Liberal Senator Jim Molan's profile picture from his Twitter page
Liberal Senator Jim Molan's profile picture from his Twitter page Twitter/Jim_Molan

Liberal Senator Jim Molan found it “deeply offensive” that people thought his reposts from a far-right British group were racist. The newly elected politician and retired senior army officer, who has been sworn into office Tuesday, shared anti-Muslim videos by Britain First on Facebook last year.

One of the videos he shared, which he posted on March 12, 2017, appears to show Muslim men attacking a police car in France. The video had no context nor had been verified. The other, which has been debunked by fact-checkers online, shows Muslim men harassing young women in France and the Netherlands. He did not comment on the videos but his followers’ comments on them called for violence against Muslims.

Molan told the ABC that he did not remember sharing the videos. Nevertheless, he didn’t regret sharing the videos and wouldn’t apologise since according to him, the posts were not racist. If anything, he found it offensive that people thought he posted racist sentiments on his public Facebook page.

“I put my life on the line for Islamic countries, for people to come out now and say that this is racist, or is anti-Islamic, I find deeply offensive,” he said, adding that the violence in the videos troubled him. “What strikes me about them is not the Islamic side of it, but the violence. It is just duplicitous for anyone to be coming out now and saying that this is anti-Islam.”

The conservative senator also previously shared articles about banning Muslim migration to Australia, reposted former Breitbart editor Milo Yiannopoulus’ post, as well as highlighted Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s poor poll ratings. But his promotion of the Britain First videos proved to be the most controversial.

A spokesman for the senator told Fairfax Media that Molan did not mean to post racist content but he often posted materials to general debate. “The sharing of any post does not indicate endorsement,” the rep said.

Labor has accused Molan of stroking racism and bigotry. Senator said Molan promoted divisiveness with his posts. “This is not about generating debate; it’s about generating hatred and division. Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull must join Labor in telling Senator Molan his actions are unacceptable,” she said.

Islamophobia Register of Australia president Brice Hamack also said that Molan’s posting of Britain First videos was a direct threat to Australian safety. “Our society should not tolerate the slighted elected officials that promote such violent ideologies, and Senator Molan should be held fully accountable for his dangerous behaviour.”

Britain First is a far-right British political organisation that is primarily against multiculturalism. It advocates the preservation of traditional British culture, taking direct actions via its “Christian patrols” to protest against Islam.

US President Donald Trump also fell into the Britain First propaganda when he shared anti-Muslim videos from the group in November. UK Prime Minister Theresa May condemned his action. He claimed he had no idea about Britain First when he shared the videos.