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Anti-Islam rally not racist, organiser says

Mandy Chapman is organising a Reclaim Australia rally on April 4.
Mandy Chapman is organising a Reclaim Australia rally on April 4. Alistair Brightman

HALAL certification is funding Muslims' "takeover of the world" according to the organiser of an anti-Islam rally planned for Hervey Bay - but she insists her group isn't prejudiced.

Reclaim Australia Hervey Bay organiser Mandy Chapman said the event on April 4 was designed to alert all levels of government that the group was not happy with Australia's direction.

Ms Chapman said the goal of the rally, which is expected to attract more than 100 people, was to raise awareness and promote Australian values and the freedom of speech.

"We like Australia the way it is - we don't want to lose our heritage," she said.

"We want to keep Australia Day as Australia Day."

Ms Chapman was also worried about Halal certification on food, concerned it was assisting a Muslim takeover.

"We feel the profits of that are going to fund their takeover of the world, if you want to put it that extreme," she said.

When asked why she believed the 2.2% of Australians who were Muslims were "taking over", Ms Chapman said it was their "family size".

"Basically because of how they operate now with their more than one wife," she said.

"Some of them have two, three, four wives. Those women will have more (children) than what we have.

"They have up to four, five, six (children) - already that's double than what we're having.

"Maybe the call to arms is for us to keep breeding."

Ms Chapman, who is employed with Queensland Health, disagreed with claims the group's views were bigoted or racist.

"Not at all, racism is against a race - we are not racist," she said.

"We are against the Islam ideology.

"We don't call it a religion, we call it an ideology because religion is usually a thing of peace and love."

The Hervey Bay group has attracted more than 1000 fans on Facebook, including Fraser Coast Regional Councillor James Hansen.

Posts on the group's page suggest deporting Muslims to "stop the infestation".

"Don't let them in! They should all be deported for treason," one post read.

But Cr Hansen said he did not support the group's values and used it to "connect with the region".

"I liked it so I can stay informed at what's going on in the community," he said.

"I have no intention of going along to the day, to the rally."

Other pictures on the group's Facebook page read "Islam and Australia don't mix".

While not aware of the rally, Hervey Bay Muslim community member and doctor Khaled Shahin said the group was free to have its say.

"Everything is free in this country - anyone can go against anyone here," he said.

"As long it's within a context with no violence, in a mature way, in a civil way."

Dr Shahin said the anti-Islam group members "probably have the wrong information".

"Unfortunately that's the way it is - the re-informing is the hard job," he said.

Mayor Gerard O'Connell said people on the Fraser Coast should be tolerant.

"What's enshrined in my upbringing, and the Australia I appreciate and the values are, camaraderie, a sense of fair play, a sense of equality, a sense of openness, and support for one another," he said.

"That's the Australia I know, love and cherish."

Topics:  editors picks, hervey bay, islam, muslim, rally, reclaim australia



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