Dear Hon Luke Foley, leader of NSW Labor party and member for Auburn
I decided to write you this letter because I thought that enough is enough of your party influenced by organisations that falsely claim to have monopoly on Muslim votes in this area and in the state in general. This lie that had lead both your party and other parties to give this organisations undeserved weight and consideration. But what is important for us is the deadly impact of such consideration for organisations that have no significant base and no fans among Muslims of this state.
I will be very detailed in my arguments, and will match all this with facts and numbers.
The Lebanese Moslem Association (LMA) and its allies of mainly extremist organisations played very dirty game in 2011 election to convince you and your opponents that it is very influential organisation and it controls the votes of more than 200,000 voters in the state.
In 2011 election it was very clear that voters of NSW had enough from Labor party and that the party will suffer devastating defeat. For the whole 2010, all opinion polls suggested that Labor will lose any seat with margin of less than 20%. Consequently, all opinion polls were suggesting that Labor party will be reduced in parliament by half.
The LMA played very deceptive and dirty game. They decided to go public and declare that they will support Liberal party to win 2011 election. The Liberal party was going to win the election regardless of LMA position or declaration.
As expected, the Liberal party won every seat where Labor was governing with less than 20% margin. In some seats, Labor lost very safe seats with margin of more than 25%. None of these seats have any significant numbers of Muslim voters.
LMA exercised what should be recorded in Australian politics as “big mouth campaign”. Its president was the biggest mouth of all community and ethnic campaigners and activists. He made the biggest lies and deceptive claims ever.
He, for example, declared without any evidence that his organisation and its allies had cost the Labor party the seat of Granville.
Labor won Granville in 2007 election with less than 8% margin. It was very clear to all political analysts that Labor needs divine intervention to keep Granville. The Muslim voters constitute less than 12% of the seat. There is no shred of evidence that the Shia Afghani and Iraqi voters were influenced by deeply sectarian and tribal Lebanese Moslem Association in that seat. So it should be highly naive from your party or the opposition Liberals to believe that LMA had influenced the change of hands of Granville seat in 2011 election.
If LMA and its allies of extremists were truly influential, they should have enforced change of hands in Lakemba, Auburn, Bankstown, Canterbury or Liverpool. These seats have the highest numbers of Muslims in the state (between 25 – 35% of voters).
Despite the “big-mouth” campaign by LMA and its allies in these seats against your party, your party’s candidates kept all above mentioned seats, some with minimal loss and lower than state trend of swing against your party.
After the 2011 election and the big lies by LMA and its allies, your party has fallen hostage to these lies and deceptions. Your party thought that to win back power will definitely come through winning back the heart of LMA and its allies. When in fact the results of the 2011 election should have given your party clear indication that LMA and its allies are no more than “big-mouth liars” who have no support and no base.
This assumption by your party is the biggest mistake you could have committed in the last few decades. I will talk in details about this later.
This assumption that promoted your predecessor, John Robertson, to parachute candidate nominated and enforced upon your party by LMA in Lakemba. And without divine intervention which enforced John Robertson’s resignation, such mistake could have been repeated in Auburn and Bankstown.
Well, Mr Foley, after the end of 2015 election, I would have thought that your party had conducted thorough evaluation of the whole campaign and its results.
In Lakemba, where your party was succumbed to LMA extortion and ran candidate nominated by this organisation against the decision of rank-and-file who preselected Mr Kal Asfour, did this deal help Labor to regain much of its lost popularity?
The Labor has regained more than 8.5% of its popularity across the state. In Lakemba, where Muslim votes constitutes more than 30% of the population, the new Muslim candidate supported and enforced on Labor by LMA (and its allies of mainly extreme organisations), had won the seat with swing of +11%, ie similar to state trend. Compare this result with the result of your candidate in Bankstown who was subjected to constant attack by LMA and allies. Despite these attacks and the fact that she is not Muslim, she won the seat with swing of more than +10%. So your alliance with LMA in Lakemba did not result in any dramatic increase of vote to your candidate for Lakemba!!!
In fact, the Labor alliance with LMA did not help Labor in winning any seat. On the contrary. The alliance with LMA and its unethical practices resulted in Labor losing many of its traditional voters and members.
I would assume that Labor internal evaluation of deeply disappointed election results should have pointed fingers of the negative impact of Labor alliance with extreme organisations on its disappointing results.
The LMA who get away with their dirty tactics of “big-mouth” campaigns based on lies and deceptions and successfully imposed their candidate on Labor, did not honour its commitment and insisted to unethically betray your party by campaigning against Labor candidates in many seats, including your own seat and neighbouring Bankstown seat. But again. These unethical practices in fact exposed the lies of LMA and its allies. Their campaign against Labor in Auburn and Bankstown saw big backlash against LMA and its allies. The Labor increased its popularity in Bankstown. In Auburn, the slight loss of popularity was insignificant and was due to unrelated reasons. In Auburn, a popular independent candidate got a lot of Labor votes. The re-distribution of the seat boundaries played some role.
Would all the above mentioned factors enough for your party to stop believing the lies and deceptions of LMA? Would all these facts be enough to ignore this extreme organisation that has no support among Muslim voters at all?
We hope that your party will wake up before it is too late. The worrying trend of LMA infiltrating your party had already deep negative impact on your party.
We witnessed the worrying shift of your party’s membership and votes. We can assure you that your party’s alliance with this extreme, sectarian and tribal organisation has costed your party a lot of voters and members. We are well aware that many Shia, Alawi and secular Muslims had deserted your party and voted consistently for your opponents. Our deep worries about the infiltration of highly opportunistic and extreme elements convinced us for the first time in decades to declare that there is no difference between voting for you or for your opponents and deeply conservative Liberal party.
Your party’s superficial evaluation overlooked that the major problem of your party is the loss of direction, loss of brand and loss of commitment to issues and principles. This is why your party strategists think that the solution is by bribing this organisation or winning the heart of this lobby group. While in fact your party could win back much of its lost popularity by shaping up its policies and return to its origin of presenting progressive alternative to deeply regressive conservative opponents.
In regard to your party’s continued alliance with LMA, can you ask yourself the crucial question: what did you achieve by entering alliance with LMA and its allies?
I guarantee you that your party would have won Lakemba seat regardless of the name, background or the colour of skin of the candidate. They tried their best to unseat your candidate in 2011, and they failed. And they failed even though your party was at its lowest popularity ever.
I, and many inside your party, think that your party’s alliance with LMA (and its allies of mainly extremist organisations) will have devastating negative effect on the party. It already caused a lot of division, tension and disloyalty. We think that this organisation’s influence inside your party through the elected MP will increase the division and disharmony.
It seems to many of us that your party is allowing another Eddie Obied’s opportunist faction. I am afraid that this time the damage will be worse. At least Eddie Obied and his Terrigal faction was only about power and money. In the case of LMA faction, it will be mixture of move to accumulate power by spreading extremism, sectarian hate and tribalism. Did you notice that LMA (who claims to represent all Muslims in the state) lobbied for your party to run only Muslims from North Lebanese (Sunni) background?
You need to read some of latest Wikileaks documents to discover that your party is influenced by extremist policy of Saudi Arabia, through LMA members and supporters influence inside your party.
We hope that your party will wake up, before another disappointing defeat. This time on Federal level.