Australian Navy’s Islamic Twitter account shut down after complains from anti-Islam group


The official Twitter account of the Australian navy’s adviser on Muslim affairs has been shut down after an official complaint by an anti-Islam group regarding its content, Guardian Australia reported.

The account @navyislamic of Captain Mona Shindy, the chief of navy’s strategy adviser on Islamic affairs, was active on Twitter before it was deleted around December 22.

Shindy, who heads the Guided Missile Frigate System programme office, had infuriated right-wing activists with her tweets, including a tweet in which she criticised a political party. On October 22, the adviser had described the new Australian Liberty Alliance (ALA) as an “extreme, ill-informed fringe group”.

Following this, the head of the ALA, Debbie Robinson, who has formerly described Islam as “a dangerous ideology” incompatible with western society, wrote to the chief of the Australian defence force, Air Chief Marshal Mark Binskin, on December 10 asking the navy to detach itself from the account or delete it.

“It is completely unacceptable for an official defence Twitter account to criticise any registered political party in Australia,” Robinson said in a press release.

The account was deleted within 12 days of the complaint after which the defense media told Guardian that, “Navy has consolidated its social media platforms to achieve a ‘single source’ so as to strengthen its messaging in sync with its support to traditional media.”

However, according to a statement by a defence spokesperson on Tuesday, some navy-linked accounts will remain online “due to the site not being solely managed by navy, or branding arrangements such as with some sporting bodies such as the Australian Surf Rowers League, Team Navy as well as Navy Rugby Union”.

“Other sites and accounts will be reviewed once personnel have returned from the Reduced Activity Period in mid January,” he said. Moreover, a review of all navy branded social media is in progress and will be completed by early 2016.

According to defence regulations, personnel may express their views on political parties, candidates or issues, “but not as defence personnel”.

Shindy was awarded the Conspicuous Service Cross in the 2015 Australia Day honours. She was named NSW businesswoman of the year in November.