Audio interview

'We should be committed to tolerance': race discrimination commissioner

Multiculturalism Immigration Cultural assimilation Muslims Australia

Pauline Hanson is claiming the silent majority supports her controversial call for a ban on Muslim immigration. The latest Essential poll suggests she might be right. 49% of respondents agree Muslims should not be allowed to settle in Australia, while 40 per cent believe they should.

Race Discrimination Commissioner, Tim Soutphommasane, says the figure is a surprisingly high number, and indicates there's a risk unacceptable ideas about race and religion are being normalised.

'There is a section of our community that are fearful about what they perceive as threats to the Australian way of life and culture, and fears they have about integration,' he says.

'But we should not be approaching this from the view of banning certain groups or certain backgrounds, that's not the way for us to achieve better integration and a stronger society.'

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