The Atheist Foundation of Australia (AFA) does not support the Reclaim Australia protests which are to be staged around the country on the 4th of April 2015. While the AFA does not promote, advocate, or endorse religious beliefs, we also cannot support ignorance, bigotry, jingoism, racism, or xenophobia.
It is important that everyone understand some basic facts:
- Sharia law is not being enforced anywhere in Australia. It is fear mongering to even make the suggestion, or imply that all Australians will one day live under Islamic religious rule.
- There is no credible evidence that halal certification funds terrorism.
- Banning the burqa is an infringement of personal liberties. We would prefer that people to learn why such religious attire is unnecessary and choose not to wear it voluntarily.
One of the aims of the AFA is “to encourage and to provide a means of expression for informed free-thought on philosophical and social issues“. We encourage all Australians to reject ignorance, bigotry, persecution, racism, xenophobia, and these divisive and misguided protests.
This is a protest coordinated by Christian groups. The “Rise Up Australia Party” is the political arm of the “Catch the Fire Ministries” known for their extreme and offensive statements, such as that the Black Saturday Bushfires were God’s punishment for abortion laws in Victoria. Based on the policies and pronouncements that we have seen so far, it would be a cold day in Hell before before the AFA could endorse anything from RUAP, and this protest is no exception.
We encourage all Australians to reject ignorance, bigotry, persecution and xenophobia – and these divisive protests, which unfortunately embody all of those characteristics.
Atheist Foundation of Australia Inc
PO Box 1062
Lane Cove NSW 1595
Phone: (08) 8835 2269