Pauline Hanson
A protester casts his shadow across a poster displaying Australia's far-right politician Pauline Hanson during a rally organised to show support for the 'Black Lives Matter' movement, following recent police shootings in the U.S., in central Sydney, Australia, July 16, 2016. Reuters/David Gray

The son of the slain NSW police department accountant Curtis Cheng has written an open letter to Senator Pauline Hanson, asking her to stop using his father’s death to further his anti-Muslim agenda.

Cheng was killed by 15-year-old Farhad Khalil Mohammad Jabar in October 2015 outside the New South Wales Police Force headquarters in Parramatta. The shooter was an Iranian-born teenager who was learnt to have visited a lecture by extremist Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. Jabar was fatally shot by the police who responded to the shooting.

Hanson, whose One Nation Party has been advocating the ban of Muslims in Australia, has been citing Cheng’s death as reason to promote their opposition to Muslim migration. Last week while appearing on ABC’s “Q&A” program, she made several references to Cheng’s death, linking the incident to Muslim extremism in the country.

Alpha Cheng wouldn’t want Hanson to take advantage of his father’s demise and promote her agenda, though. In an open letter published by Fairfax Media on Monday, Alpha said that while he didn’t know why Jabar killed his father, Hanson shouldn’t use the killer’s faith to generalise the Muslim population. He told Hanson that it’s “simplistic” to link terrorism with all Muslims.

“My father was murdered by a 15-year-old boy. I cannot deny the fact that the perpetrators professed to be followers of Islamic States,” he wrote. “However, it does not follow from these facts that Muslims should be feared. It was not the boy’s faith that has caused his action. He was using his faith as an excuse for violent and antisocial extreme acts.”

Alpha said that perhaps Jabar was brainwashed by forces outside Australia. However, what Hanson is doing is only putting Australians at risk.

“What has happened to my family does not change my relationship with Muslims in my life. One of my closest friends is a Muslim, but his friendship and his care during the toughest time in my life is the measure of him as a person and not his background faith,” he continued.

Alpha, who is a high school teacher by profession, recalled being a victim of fearmongering promoted by the One Nation Party and directed at minorities when he was younger. He remembered being told to go back to where he came from because he was Asian. He was ostracised and isolated from Australia because of his cultural heritage.

“I do not want the same to happen for the new ‘scapegoats’ in this extreme and simplistic view of society. I refuse to let dad’s tragic death and the fearful attitudes that are growing to lessen my belief that we are a successful multi-cultural and multi-faith society. We need to look how we can heal and build; not how we can divide and exclude. My dad was a gentle and peaceful man; his name should not be used to promote fear and exclusion,” he concluded.

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