The son of the police accountant murdered outside of a Parramatta police station has told Pauline Hanson to stop referencing his father alongside her party’s policies on Muslim people.
Alpha Cheng, a Canberra school teacher and the son of Curtis Cheng, said his family had suffered from the “hateful and fearful attitudes” of Ms Hanson’s One Nation party when they first arrived in Australia.
He used an open letter to Fairfax Media to say that, despite his father’s murder at the hands of a 15-year-old who professed allegiance to ISIS, he had not changed his own relationships with Muslim friends.
“We cannot generalise the actions of extreme individuals to encompass that of other successful and law-abiding citizens who happen to be of the same faith,” Alpha Cheng wrote.
“My father was murdered by a 15-year-old boy. I cannot deny the fact that the perpetrators professed to be followers of Islamic State.”
“It was not the boy's faith that has caused his action. He was using his faith as an excuse for violent and antisocial extreme acts.”
Mr Cheng said his family had personal experience scapegoating “in this extreme and simplistic view of society” promoted by politicians and commentators who shared views like Ms Hanson’s.
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He said his family had felt directly targeted by One Nation in the mid 1990s, when Pauline Hanson famously declared her fear that “Australia was at risk of being flooded by Asians”.
“I refuse to let dad's tragic death and the fearful attitudes that are growing to lessen my belief that we are a successful multi-cultural and multi-faith society,” Alpha Cheng wrote.
“My dad was a gentle and peaceful man; his name should not be used to promote fear and exclusion.”
Curtis Cheng, 58, was shot dead by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar as he walked out of Parramatta Police Headquarters on Friday, October 2, 2015.
Jabar was shot dead by security guards in the aftermath.
Alpha Cheng’s letter comes after Ms Hanson declared she had seen a groundswell of support from Australians who share her views on Islam following her controversial appearance on the ABC’s Q&A last week.
"We know for a fact that the young 15-year-old who killed Curtis Cheng got the gun from a mosque," she said on the program, before telling AAP the following day she had received positive feedback on her appearance.
"People are just saying 'please don't give up, you are there as a voice for us'. This is not an issue I'll allow to be buried under the carpet," the One Nation leader told AAP on Tuesday.
"You hear the prime minister going on about border protection. But this is within our borders now. This is our greatest danger."