Immigration

Raheem Kassam slams 'bigot' Kristina Keneally for 'putting his life in danger'

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Raheem Kassam spent a major portion of his much-publicised Sydney speech attacking just one target - Kristina Keneally.

Controversial right-wing figure Raheem Kassam has accused Labor's Home Affairs spokesperson Kristina Keneally of putting his life in danger, calling her a "bigot".

The British former editor of Breitbart spoke at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Sydney on Friday after Senator Keneally unsuccessfully tried to ban him from visiting Australia.

"She should be ashamed of herself ... There's nothing Christian about silencing your opposition," he said, referring to Senator Keneally's Catholic beliefs.

Labor Senator Kristina Keneally.
Labor Senator Kristina Keneally.
AAP

Mr Kassam said he now feels afraid to "walk down the streets of Sydney" as a result of Senator Keneally's campaign against him.

He blasted the senator and the Australian Labor Party more broadly as a group of "anti-Semites, bigots and racists" for associating with "Britain's anti-Semitic Labour Party".

Addressing hundreds of true believers at the conservative mega-conference, Mr Kassam also took aim at other elements of the left.

He joked about being "triggered" by pronouns and mocked Cricket Australia's recent decision to allow transgender and gender-diverse people to play in whichever team they identify.

"So the new feminism is to let men play all the cricket?" he said to loud laughter.

Mr Kassam‘s offensive and homophobic social media posts prompted Senator Keneally’s call for his visa to be cancelled.

He has described the Quran - Islam's holy book - "fundamentally evil" and said Scottish politician Nicola Sturgeon should have her legs taped shut so she couldn't reproduce.

Senator Keneally said the event and Mr Kassam's attendance was a "normalisation of the extreme right-wing and hate speech in Australia".

Multicultural groups also expressed outrage at Mr Kassam's visit.

"This is a time when we should be working towards bringing Australians closer together and fostering understanding between communities. Allowing Raheem Kassam to enter Australia runs counter to that goal," Mary Patetsos, chairperson for the Federation of Ethnic Communities' Councils of Australia (FECCA), told SBS News last week.

Right-wing activist Raheem Kassam.
Right-wing activist Raheem Kassam.
Getty

A large portion of Mr Kassam's CPAC speech involved criticising Senator Keneally but the ex-Muslim also took aim at Islam.

Mr Kassam recounted starting an anti-radicalisation group to stop people "throwing homosexuals off buildings, FGM (female genital mutilation) and lightly beating your wife".

He said the western world was "becoming a breeding ground for extremism".

But in a rallying cry, he said "take hope because conservative governments are winning" and urged the audience to keep giving the left hell.

Ross Cameron, Mark Latham and Rowan Dean at CPAC.
Ross Cameron, Mark Latham and Rowan Dean at CPAC.
Nick Baker

The CPAC conference was first held in the US in 1974, with Ronald Reagan giving the inaugural keynote speech.

It has since become one of the main events on the US conservative calendar, attracting tens of thousands of people each year.

This is the first time the conference has been held in Australia, with a lineup including Brexit campaigner Nigel Farage, former PM Tony Abbott and former federal Labor leader Mark Latham.

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