Victorian Liberal Party leaders are turning a blind eye to growing anti-Islamic sentiment in the party, according to a party source.The claim follows calls at Sunday’s federal Senate pre-selection convention for all Islamic leaders to sign a pledge denouncing terrorism, or have their places of worship torn down.
Senate pre-selection candidate Kurt Reiter also aired the view there is no such thing as a moderate Muslim, and Muslims must kill non-believers to be “true” Muslims.
A party delegate said Mr Reiter’s “outright Islamophobic” comments should lead to expulsion from the party, yet were received with applause.
“Kurt got up on the day and made these statements in front of 400 delegates,” the party delegate said.
“If someone got up and said the same thing about the Christian faith or the Jewish faith there would be MPs and people lining up to oppose it, saying we respect free speech but distance ourselves from the remarks. But nothing of the sort has happened.”
Mr Reiter, a former branch president who has served on the state council and state assembly, challenged Labor’s Lisa Neville for Bellarine in 2010.
He expressed similar views in a February 12 email sent to pre-selection delegates and the party hierarchy that included an ‘Essay on Islamic Micro-Terrorism’.
Mr Reiter told Fairfax Media his studies had shown him there can be no such thing as a moderate Muslim and that the Koran requires the killing of non-believers.
“This is why when something horrific happens you will never hear an imam denounce it. They are actually happy about what they are doing; you celebrate when people do terrible things.”
Mr Reiter said all Muslims living in or wishing to come to Australia should be made to sign a pledge denouncing terrorism and jihad.
He suggested one of his motivators in running for Senate pre-selection on Sunday was the chance to educate his party and broader society about the risks of Islam.
“It seems that politicians on each side of politics are of the view ‘let’s not upset anyone, let’s tolerate all religions’. I don’t think people have a full understanding of how dangerous this religion is,” he said.
The party source said the silence from party leaders legitimises the views.
He said if someone made the same comments about any other religion they would be expelled.
“What’s next, are we going to become a party like One Nation was, or what Geert Wilders is advocating?
“It may seem quite a harsh measure but I would certainly ask him to resign.”
The source said as the meeting chair, Liberal party state president Michael Kroger should have noted the views are not part of the party’s platform.
Mr Kroger did not respond to a request for comment.
A spokesman for Victorian opposition leader Matthew Guy said as the convention was to decide Federal senate pre-selection. “It’s got nothing to do with us,” he said.
Mr Guy has previously moved to contrast his views with those of former prime minister Tony Abbott and position himself as a “moderate” Liberal.