Saturday, July 27, 2013
Australia: Woman charged over anti-Islam stickers
"One Nation" is an anti-immgrant political party
A 26-year-old Kingston woman will appear in court on Friday charged over an anti-Islam sticker scandal that has embroiled One Nation's Fairfax candidate and lead to scathing criticism from the state government.
Earlier this month, a jar of coffee with its seal broken was allegedly found at a Woolworths supermarket at Underwood, south of Brisbane, featuring a sticker stating "Beware! Halal food funds terrorists".
The stickers can be purchased from Restore Australia, whose chief executive officer is One Nation candidate Mike Holt.
The Queensland One Nation candidate remains unapologetic for selling the stickers.
But Queensland Multicultural Affairs Minister Glen Elmes on Thursday condemned the merchandise as “offensive, grotesque and designed to inflame hatred”.
Mr Elmes said the candidate ran a racist website through which people were encouraged to purchase the stickers carrying the slogan and put them on food products in supermarkets. Doing so wasn’t “just racial discrimination”, Mr Elmes said, it was also vandalism.
“The full force of the law should be brought down on anyone found to be vandalising supermarket property and promoting racial discrimination through using the stickers,” he said.
Mr Holt has been selling an array of merchandise through his website, Restore Australia, for two months. But the Sunshine Coast politician denies he is inflaming racist sentiments.
"I am not perpetuating anything, anti-Muslim sentiment is real," he said.
"I wanted to raise awareness that people buy all this food in good faith and they are not being told almost everything has a Halal tax which goes to Muslim organisations."
It emerged Mr Holt was selling the merchandise when a 26-year-old woman was charged on Wednesday.
Mr Holt said he knew of the woman, a follower of Restore Australia, but did not condone her alleged actions.
The One Nation candidate, who is married to a Thai woman, denied he was racist.
"Of course I’m not racist, how can you be racist against a religion," he said.
Putting the stickers on supermarket goods is clearly a step too far but other usages are just another form of speech