Federal Politics

Restore Australia: the party that would ban Islam

A prospective new political party in Australia would make it illegal for people to practise their Muslim faith.

Restore Australia, headed by one-time One Nation candidate Mike Holt, wants to field Senate candidates at the federal election, running on an anti-Islam, protectionist platform.

Mike Holt's Restore Australia is unashamedly anti-Islam.
Mike Holt's Restore Australia is unashamedly anti-Islam.  Photo: Phill Jackson

It is the latest in a string of anti-Islam micro parties to announce its political intentions, following the United Patriots Front and Kim Vuga​, a one-time participant on the SBS program Go Back to Where You Came From who went on to form the political party Love Australia or Leave.

The United Patriots Front has more than 30,000 supporters on Facebook and has lent its support to the failed campaign against the Bendigo mosque. Its leader Blair Cottrell has previously stated that every school in Australia should hang a picture of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler and every student have a copy of his manifesto Mein Kampf.

Mike Holt at an anti-Islam rally in Melbourne in July.
Mike Holt at an anti-Islam rally in Melbourne in July. Photo: Chris Vedelago

Despite their similar preoccupations with Islam, Mr Holt said his party bore little similarity to the UPF: "They're a bunch of right-wing Nazis, to be honest with you," he said.

Like the ultra-nationalist, far-right Australia First Party, Restore Australia advocates the introduction of "citizen-initiated referendums", which would allow any Australian to submit legislation to parliament, so long as they had the support of at least one per cent of the population, or about 240,000 people.

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But Mr Holt insisted that unlike Australia First, which also campaigns against "Muslim migration", his group was "middle of the road" and did not identify as left-wing or right-wing.

"We seem to be bedfellows, but we're not. We're not racists," he said.

Mr Holt's party will campaign on re-introducing tariffs on imports, compulsory military service for able-bodied men and women and combating "the threat within".

But it will be Restore Australia's militantly anti-Islam focus that is expected to attract most attention. 

"We believe that Islam is not compatible with Australian society, and under our Constitution it is actually illegal for anyone to be a supporter of Islam," he said.

"They have a choice. They can either leave Islam and become full-on Australian or go to another country where they can practise their Islamic faith. [As Muslims] they can't be loyal Australians first. They are always loyal to Islam first."

Should it attract the 500 members required to register a political party, Restore Australia will funnel preferences to other "patriot" groups at the election.