But Mr Cheng has taken exception at the One Party senator using the murder, last October, to justify her policies. In an open letter to Hanson, published by Fairfax Media, he says he doesn’t know the answer as to why his father was killed and admits the young murderer professed allegiance to the Islamic State.
“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 anti-social extreme acts,” Mr Cheng writes.
“My concern is the linking of this fear and anxiety to the entire Muslim population. We cannot generalise the actions of extreme individuals to encompass that of other successful and law-abiding citizens who happen to be of the same faith.”
His father’s killer, Farhad Jabar, may have been disenfranchised, suggests Mr Cheng, or “brainwashed” due to a sense of alienation of not feeling part of wider Australian society.
“What I do know, is that generalisations and fearful attitudes will only increase this and put more Australians at risk”.
Mr Cheng said his attitude towards Muslims has not changed.
“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.
“As a high school teacher, I have Muslim students and I have met their parents and family. They have the same hopes and dreams of all Australians; to be successful in their lives and enjoy the freedoms we enjoy,” he wrote.
Mr Cheng said he was concerned that a new generation was now feeling the same alienation his family felt when he was younger.
“When I first arrived to Australia, I remember being a victim of the hateful and fearful attitudes that the One Nation Party promoted.
“I remember being told I will be sent back to where I came from. I remember feeling ostracised and isolated from the country and identity with which I had adopted — in harmony with my cultural heritage.
“I do not want the same to happen for the new ‘scapegoats’ in this extreme and simplistic view of society.”
Mr Cheng said he refused to let his father’s death diminish his belief in Australia as a successful multicultural country.
“My dad was a gentle and peaceful man; his name should not be used to promote fear and exclusion”.
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