In the midst of Q&A’s discussion on free speech, Zara Bilal, a young Australian Muslim woman, asked the panel how society and government should respond to hateful messages shared by US President Donald Trump via Twitter.
Most of the panellists offered a range of responses that condemned Trump’s actions, however Simon Breheny dismissed Bilal’s question, attempting to discuss US tax policy instead. Labor Party Senator Lisa Singh called Breheny out for his disrespectful question dodging, and Twitter was there to back her up.
To Zara on tonight's #qanda – much of Australia still stands with you. Do not lose heart, no matter how much hated is directed at you by narrow minds.
— Sir Autumn Mandrake (@AutumnMandrake) December 4, 2017
Zara, you are Australian. You are loved and valued, my friend and compatriot. #QandA
— Jinho Choi ? (@GoldenTalon) December 4, 2017
Well done Zara Australia loves you. #qanda
— Yigal Kedem (@yigal_kedem) December 4, 2017
Host Tony Jones attempted to steer the discussion back towards Bilal’s question, which led to this emotional response from the young woman.