ACT News


Politicians receive anti-Islam booklet

A former Christian missionary based on the NSW central coast is distributing anti-Islamic material to ACT politicians to support the campaign against the Gungahlin mosque.

But Ken Smith, from the small town of Wyee, denies being part of the main group co-ordinating opposition to the mosque.

Mr Smith sent an anti-Islamic booklet to Canberra MLAs this week warning that Islam is the ''greatest threat ever to confront Australia''.

The Bible college graduate is part of a central coast-based group called the ''Concerned Citizens'' but he said it had no link to the similarly named ''Concerned Citizens of Canberra'' or their activities against the Gungahlin mosque.

But Mr Smith told The Canberra Times he had sent his material to every state, territory and federal politician in the country over the past four weeks in the wake of the controversy over the Gungahlin development.

In his letter to Canberra MLAs Mr Smith said: ''The growth of Islam in this country is a national issue, not just a state or territory issue, so although we are not in the ACT, we feel we are justified in contacting you on the subject.


''We are well qualified and well-informed on Islam with many years of experience with Muslims in a number of Muslim countries.''

The booklet claims Islam is ''as much of a political system as Nazism and Communism'' and that migration of Muslims to non-Muslim countries was ''the main peaceful means of colonising the west for Islam''.

Mr Smith said his group had been active on the central coast for nine years. The former teacher and engineer said the group had contacts in various Christian organisations, but no ties to any members of the Concerned Citizens of Canberra or to the anti-mosque flyers that were distributed in Gungahlin.

Multicultural Affairs Minister Joy Burch has referred the Gungahlin pamphlet to the ACT Human Rights Commission, which will report to the government on the matter next week.

Ms Burch said yesterday that she had also received Mr Smith's letter.

Mr Smith said he contacted the MLAs because he wanted Canberrans to be ''educated and clued up on what the true nature of Islam is''.

''It's important for the whole population down there to get to know the true nature of Islam and how it's infiltrating our country and even our shires,'' he said.

''It's primarily a political issue.

''We're not at all concerned about the religious aspect of Islam.

''It's when they start injecting themselves in the politics of our country - that's not OK.''

The deputy chairwoman of the Canberra Multi-Cultural Community Forum Diana Abdel-Rahman said that it was disappointing that such material was being distributed on the eve of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins today.

If people wanted to know more about Islam they could attend the many functions being held over the next month.

''I think [Canberrans] would be highly insulted to think that someone from near Sydney is trying to come in an 'educate' them,'' Ms Abdel-Rahman said.