READERS have been having a heated debate on The Bulletin and on Facebook this morning about whether or not the Reclaim Australia Rally planned for this weekend is racist.
Jeff Crager - I find it ridiculous that people are up in arms over the non existent threat that Muslims are to our way of life and that they are actually out rallying about it.
What about the real threat that hydraulic fracking is bringing to Australia? Why aren't they up in arms and rallying about that?
It is only endangering the massive underground water supply that most farmers and land holders rely on for a living and we rely on for food.
That is a bigger threat to our way of life than any imagined religious threat.
Jenifer Price - I think it is very unAustralian. Being multicultural is part of our culture!
Ben Dickenson - Never mind the long history of racial clashes starting with the fighting between the English settlers and the Irish Catholic immigrants. History would indicate this is very Australian.
Read more Facebook comments here:
6am: AN EXPERT in nationalism says a rally planned for Rockhampton this weekend is an example of "new racism" in practice.
Organisers of Saturday's Reclaim Australia Rally are expecting more than 200 people to attend the event, planned for Rockhampton's Central Park.
Organisers said the rally would be "peaceful" and was open to "all Australians".
A website for the national event said its aims included stopping enforcement of Sharia law, ban Halal certification, encourage pride in the Australian flag and anthem at school, ban the teaching of Islam in public schools and ban the burqa and head coverings.
The event is part of a nation-wide campaign, with rallies planned in capital cities and regional centres including Mackay and Hervey Bay.
The website states the rallies are "being used to show the people of Australia we have had enough of minorities not fitting in and trying to change our Australian cultural identity".
Detective Inspector Darrin Shadlow yesterday said a permit application that had been lodged for the rally was still under consideration.
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Det Insp Shadlow said people who attended any rally had to follow the conditions of the permit.
Dr Peter Gale from the University of South Australia said events like the Reclaim Australia Rally sought to tap into underlying fears around immigration.
He said there had been a shift in racism from superiority and inferiority to who "belongs" and who doesn't.
Dr Gale said "new racism" was defined as excluding some groups from a nation.
Although Sharia law was expressed by the organisers of the rallies as an issue they wanted to address, Dr Gale said there was no risk of it being enforced in mainstream Australia.
Likewise, he said there was no risk to Australia's cultural traditions from Muslims.
Dr Gale said events like the Reclaim Australia Rally often came from a lack of understanding and lack of experience.