The Daily Telegraph
October 13 2015
PENRITH backbencher Fiona Scott has been slammed on social media after she claimed there had been “one little incident over 100 years” involving the Islamic community.
The federal member for Lindsay’s claim was made just days after the horrific Parramatta terrorist attack, less than a year after the Martin Place siege and a decade after the Pendennis plot.
Ms Scott made the claim in a Sky News interview at the weekend and the backlash became so bad her office removed the interview from her Facebook account.
Her comments caused a Twitter storm yesterday with claims she had insulted the family of the Parramatta victim Curtis Cheng.
When talking about relations with the Islamic community in Australia, Ms Scott said: “We’ve had 100 years, more than a century of relationships with our Islamic communities, where it’s lived quite peacefully and one little incident over 100 years has been what we have had.”
The social media response to the comment was ferocious.
One commenter said: “You are kidding Fiona, what an insult to the family and Australians.” Another asked: “Is this how current govt view the slaughter of Aust people.”
Ms Scott angrily denied the suggestion she was referring to the Parramatta attack during the interview. “To suggest I was referring to recent events in Martin Place and Parramatta is offensive and ridiculous,’’ she said in a statement.
“I was referring to an event in Broken Hill a century ago.”
Ms Scott had earlier made reference to Afghan cameleers who were among the first Muslims in Australia and who had the Ghan train named in their honour after their work on the iconic rail line.
She referenced them to highlight the long history of the cultures, but never mentioned the Battle of Broken Hill a century ago — an incident in which two men killed four people at a community picnic.
The Turnbull government has been criticised for a softer national security approach to that of Tony Abbott. Mr Turnbull was slammed for launching an app rather than addressing terrorism on the morning of terror raids in Sydney last week that followed the Parramatta attack.
His office did not comment on Ms Scott yesterday, but Mr Turnbull made a national security statement to parliament yesterday where he said national security was his top priority.
“The fact this atrocity was perpetrated by a 15-year-old boy reminds us that this must be a first order priority for all of us, every one of us.’