Controversial backbench Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has defended nationwide anti-Islam rallies as ‘not racist’.
The South Australian senator, who has been demoted to the backbench twice, dismissed those who denounced the Reclaim Australia rallies on the Easter Weekend as “clowns”.
Violence erupted at some of these rallies when Reclaim supporters clashed with anti-racism groups who had organised counter-protests.
“The rallies were marked by the standard rent-a-crowd opposition claiming ‘racism’ but who fail to understand that Islam is an ideology, not a race,” he wrote in a blog post.
“These same clowns had little to say when Islamists hold their violent protests calling for the beheading of infidels.”
In the post, which was emailed to his website’s subscribers on Wednesday, Senator Bernardi also criticised media coverage of the event.
“Much of the media joined in the ‘racist’ claim chorus. I suspect because it’s so much easier than actually having to explain the facts,” he wrote.
“After all, that would mean actually understanding the subject matter one is reporting on!”
Reclaim Australia opposes Islam, the introduction of sharia law and Halal certification of food, describing it is a tax that benefits terrorism.
The rallies mark the beginning of further unrest caused by the government’s failure to address “divisive elements within our society”, he said — an implied reference to Muslims.
“Dismissing their concerns will only further alienate the electorate who are desperate for someone in parliament to represent them,” he said.
Has Cory Bernardi released a statement on Reclaim Australia using just the new emoji yet? There’s a straya flag and everything.
— Paris (@DavidParis) April 9, 2015