Awful islamoprop from a Bianca Hall @ Brisbane Times
“Far-right” (?) anti-Islam group the Patriots Defence League will be investigated for claiming to authorities it is an advocacy group for domestic violence victims.
In its application to the Queensland Office of Fair Trading to become an incorporated association, the PDL has claimed its objective is “to raise awareness of womens and childrens [sic] rights and domestic violence against women and children”.
But the league is better known for its virulent anti-Islam campaigns.
The group, which called itself the Australian Defence League until last year, was instrumental in the Reclaim Australia marches, and has chapters in major and regional cities across Australia.
It’s unclear how many members it has, but more than 12,300 people have signed up as fans to its Facebook page.
The league has compared Muslims to cockroaches and rats, campaigns against Halal food, and has organised campaigns against mosques being built across the country including in the Victorian town of Bendigo.
League members and followers have been accused of stalking and intimidating Muslim women wearing hijabs, photographing mosques and harrassing people attending them and becoming involved in a violent brawl outside Sydney’s Lakemba mosque. Members and followers often make violent threats on social media.
The group launched in Australia in 2009 as an offshoot of the British Defence League, an often-violent British street movement.
Its members bristle at any suggestion their beliefs are racist, arguing it is not racist to oppose Islam, as Islam is not a race. Its Facebook page frequently posts about the abuse of children and child marriages, claims Halal-certified food funds terrorism and claims that Sharia law is a “vulgar system of living…[and] a passport to the abuse of women and children”.
One of the benefits of incorporation is that it offers some legal and financial protection for office bearers against legal action taken against the organisation. Without incorporation, those members could be personally liable to pay damages. Incorporation also gives associations to right to apply for private and public funding, claim tax advantages and to allow the association to enter into contracts.
The group was registered as an incorporated association in January 2014, but the Queensland Office of Fair Trading only became aware of the group’s Facebook page and online activities once it was tipped off by a member of the public on social media.
Now, Fair Trading has confirmed to Fairfax Media it is investigating whether the group is “carrying on activities outside of its stated objectives”, and said it is considering withdrawing the league’s status as an incorporated association.
“It is a requirement for associations, when applying for incorporation in Queensland, to state their not-for-profit objectives,” a spokeswoman said.
“The OFT is empowered to cancel an association’s incorporation if it is doing something outside of its written objectives.”
The league was contacted for comment but declined to be interviewed.