The head of a new anti-Islamic Australian political party says members are vilified as bigots and shut down in mainstream channels if they speak out against the religion.
The Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) had its WA launch on Saturday night at the Perth Convention Centre, calling for an end to “Islamisation of Australia” and guarantees of free speech, finishing one leg of what organisers said was a national tour leading up to the next federal election.
Almost 200 hundred people attended the event, which had Senate candidates from across the state address the crowd on their policies and values.
ALA director and WA Senate candidate Debbie Robinson said members were all passionate about their beliefs and deserved the right to express them.
“If this is not allowed to progress through the normal democratic, political channels, and people are constantly told that they’re not understanding Islam, you don’t know what you’re talking about, one day there will be anarchy,” she said.
“I’m not saying anyone here would do that.”
These people here … they’re not a bunch of redneck racist bogans, they’re very informed intelligent people, they understand completely what Islam is about, and we’re being talked to like fools.
She said it had been difficult to secure advertising and coverage in the mainstream media was often “biased”.
“If you do say something that no one agrees with you’re labelled a bigot or called a name, and you’re shot down in flames,” she said.
“These people here … they’re not a bunch of redneck racist bogans, they’re very informed intelligent people, they understand completely what Islam is about, and we’re being talked to like fools.”
In her speech Mrs Robinson said while the party had more than one policy, Islam was the greatest threat facing the world at the moment.
“We have so much to be thankful for here in Australia,” she told the crowd.
“But we must never take our liberty for granted. Make no mistake – Islam is at war with us.”
The party has pledged to “stop the Islamisation of Australia”, ban full-face coverings in public spaces and introduce a ten-year moratorium on immigration from Organisation of Islamic Cooperation countries.
‘Political correctness, manners’ among party concerns
Senate candidate for NSW Kirralie Smith said political correctness was the greatest enemy that everyday Australians were facing.
She said while the party supported a multi-ethnic society it was multiculturalism that was the problem.
“It is divisive and it’s censored,” she said.
“Australia has a good history of debating all the ‘isms’, of taking part in debate. But now we’re facing this problem where we’re not allowed to talk about them.”
She finished that particular part of her address with the words, ‘I am going to criticise Islam’, to a round of raucous applause from the audience.
Along with raising concerns over Islam and more specifically the Koran and sharia law, candidates voiced their frustration over the current government, the education system, the media, the Defence Force and made calls to “bring back manners”.
The ALA was founded in October 2015 with controversial Dutch politician Geert Wilders flown over for the official launch, which also attracted protests.
The address for Saturday night’s campaign launch was kept secret, with members and supporters told of the location only a day before.
Mrs Robinson said the party was working on fielding two Senate candidates for each state.
“We’ve got a long-term strategy,” she said. “We’ve got to build slowly, part of our strength is to take our time and grow gradually.
“I think it’s really important that we have a party like this to provide an alternative and swing politics back to where it needs to be.”