vacant by Bob Carr, in an email sent to Labor MPs.
Reported by the Australian Financial Review, the email was written on behalf of Grand Mufti of Australia Ibrahim Abu Mohammed, who accused Howes of a pro-Israel bias.
The email was reportedly sent to Jason Clare, the member for Blaxland, Tony Burke, the member for Watson, Julie Owens, the member for Parramatta, and Ed Husic, the member for Chifley, who all have a strong Islamic communities in their electorates.
From the Fin’s report, here’s an extract of the email:
Paul has had a repeated pattern of blind bias toward Israel. His appointment would not at all help the engagement effort between the ALP and the wider Muslim community.
As you know we have worked very hard to marshal our community to support and successfully retain the majority of ALP seats in Western Sydney against all odds, and the choice of Paul will threaten our efforts to maintain this momentum, especially if new elections are called in the next year.
I urge you to help us help you and present our concerns to the decisionmakers at the ALP so they realise the potential consequences of such a controversial choice.
Howes has never bee to Israel. He released a statement denying any bias.
Read more here.