Fake 'Islamic Rights' Facebook Page Inciting Hatred on Gold Coast
OutlineA Facebook Page called 'Preserving Islamic Rights on the Gold Coast' has demanded that the Gold Coast mayor incorporate Islamic prayers into the Anzac Day Dawn service to 'honour fallen Islamic diggers'. It also proposes that an Islamic symbol be included on a newly designed Australian flag. It even suggests that an entire Islamic suburb to be called 'New Palestine' and complete with a 'Refugee Ferry Port and Processing Facility is to be built in the area.
© Depositphotos.com/ Arcady
Brief AnalysisThe claims in the Page's posts are nonsense. The Page is not a genuine Islamic rights group. Its ridiculous claims clearly indicate that it is a troll page designed to capitalize on controversy surrounding plans for a new mosque in the area. The false and inflammatory material published by the page is being widely shared via Facebook and email and is inciting bigotry and hatred against Muslim members of the Gold Coast community. Gold Coast council leaders and staff are also currently fielding countless emails and phone calls from concerned citizens who believe the lies published on the Page.
IF TOM TATE ALLOWS THIS, GOD HELP US , IN THE NEAR FUTURE IT WON’T BE COUNT THE HIGH RISERS IT WILL BE COUNT THE MOSQUES....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! no,no,no,no and then no again
NOT ON, PROTEST ABOUT THIS AS MUCH AS YOU CAN IF YOU AGREE !!!!!!!!!!!
'Preserving Islamic Rights on the Gold Coast' Facebook Page Causing Consternation
One of the Page's posts demands that Gold Coast mayor Tom Tate incorporate an Islamic prayer in the Currumbin Anzac Day dawn service to honour 'fallen Islamic diggers who sacrificed their life to fight for allah and their freedoms'. The post suggests that such a prayer is appropriate because Currumbin is 'now an Islamic suburb'.
Another post on the Page claims that a new Australian flag that incorporates an Islamic symbol will be brought before parliament in coming months.
Yet another post demands that the word 'Christ' be removed from all shopping centre Christmas promotions and that Christmas trees be called 'Wintertrees' to give the 'Muslim community an indoctrination free shopping experience'.
And a post currently being given prominence on the Page announces plans for the construction of an entire Islamic suburb to be called 'New Palestine'. Supposedly, the suburb will incorporate an 'ocean view Mosque' and a 'Refugee Ferry Port and Processing Facility' with accommodation for refugees.
Irate users are sharing the posts via social media and email to alert others of the supposed Islamic plans. The posts have whipped up anti-Muslim hysteria in the community with rage-filled recipients demanding that councillors and political leaders reject the proposals.
Posts on the Page are Nonsense - Page is not a Genuine Islamic Rights Group
A Gold Coast City mayor's office spokesperson has debunked the page, noting in an email:
The Facebook page ('Preserving Islamic Rights on the Gold Coast - PIRGC') and posts are complete fakes. Please pass this around your Facebook friends.And Mr Hussin Goss of the Gold Coast Mosque has also condemned the Page as fake during an ABC radio interview noting that it was not created by members of the Gold Coast Muslim community. Mr Goss calls the claims in the posts ridiculous and has reported the Page to police and the Mayor's office in the hope that it can be taken down.
And, of course, there are no credible reports about a proposal to add an Islamic symbol to the Australian flag. Nor are there plans to build an Islamic suburb with a refugee processing facility. These claims are outright lies, just like the rest of the material on the troll page.
Page Capitalizes on Controversy Over Gold Coast Mosque Plans
Residents have raised concerns about traffic congestion and noise issues.
But of course, the proposal has no relation to the fictional 'Islamic suburb' and 'New Palestine' plans outlined on the fake Facebook Page.
Spreading the Troll Page's Lies is Counterproductive and Irresponsible
Such false and inflammatory information creates further divisions and misunderstandings between groups within communities.
It also wastes the time and resources of city council leaders and staff members who have been inundated with emails and phone calls from angry members of the community who have been fooled by the lies published on the page.
If you receive a message protesting the claims on the page, please do not share it. And please take the time to let the sender know that the Page is fake.
Last updated: September 13, 2014
First published: September 13, 2014
By Brett M. Christensen
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