Asia Australia: Anti-Muslim hate mail probe closed

Australia: Anti-Muslim hate mail probe closed

The Australian prime ministe.Tony Abbot
The Australian prime ministe.Tony Abbot

(AA) – Questions are being leveled at Queensland’s police for abandoning an investigation into an anti-Muslim campaigner who has been targeting people across Australia via their private, often unlisted, home addresses.

Letters containing racist propaganda that attacks the Muslim faith and Aboriginal rights, are signed by a “J Church.”

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that recipients including a top economist’s wife, former election candidates, community activists and even those with no public profile. 

In each case, a false return address in Brisbane used, prompting safety fears.

Queensland Police had been investigating after the first batch were received earlier this year, but the case has recently been closed.

On raising the matter with the police force this weekend, The Anadolu Agency received the following short response:

“The matter has been investigated and no offence has been identified. There are no further investigations being undertaken.”

More than 24 people have contacted Fairfax Media about receiving unwanted, racist propaganda from J Church that warns, among other things, of a coming “demographic genocide” due to Muslim immigration.

In one rambling diatribe, the letters try to justify the Cronulla riots and warn how western Sydney will become the “future site of the Sydney Caliphate.”

The 2005 Cronulla riots were a series of clashes and mob violence in Australia, during which people of Arab appearance were attacked. The disturbances originated in the Sydney suburb of Cronulla, and spread, over the next few nights, to additional suburbs.

Nick Jelicic, 31, who ran as a Greens candidate in the recent Queensland state election, received a letter from J Church in late February. He told AA: “What worries me is that this individual now has my home address.”

Jelicic said he couldn’t identify any specific reason why he had been targeted. 

He said that it may, however, have something to do with the Greens’ “socially progressive policies in terms of religious groups and sexual equality,” or an article he wrote for the Australian Muslim Times during the election campaign, which called for social inclusion.

He expressed “disappointment in the response from Queensland Police,” admitted feeling nervous and suggested the case should have been elevated to the national level.

“We don’t know what this person’s intent is,” he said. “This needs to be taken seriously in light of the changes happening in society… The fact it’s not being taken seriously is the scary part.”

Fairfax reported that many recipients of the letters noted they arrived within days of updating personal information on the electoral roll. The Australian Electoral Commission insists there is no evidence its database has been compromised.

According to Fairfax, since February, the racist letters have been mailed across Queensland, NSW, South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. Initially they appeared to have been sent to Greens candidates and the party’s supporters, but have since targeted a wide variety of people.

“It’s disturbing because we don’t know what will happen next. It’s important that someone takes this seriously,” Jelicic told AA.

AA put a number of questions to the Queensland Police. 

In response a statement was received saying: “Given operational requirements it would be inappropriate to comment on investigative strategies undertaken during investigations.” 

A 12-year-survey of racism in Australia conducted by leading universities and published in Feb. 2011 found the states of New South Wales and Queensland to be the most racist in their views.

Among the 12,512 people surveyed countrywide, 48.6 percent were negative towards Muslims, Asians (23.8), indigenous Australians (27.9), Jews (23.3) and black Africans (27).

The survey’s lead researcher Professor Kevin Dunn told that the high levels of anti-Muslim feelings in Australia were an accumulation of international political events, “poorly-informed public debates” and “sensationalist media treatment.”