Frederick_Vosper
Frederick Vosper, looking bohemian and not at all like a bigot

We in the Dodgy Perth office are in favour of people using their democratic right to protest against mosques. It makes organising dinner parties much easier when the bigots have outed themselves.

But before we get too smug and believe only the Victorians have a racism problem, a quick look back at the Anti-Asiatic League which was formed at Coolgardie in 1894 to ensure only white folk worked the goldfields.

All-round racist, and founder of the Sunday Times, Frederick Vosper explained to a public rally that the average Afghan had first come to Coolgardie as a mere camel driver. By working hard he had gradually become a storeman, then a member of the police force. Eventually, some Afghans had obtained work with the council.

Naturally such an evil could not be allowed to go unchecked, Vosper explained, so whites had been forced to found the Anti-Asiatic League to stop hard-working Muslims getting jobs.

Being a clever chap, Vosper had noted whites and Afghans had different religions. Therefore, he said, the two races could never be on friendly terms. Not only that, the buggers were so dirty they polluted the water supply just by using it.

Warming to his theme, Frederick explained that since dogs were quarantined to stop rabies, Muslims should be quarantined to prevent leprosy. And just like he would today, Vosper read a few out-of-context lines from the Qur’an to prove Muslims hated Christians.

Either the white man or the Afghan must go, he declared. The miners, at any rate, were determined that it should be the Afghan.

The Anti-Asiatic League roared its approval and this tolerant nation took one more step on the road to White Australia.