Speaking out against bigotry
AJDS member Linda Briskman and her friend Susie Latham, through the newly formed Voices Against Bigotry network (VAB), are raising awareness of the forthcoming launch of an anti-Muslim political party – The Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA). With increasing community vitriol against Muslims in Australia, government and media actions are fuelling verbal and physical attacks. Although overtly Islamophobic groups such as Reclaim Australia receive publicity, it is institutionalised racism that is VAB’s concern. Through generating fear of Muslim ‘values’ and Muslim ‘terrorists’, governments reap populist support for raids on Muslim households, arrests with scant evidence and proposals to introduce draconian laws, including erasure of citizenship, at one time unthinkable in this country. In collusion, powerful newspaper outlets fuel this propaganda war. The Australian last month relentlessly published what it said was ‘an open-minded but unflinching series of articles analysing Muslim Australia’. The ALA adopts policies enshrined in the anti-Muslim Q Society’s document: ‘12 practical steps to stop Islamisation’. Among its targets are mosques, Islamic schools, Muslim migration and Halal food. Disturbingly, notorious anti-Muslim crusader politician, Geert Wilders, will be the guest of honour at ALA’s October launch in Perth. Linda and Susie call on community members to sign up to the declaration that condemns vilification of Muslims. This can be found at www.voicesagainstbigotry.com.