Contributed by Adam Carlton
The protest outside the venue of a fundraising dinner for the extreme Q society has brought this shadowy organisation to some public attention.
More than a hundred blocked a bus carrying invited guests at the venue in St Kilda in Melbourne.
Most important is what was going on inside.
Liberal defector Cory Bernardi and Nationals MP George Christensen were the invited special quests and billed to speak at the function.
The Q Society is reported to be vehemently anti-Islam. But the assertion that Halal certification of food as a tax that benefits terrorism, puts the Q Society in the Looney Tunes camp. Certification is merely a label that provides information about the food that it’s on, just like Kosher (which Jewish people have) and organic. If a label provides money to “terrorists,” the Q Society has an obligation to show some evidence.
Another Looney Tunes claim is that the Australian state certification has imposed Sharia law on the Australian state and the Q Society demands an end to it. The Evidence? Islamic groups can be legally accredited as religious organisations. But how do you get around the fact that Catholic, Protestant, Evangelical, Judaist, Buddhist, Hindu, spiritual and others are also registered as religious organisations? According to the Q Society’s line of reasoning, the Australian state must have been captured by an alliance of the religious faiths at the time of the First Fleet. It is ridiculous.
Either the people in the Q Society are too stupid to realise this, or they know it and there is something dishonest and sinister going on here. The anti-Islam stance is really a narrow view about what Australia should be.
Although the Q Society refers to itself as “Australia’s premier Islam critical organization,” Its philosophy centres around what is calls “core Australian values,” based on ideas of fair dinkum, fair go, freedom, mateship, the ANZAC spirit, egalitarianism, and community spirit. No one would have an argument with most of this.
Everyone supports motherhood statements. They say very little and their interpretation can be stretched to infinity. It is the interpretation that is important. In this respect, the Q Society turns its stated lofty values into their direct opposites. it is easy to talk about a level playing field, equality, putting your bit in and the rest of it. But when this is perverted to suggest, even by implication, that it applies to some and not to others, its authors travel down a very different road.
If taken at face value, the Q Society holds that individuals born in Australia and adopting Islam as a faith or cultural tradition, are not worthy of having those wonderful values bestowed on them. Even more. They must be taken away. Where do you draw the line? Is it Jewish people next? Who after that? Once the precedent of exception is set, there is no end to it. Maybe the Q Society will soon see a need to take on Catholics. Or will it be the Freemasons?
The organisation was founded in December 2010. It appears to mainly devote itself to organising seminars and dinners, with the occasional provocative action. One of these provocative actions occurred in 2014, when the Q Society circulated a petition in St Kilda to prevent Muslim men from gathering at the Alma Road Community House in St Kilda (Melbourne).It was met by strong community opposition, including from the large local Jewish community and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission (ADC).
For its seminars and dinners, the Society likes to bring prominent individuals together and invite special quests. Here are two examples of these special guests.
Gavin Bobby (2012) from the United kingdom was booked. He has a history in the neo-Nazi English Defence League and is the founder of the Law and Freedom Foundation, which campaigns against Mosques and argues on what critics call false data, the re-writing of history Islam create rape gangs that rape young women and children. Booby also wages war on what he sees is a government conspiracy to aid and abet Islam.
Geert Wilders (2013), Dutch politician and leader of the ultra-right Party for Freedom and also has links with the French National Front‘s Marine Le Pen in France, Austria’s Austria’s Freedom Party, Italy’s Northern League, and Belgium’s Flemish Interest.
Cartoonist Larry Pickering, infamous for crude anti-Islam cartoons in a member. At the Sydney dinner on the previous evening donated a Cartoon of his, showing the rape of a woman in a hijab, by her son-in-law. The cartoon was auctioned at the function. At the dinner Pickering said, “let’s be honest, I can’t stand Muslims”.
The organisation’s president is Debbie Robinson, who stood as candidate for the Australian Liberty Alliance in Australia. Th Alliance praises what it calls western civilisation on a Judeo-Christian foundation, and advocates the dismantling of the welfare system, opposes what it calls divisive multiculturalism, the Islamisation of Australia, programs provided to Indigenous Australians. Other names from the Australian Liberty Alliance are Debbie Robinson (WA) and Kirralie Smith (NSW).
Angry Anderson was there too, to lend a hand to his mates. So was crime fiction writer Gabrielle Lord, as was Liberal MP Ross Cameron.
The real nature of this Looney Tunes collective is that it comes together to further a dream of remoulding Australia into their own image of the fatherland. The world has heard this sort of ideology before. The ideology is making a new appearance in the form of a motley ensemble of new groups. the Q Society is one of them. We called it fascism the first time around. Maybe we should call it fascism today. If this is so, the protesters in Melbourne were right to act.