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Byron Shire
March 1, 2021

PM must condemn Bendigo ‘extremists’

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A federal Labor MP has called on Malcolm Turnbull to condemn the “right-wing extremists” who oppose plans to build a mosque in Bendigo.

Lisa Chesters is also seeking funding for measures to combat the radicalisation of “predominantly white men” in the Victorian regional city.

“Just like the money on the table to combat radicalisation of young Muslim youth, the same needs to be done when it comes to the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia,” she said.

Ms Chesters acknowledged the prime minister’s inclusive language and emphasis on multiculturalism was helping to shift debate in Bendigo.

“It’s a good step forward that we are not hearing words like ‘death cult’ … but the prime minister needs to go further,” the Bendigo MP told reporters in Canberra on Thursday.

“I call on the prime minister and his frontbench to join with the Victorian premier and condemn this right-wing extremism.”

Letter boxes in the city were being bombarded with hate speech, Ms Chesters said.

The groups are also targeting other towns where councils are considering mosque applications.

An education program needed to be rolled out giving people facts about what it means to be of the Islamic faith in order to dispel myths and misconceptions.

Nationals MP Andrew Broad, from the nearby rural seat of Mallee, said there was no problem with Islamophobia in his electorate.

“We’ve had a mosque in Mildura for 30 years, we’ve had one in Horsham for quite awhile,” he said.
”Ultimately when people interact that breaks down barriers.”

Australians could have different beliefs but still get along, Mr Broad said.


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  1. I never understood why just 2.2% of the Australian population, being Muslims, need 350+ mosques in the first place. Now, there’s another 8 planned around the country.
    Are they putting in place the infrastructure for the promised mass migration of Muslims from their own war-ravaged countries? Why not stay home and fix up their own problems instead of bringing them here?

  2. The “Right-wing extremists” are what the protesters are trying to avoid. Protests are not always pretty, orderly or peaceful, but the message they hold is quite true and valid- and represents many people concerned about the building of mosques in Australia – and growing numbers of Islamic followers! Why fall into the terror and mistakes of Europe? The far Right belongs to the teachings of Islam, with zero tolerance for Christianity, democracy, human rights and totalitarianism.
    Phobias are fears of the unknown, or irrational fears. The “fear” of Islam is not irrational – we know what we don’t want in Australia – clashes with culture, ideals and the conflicts with those of opposing values and laws. Australia must be kept safe, unified, Australian, and our heritage protected.


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