Queensland diocese complains about neo-nazi intimidation of refugees

The Social Justice Commission of the Toowoomba Diocese has lodged a complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunities Commission about the activities of the White Pride Coalition in Toowoomba.

The Australian reports that right-wing extremists in Australia with strong ties to the international neo-Nazi movement are targeting refugees from Africa in a new race-hate campaign. Specifically it says a group called the White Pride Coalition has established a cell in the Queensland city of Toowoomba, where 750 Sudanese refugees have been resettled.

The paper says that one family was forced to leave its home after being harassed, and people have been pelted with rotten eggs and potatoes. It says the group's campaign is being stepped up as Sydney's Macquarie University considers disciplinary action against public law associate professor Andrew Fraser, who this week lent it his support by claiming Africans were a crime risk because they had low IQs and high testosterone levels.

Material being distributed in Toowoomba and the nearby town of Crows Nest includes brochures describing white women as the "world's most endangered species".

Mark Copland, Chairman of the Toowoomba Diocese Social Justice Commission said that families have had rocks and other missiles hurled at their homes and racist material put in their letterboxes. One family in the suburb of Harristown was persecuted so much it was hounded from its home.

"These people have been through so much that they shouldn't have to put up with this," Mr Copland said.

Sudanese community leader Angelo Geng said that as well as having the rotten eggs and potatoes hurled at them, refugees in Toowoomba were regularly abused verbally.

However, Mr Geng said the Toowoomba community was overwhelmingly supportive of the newcomers. "It can be hurtful of course, but this is only a minority of people doing these things."

Neo-Nazis in bid to drive out Africa refugees (The Australian 23/7/05)

LINKS (not necessarily endorsed by Church Resources)
Social Justice Commission, Diocese of Toowoomba
Dioceses of Toowoomba
Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission
White Pride Coalition

Diocese lobbies local member on behalf of detainee (CathNews 8/3/05)
Regional Queensland racism alert (CathNews 23/3/04)
Toowoomba Diocese Commission challenges MP on racism denial (CathNews 22/5/02)

Neo-Nazis step up race-hate (The Australian 26/7/05)

26 Jul 2005