Yesterday we learnt through media reports that Geert Wilders, due to launch the new anti-Muslim political party the Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) in two weeks time had not yet received his visa. In accordance with Australian law, the Department of Immigration had concerns over whether Wilders was of fit character to enter Australia.
The ALA called on its supporters to contact Immigration Minister Peter Dutton asking him to grant the visa.Voices against Bigotry was established to provide a voice of oppostion to groups like the ALA that seek to entrench anti-Muslim bigotry. We therefore felt it was appropriate that Peter Dutton and particularly Malcolm Turnbull, who has made a point of moving away from the scapegoating of the Muslim community by Tony Abbott, also hear the voices of Australians who hold a different view.Geert Wilders is perfectly free to say whatever he likes. The fact that what he says is far more widely reported than what most ordinary people say is the reason the ALA has invited him here. We simply do not wish the government to give him a platform, thereby facilitating his vilification of the Muslim community, by allowing him to visit.We ask our supporters to read the press release below issued today, sign the petition against Geert Wilders receiving a visa at https://www.change.org/p/minister-for-immigration-and-border-protection-the-hon-peter-dutton-mp-revoke-geert-wilder-s-australian-visa and contact
Peter Dutton or Malcolm Turnbull via:Peter DuttonCanberra Office (02) 6277 7860 Queensland Office (07) 3205 9977Malcolm TurnbullCanberra Office (02) 6277 7700 NSW Office (02) 9327 3988
Voices against Bigotry calls on Turnbull to refuse Geert Wilders a visaThe convenors of Voices against Bigotry (VAB) have called on the Turnbull government to refuse to issue a visa to anti-Muslim Netherlands politician Geert Wilders. The VAB network was established by academic researcher Susie Latham and Human Rights Professor Linda Briskman to challenge increasing Islamophobia in Australia. “Through demonising the Muslim community, the Abbott government rolled out the red carpet for far-right political extremism,” said Susie Latham. “If the Turnbull government is serious about leaving this era behind, it should not allow Wilders into this country to incite hate against Muslims and sow division in our community.”Wilders is on the Department of Immigration’s Movement Alert List which lists applicants of potential risk to the Australian community. Under Australian law, visitors who intend to incite discord or vilify part of the Australian community can have their visa refused.The purpose of Wilders’ visit to Australia is to launch a new anti-Muslim political party that advocates policies that discriminate against Muslims including: Banning permanent residency for visa applicants from 57 countries with significant Muslim populations (unless they come from a persecuted non-Muslim minority), imposing severe restrictions on mosques and Islamic schools and prohibiting face coverings in public.Wilders has declared that Islam is not a religion, but the “greatest sickness we’ve had during the last century” and the “ideology of a retarded culture.” He says he does not hate Muslims, but has advocated for: Muslim immigrants being paid to leave the Netherlands, a tax on women who wear headscarves and an end to Muslim immigration. He has called Moroccans, who constitute a significant proportion of Muslims in the Netherlands, “scum” and promised an audience he had asked if they wanted fewer Moroccans that he would “take care of that.” He is currently being prosecuted for discrimination and hate speech in his homeland as a result.Wilders was a guest of honor at the Texas Mahommad cartoon drawing competition organised by fellow Islamophobe Pamela Geller, after which two Islamic extremists who attacked it were shot dead by police. He agreed to attend a similar competition in London before it was cancelled due to security concerns and aired the Texas cartoons on Dutch television.Professor Briskman said, “By any objective measure Wilders fails the character test. We urge the Turnbull government to refuse his visa, just as it has recently refused visas to those who hold similarly offensive views.”