Geert Wilders backs new anti-Islam party, the Australian Liberty Alliance

Far-right Dutch politician Geert Wilders will welcome a new anti-Islam political party, the Australian Liberty Alliance, in a pre-recorded message to a conference on “Islam and liberty” starting in Melbourne on Friday.

The conference, organised by the “Islam-critical” Q Society, will start on Friday morning at a secret location, and will feature two speakers who were last year barred entry into Britain.

“It’s a bringing together of many people who are concerned about the march of Islam into many western democracies, and how it changes the laws and values of western democracies,” Q Society’s spokesman, Andrew Horwood, said.

“You get segregation when you get Muslims coming in, because their core belief is that Muslims are better people than non-Muslims,” he said. “We’re keen to have integrated societies, but we think it’s important to have integration, not segregation.”

The Q Society sparked protests last year when it sponsored a speaking tour by Wilders. The firebrand MP warned audiences that Islam was “a force of darkness” that had made European cities such as Rotterdam and Paris look like “suburbs of Cairo”. The tour was hampered by 30 venue cancellations and a refusal by some banks to provide financial services. Horwood said this year’s event has not seen any cancellations or boycotts so far.

Two of the speakers include American bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, who were last year denied entry into the UK to speak at a rally of the right-wing English Defence League, after authorities said their presence would “not be conducive to the public good”.

Launching a new party, the Australian Liberty Alliance, which is based on his views, Wilders will tell Friday’s conference: “Many of you are disappointed by current political parties and have had enough of politicians who sell out our western civilisation.

“Like you, good people in Europe, America and Canada have had enough of politicians who don’t share our values and foolishly declare that all cultures are equal and who lack courage to speak the truth and say that Islam is the biggest threat to freedom today. You too will soon have the opportunity to turn the tide in Australia.”

The party expects to contest the next federal election. The Q Society president, Debbie Robinson, will stand as a candidate.

A Muslims Australia spokesman, Keysar Trad, said he did not want to give conference organisers “any more publicity than they deserve”, but noted: “Another anti-Muslim party, Rise Up Australia, had much better reach than the Q Society, and preferences from the Liberals in some states, and despite all that they got nowhere.”

He added: “They’re just too divisive for Australian society. We prefer to work on things that bring society together, to build bridges.”

News of the party’s debut was met with condemnation from both major parties. The deputy prime minister, Warren Truss, said Australians preferred the country’s politics to be moderate and peaceful. “Extremism often leads to strife,” he said in Canberra on Wednesday. “While people are entitled to their views in this country, we really do expect all Australians to respect the views of others and to promote their views peacefully.”

The opposition leader, Bill Shorten, warned that those who “preach simple solutions for the future of this country are often just leading Australians up the wrong path”.

“Extremism, be it of the far left or the far right, is not welcome in Australia,” he said.