Minority Bingo: One-Time Lawyer Mathew Kenneally Ranks His Favourite Persecuted Peoples


Yesterday was the day after Tuesday. Being a day of the week, it was inevitable someone from the Liberal party’s right wing said something that reminded us our history is alive and on the backbench.

The Liberal right, understandably upset that Tony Abbott has been intimidated into accepting more refugees by the human rights lawyers, demanded that Christians should be our priority.

Eric Abetz said Christians in the middle east are: “the most persecuted group in the world”. Move aside Jews. Stand back, single women. Harden up, Muslims. No disrespect Yazidis (whatever your religion is?), but Christians are number #1.

Abetz argues that it makes sense to take Christians because even after the Shi’a-Sunni sectarian war in the Middle East settles down (presumably next month), Christians will still be persecuted.

While most of us are over the crusades, a significant portion of the LNP is not. Backbenchers told Tony Abbott “no more Muslim men!”

In the past I’ve dabbled in ‘refugee lawyer’. Christian minorities in the Middle East are indeed subject to discrimination and persecution. Converts face particularly serious risks. I represented many Christians, however, I never thought to rank persecuted groups in a league table. Seems dehumanizing and a weird thing to do.

Nevertheless, if LNP right wingers are going to rank their favourite refugees I will too. Besides, responding seriously to Eric Abetz only encourages him to believe he is relevant. Below are my preferred groups of Syrian refugees.



1. Gay people

Gay people are ideal refugees. They are likely to be discriminated against in almost every country in the world.

Even when peace inevitably comes to Syria after Donald Trump nukes it, gay people are unlikely to find acceptance in the post-fall out Middle-East. Nobody is talking about setting up a homosexual homeland in Syria.

There are risks. As Abetz would ask, does Australia want to be known among our Asian neighbours as the gay place? No. Will Muslim men pretend to be godless homosexuals just to set up the caliphate in Australia? No, unless “caliphate” is the ironic name of a night-club, then yes.

Gay people are the least threatening refugees. Unlike religious minorities, the LGBTQI rights movement has never engaged in para-military activity. Gay people show no separate tendencies. There is no prophecy of a queer caliphate, rather, San Francisco is already a reality.

Clear #1.



2. Loose women

I use “loose women” loosely, like ISIS does. It can include women with many sexual partners, women who have sex outside of marriage, those who refuse to get married, or women who happen to wear the wrong thing.

Taking in 10,000 loose women satisfies the most important public policy standard: the pub test. Would a bar of men drinking mid-week support this policy?

Recast as a ‘vulnerable women policy’ it could also win the Left, otherwise known by Mark Latham as “the feminist clique”.

All sides are happy.


Cardinal George Pell, the titular head of Catholics in Australia.
Cardinal George Pell, the titular head of Catholics in Australia.

3. Catholics

I’m a lapsed Catholic. This means I do not believe in God but I believe if there is a God he is a Catholic.

In my personal unbiased opinion, of all the Christians, the Catholics are easily way more persecuted than the Protestants, Presbyterians, Proto-coptics and whatever other non-Catholic sects there might be in Syria.





4. Single men

The decline in Church membership might be striking, but it’s nothing compared to Sydney’s man drought. Lets make it rain men, Syrian men.





5. Star Wars Fans

Star wars fans need urgent and long-term protection.

With December fast approaching it is becoming more and more clear that Syrian star wars fans may not be able to see Episode VII: The Force Awakens.

Further, as Disney is planning another 27 Star Wars films, Syrian fans will need protection in Australia for decades to stay current.

Only Star Wars fans though. No Star Trek fans, everybody knows they struggle to integrate in Australian society.


6. Hipsters

Hipsters remain a marginalized political minority. As no true hipster admits to being a hipster, hipsters are often mocked by their own kind.

Hipsters are 6th priority due to the difficulty of distinguishing between a hipster beard, Christian beard, and Muslim beard.

Mathew Kenneally

Mathew Kenneally is a stand up comedian who moonlights as a lawyer. He's a regular new Matilda columnist and is the co-author with Toby Halligan of the satirical blog Diary Leaks. He is also the co-founder of the topical comedy room Political Asylum.