A man who used Facebook to issue a death threat against a Labor politician may face investigation by the Australian Federal Police (AFP) after he wrote “I would love to kill you and your poison family” to newly elected MP Dr Anne Aly.
An AFP spokesman confirmed they were “aware of alleged threats made to a Federal MP”.
Allegations of threats to Australian office holders are taken seriously,” the spokesperson said. “The AFP is currently evaluating the information, therefore it would not be appropriate to comment further.”
Aly, a counter-terrorism expert and academic, became Australia’s first female Muslim MP in July after she won the West Australian seat of Cowan for Labor, defeating former Liberal MP Luke Simpkins.
Egyptian-born Aly has been targeted with abuse after she criticised immigration minister Peter Dutton for saying the late Liberal prime minister Malcolm Fraser made “mistakes in bringing some people in, in the 1970s” as refugees, especially Lebanese-Muslims, who the minister said were most often charged with terror-related offences.
Aly said today that she’d had “some rather nasty emails”.
“I had one saying that ‘Peter Dutton is correct and that I need to [go] home and take all my terrorist friends with me’,” she said.
“Now if I’m getting those kinds of emails, you can be sure that there are people out there in the communities, people out there in Liberal-held seats of Arab, or Muslim, or Lebanese background, or just any kind of migrant background who are also going to be getting comments like that in the streets. And we don’t need that in this country.”
Aly said she was used to such abuse and had a pretty thick skin.
“I can handle it. But there are a lot of people out there who I think will be much more affected by it,” she said.
The Facebook comments could land the man responsible in jail. Earlier this year, Chris Nelson, 64, a chiropractor from the Central Coast, 90 minutes north of Sydney, pleaded guilty to abusing former Olympian and ALP senator Nova Peris on Facebook. He received an eight-month suspended sentence, was fined $2,500 and given a two-year good behaviour bond, having initially denied writing the posts, which called Peris a “black c—”, telling her to “f— off”.
Aly’s tormentor also commented on a separate post, saying “Your [sic] a worthless cancer on this country you and your Koran [sic] can f– off the sooner your [sic] dead the better this place will be. All Muslims will die”.
The man, who appears to be from Queensland, and claims to have been a driver in the Australian Army in the 1990s, was taken to task by several people on Facebook, responding subsequently that: “If you had seen the things I’ve seen you would feel the same if you are human I’ve seen this going on I thought only animals would do but I wish I hadn’t and was as innocent as you lot still”.
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