According to press reports, hundreds of Australians took to the streets to protest against Islamic extremism.
The flag waving and placard bearing protestors chanted “Yes Australia. No Sharia” as they rallied throughout the streets.
“We are pro-Australian values and anti-extreme Islam, but we’re not anti-Muslim,” Reclaim Australia spokeswoman Catherine Brennan told AFP, adding there was no racism behind the rallies, which she said had attracted people from diverse backgrounds.
“Since when is it being racist to love your country and to love the values and culture that you’ve been brought up with?”
According to AFP report, Reclaim Australia’s John Oliver told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation that the group was “not against any particular race or any particular religion”.
“We’re against the extremists of one particular religion,” he said.
“I know in Sydney and Melbourne they’ve got Muslims already signed on to attend because they can see what’s happening and they don’t like what’s happening.”
Authorities in Australia have expressed concerned about a minority of Australia’s small Muslim community that were already in Iraq and Syria giving support to the Al qaeda group IS.
Last December, a self-styled cleric took several customers and employees hostage in a Sydney cafe.
In that incident two hostages were killed and the Iranian-born cleric, Man Haron Monis, was shot dead.
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