CAIRO - Public anger is building on in Australia over offensive leaflets being distributed to letterboxes by an anti-Islam group criticizing plans to provide classes about the Islamic faith in schools.
"This is more than Islamophobic, Keysar Trad, from the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, told ABC News on Wednesday, October 10.
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Leaflets were being distributed by Q Society, an anti-Islam group that campaigns against what it calls islamization of Australia, to letterboxes in Victoria.
"SAVE OUR SCHOOLS - BE AWARE the Australian Government is preferencing and supporting Islamic faith, history and culture in schools, reads the leaflet.
The leaflets target a teaching resource called Learning From One Another that aims to teach about different religions in an effort to promote cultural harmony in Australia.
The group argues that the program to offer Islam teachings, which is funded by an Australian NGO, violates the Judeo-Christian values of the country.
"Learning from one another and bringing Muslim perspectives into our classrooms just appears to be another initiative offering no alternative but to respect Islam as a religion," Q Society deputy president Debbie Robinson said.
"And as I mentioned before, Australian schools on the whole are secular in nature and trying to promote this interfaith understanding so that we understand the Muslim population, I would argue, will they be exposed to the Judeo-Christian roots of Australia?"
The anti-Islam group says that the leaflets are being distributed nationwide.
"It's been distributed through Australia in every state," she said.
Q Society has caused uproar last month after inviting far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders, who is notorious for anti-Islam slurs, to deliver speeches in Australia.
But the leaflets have sparked anger among many Australian residents.
"This got my back up, said Judy, a resident of Mount Eliza.
I'm feeling that it's inflaming the general public and I don't think that's the right way to go.
The Victorian resident opines that the flyers lead to inflame hatred against Muslims.
"The flyer is definitely anti-Islamic. That's my impression, she said.
"Because it says down further, 'When less than 3 per cent of Australia's population is Muslim, why are we allowing the Australian Government to support this?'."
Trad echoes a similar view.
"When our neighbors and our friends see this disgusting leaflet, they will... after ripping it up and throwing it in the bin, they will realize that the Q Society is not a society that is acting in the interest of the Australian community."
This is not the first leaflets distributed by Q Society against Muslims.
In August, the anti-Islam group distributed flyers warning of what it says islamization of Australia.
Muslims, who have been in Australia for more than 200 years, make up 1.7 percent of its 20-million population.Islam is the country's second largest religion after Christianity.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net