Australia

Labor condemns 'racist' anonymous flyers targeting MP Anne Aly

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Federal Labor says “racist" flyers have been circulated in the Western Australian electorate of MP Anne Aly.

Labor has condemned "racist" flyers that refer to Western Australian MP Anne Aly by her Egyptian name and accuse her of supporting IS. 

The flyers that use her full Egyptian name, Azza Mahmoud Fawzi Hosseini Ali el Serougi, have been distributed in her electorate of Cowan. 

An unclaimed flyer targeting Western Australia Labor MP Anne Aly.
An unclaimed flyer targeting Western Australia Labor MP Anne Aly.
ABC

Dr Aly is the first Muslim woman to be elected to Australia's federal parliament. 

The unclaimed material states Dr Aly once proposed "blasphemy laws like Saudi Arabia" and voted "to weaken our borders". 

A Labor campaign spokesperson called the leaflets "racist".

"This is dirty, this is desperate and this is racist. If the Liberals aren’t involved in something like this, they should rule it out immediately," the spokesperson told SBS News.

Labor have condemned flyers circulated about member for the Western Australian federal seat of Cowan Dr Anne Aly as "racist" and "personal".
Labor have condemned flyers circulated about member for the Western Australian federal seat of Cowan Dr Anne Aly as "racist" and "personal".
AAP

Labor's WA spokesperson Madeline King said the campaign in WA had turned "personal".

"(That) happen when people get desperate … and the lowest denominator in our humanity tends to come out and this is where it lands us in racist, little non-fact sheets that seek to spread misinformation and fear in the community," Ms King told the ABC. 

The flyers also accuse Dr Aly of voting to "release asylum seekers into community detention after 30 days" and "give asylum seekers access to work rights, health care and welfare" when she reportedly stood for the Greens in 2007.

Dr Aly reportedly ran with the Greens as a Senate candidate in 2007, but withdrew before polling day.

WA Labor says it will be reporting the flyers to the Australian Electoral Commission.
WA Labor says it will be reporting the flyers to the Australian Electoral Commission.
ABC

Labor intends to refer the flyers about Anne Aly to the Australian Electoral Commission. 

"It's depressing and a little bit dispiriting to see this kind of material coming out in yet another election campaign," Ms King said.

"We've seen similar things before where they try to link someone's ethnic identity or family heritage in somehow a negative way to make it reflect poorly on them — as if you shouldn't vote for someone who has a different family heritage to you."

A spokesperson for the WA Liberal Party said their party had no involvement in creating or circulating the flyers about Dr Aly.

“All Liberal Party materials are properly authorised as required by law, furthermore, the Liberal Party has had no involvement in printing or distributing this flyer," the spokesperson said.

It comes after Queensland Senator Fraser Anning once again found himself copping flak for using a photo of a grieving family as part of an anti-Muslim attack ad on Facebook.

On Sunday, Senator Anning posted an image saying "If you want a Muslim for a neighbour, just vote Labor", featuring a photo of a Muslim family.

It soon emerged the family pictured was the El-Dennaouis, who were in the news in 2005 when their 19-month-old daughter Rahma went missing from their Sydney Home. The image was taken  by News Corp as the family made a desperate plea for information about Rahma, who was never found.

The post was slammed by social media users.

Some candidates have described the 2019 federal election campaign as the nastiest ever fought, following a string of incidents.

Independent candidate Julia Banks is seeking legal advice after material produced by conservative lobby group Advance Australia called her a "bully".

While former prime minister Tony Abbott complained about a "new level of nastiness" after posters of his head with expletives written across it were found along a busy road in his northern Sydney electorate. 

Who’s running in your electorate? Check out our interactive map

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