Not long ago, the activist far right comprised a motley assortment of anti-Islam groups and individuals rallying in cities across Australia railing against Islamist terrorism, Muslim immigration and the Islamisation of Australia.

Today, the activist far right scene has been sharpened and galvanised into something much bolder, more militant and potentially threatening to Australian society.

Within Australia, the far right contains a wide diversity of views, and is composed of a multitude of groups of varying sizes and aims. Many tend to be active predominantly online or within-house, rather than publicly on the streets.

Out of this melange, three main political streams of thought have emerged in the contemporary activist far right in Australia. These streams may be described as civic “patriots,” nationalists and racialists.

These streams define themselves according to their own idiosyncratic ideas about identity, about who “qualifies” as an Australian and what constitutes the ideal demographic make-up of Australian society. Notions of race and culture, multiculturalism and integration, are pivotal in these streams.

There is some overlap in their beliefs, some membership exchange, and at times a great deal of hostility between them. A brief summary of the underlying ideas and modus operandi of the groups in each stream follows.

Read the article by Julie Nathan on the ABC Religion and Ethics website.

[Julie Nathan is the Research Officer for the Executive Council of Australian Jewry.]

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