“Reclaim Australia” stages rallies across the country
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Over the Easter weekend the anti-Islamic group, Reclaim Australia, staged rallies in 16 cities and regional locations across the county. The rallies attracted hundreds of demonstrators who were protesting against halal certification, sharia law and increased Muslim migration. Pauline Hanson was a noted speaker at the Brisbane event and controversial preacher Danny Nalliah spoke in Melbourne. However these rallies were met with large groups of counter-protestors which sparked angry scenes and violence in many of the locations, which in some cases led to paramedics being needed.

The organiser of Reclaim Australia, Shermon Burgess, suggested that the next protests would be “much, much bigger” now that a lot more people know who the organisation is and what their goals are. Mr Burgess has also criticised Victorian police for not moving counter-protestors aside as his organisation had a permit for the demonstration.

Secretary for the Islamic Council of Victoria, Ghaith Krayem, has labelled the rallies as “..nothing more than a racist and bigoted attack on Muslims.". He also criticised the federal government for not speaking out against the rallies stating that "The commonwealth has been quick to call on our community and leaders to speak out against extremism and hate preaching, yet when these are directed at us they have remained silent". The council did however welcome the statement from the Victorian government which condemned religious-based attacks.

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