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Australia should take off hypocritical mask, tackle violation of Muslims’ rights: China

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian speaks at a regular press conference in Beijing on July 23, 2021. (Photo by the Chinese Foreign Ministry)

China has censured Australia for practicing hypocrisy and holding double standards on the human rights issue, urging Canberra to take off its hypocritical mask of a “human rights lecturer” and fight the rights violation of Muslims.

“We urge Australia to take off its hypocritical mask of ‘human rights lecturer’, reflect upon itself and earnestly tackle the human rights issues of Australian Muslims, rather than slander other countries under the cover of concern for Muslims' human rights,” Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Zhao Lijian said at a regular press conference on Friday.

The Australian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) in its recently released Sharing the Stories of Australian Muslims Report 2021 found that the country’s Muslim communities have experienced widespread discrimination. One in four, that is 23 percent, survey respondents said they felt unable to speak up or act when they experienced discrimination.

Zhao said the report pointed out that 80 percent of respondents said they have "experienced some form of unfavorable treatment based on their religion, race or ethnicity" in public places such as shopping centers and prayer spaces.

The report, issued by the AHRC on July 20, also revealed that 79 percent of Australian Muslims are afraid of an act of terror on their community.

The Chinese spokesman also mentioned a study by the Australian National University that found that job seekers in Australia with West Asian names need to submit over 50 percent more applications to be granted the same opportunities as an applicant with an Anglo-sounding name.

He added that many respondents say they experienced increasing harassment from extremists, which has taken a toll on their sense of safety.

The study also revealed that some right-wing politicians in Australia, driven by personal political gains, often make irresponsible remarks on the Muslim community, misleading public perception and leading directly to an increase of violent and terrorist incidents targeting Australian Muslims.

Zhao emphasized that it is “beyond preposterous” that certain Australian politicians for some time resorted to lies and bias and wantonly criticized the human rights conditions of Muslims in China's Xinjiang region and blatantly smeared and maligned China.

“They are in no position to do this,” he pointed out.

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