Parliament condemns ‘racist, violent’ United Patriots Front
ALL it needed was a punchline: public face of anti-Islam group walks into kebab shop and orders a saliva-inducing gobful of halal goodness.
Social media went into overdrive last month when Blair Cottrell, mouthpiece of Islamophobic groups the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia, was photographed getting a feed from Karingal Kebabs in Melbourne.
Was he actually buying the same halal-certified food he claimed funded international terrorism?
The irony was palpable. The threats of violence towards a journalist who wrote about the situation were downright disturbing.
Now the New South Wales Parliament's upper house has condemned the far-right groups, and others like them, for "their racist and threatening behaviour".
As Greens MP Mehreen Fahruqi told the room: "After the article's publication, the journalist was subject to extreme online threats of violence and abuse by people associated with the United Patriots Front group, including threats that people were 'coming' for her."
The far-right figurehead's backers opted to believe he had only entered the halal-certified food outlet to buy an orange juice, and from an Australian girl at that - certainly not a brown person.
An altered version of the image pointed out exactly that, with arrows.
"Not a kebab," it proclaimed.
"Aussie chick. Paparazzi fail."
Other reports swore he ordered a kebab with the lot - the absolute halal-ness of its hummus and garlic yogurt somewhat spoiled by the decidedly bogan addition of barbecue sauce.
Whatever the truth, the NSW upper house did not appreciate the threats that followed against a journalist who was just doing her job and denounced the United Patriots Front and Reclaim Australia for their part in it.
- ARM NEWSDESK