Muslims, socialists, unions and other groups will conduct a counter-rally against bikini protesters who plan to march on a Brunswick mosque on Saturday. Police will monitor the demonstrations, with white supremacists claiming to have infiltrated bikini protest ranks, increasing the potential for confrontation.
By Mark Dunn. Originally published in todays Herald Sun newspaper in Melbourne.
Organisers of the “Great Australian Bikini March” had planned to march against the Michael St mosque last Saturday, anniversary of the Cronulla riots in NSW.
Though the bikini march has been postponed until Australia Day next year, some supporters say they will still hold the rally on Saturday.
The march has been promoted on white supremacist websites.
In response, the Islamic Information and Support Centre and the Socialist Party Australia are organising a barbecue and mosque open day for Saturday at the same time.
The so-called bikini march, criticised as being insensitive, was designed as a reaction to mufti Sheik Taj el-Din el-Hilaly’s comments on scantily clad women being the cause of some rapes.
Sheik Mohammed Omran, who heads the Brunswick mosque, later defended the mufti.
A mosque spokesman said the theme of their meeting and sausage sizzle was uniting Australia.