I would caution my Jewish friends, especially those fighting Tony Abbott’s free speech reforms, to interpret this warning correctly – as a plea for laws to muzzle those of us who have warned against the rise of Islamist extremism:
A WESTERN Sydney imam believes the Abbott government’s proposed repeal of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act will create a situation that favours Jews and discriminates against indigenous Australians and other minority groups.
Afroz Ali, the president of the al-Ghazzali Centre for Islamic Sciences and Human Development and founding member of the Australian Religious Response to Climate Change, warned on his Facebook page yesterday that Tony Abbott and Attorney-General George Brandis were trying to “have their racist ways to protect prejudiced sophists like Andrew Bolt and such ilk of hate-speech spreaders”.
He cautioned that if 18C was repealed, it would become “illegal to make any hate speech against Jews, but fully legal to make hate speech against the indigenous people of Australia, for example, and get away with it as an excuse of ‘freedom of speech’ “.
Jewish community leaders should consider: if I am to be muzzled by someone like Ali,moderateÂ though he may be said to be, are they safer or more exposed?
As they consider this, here’s some positions Ali has taken which I would need my free speech to criticise:
A MUSLIM leader and outspoken opponent of female genital mutilation saysfemale circumcision, which he defines as the partial removal of the clitoral hood, is not only an utterly distinct practice, but the “divinely ordained right of a woman” under Islam… Imam Afroz defines female circumcision and female genital mutilation as “two very different, and unrelated, kinds of acts; the former being permissible and the latter completely forbidden under Islamic law”.
The sickest part of this tyrannical coin is that there have already been thousands of ordinary Palestinians murdered on their own lands by Israel. The other side of this coin is that the Governments of the USA and Australia, consider the citizens of this world to be idiots, that the citizens do not recognise truth…
The only plan USA, Israel and Australia want to remember is their plan – self interest. The causes of the continuing war and loss of lives in the Middle East is a taboo topic… Retaliations and self-defence of the Palestinians are now labelled as terrorist, whilst state-terror and genocide is promoted as “Israel’s right to defend itself”. The evil in the leadership of these countries is bringing this world to an abyss…
As citizens of this world, it is a most crucial responsibility upon us that a handful of a few must not take the rest of humanity into that abyss, full of evil, that the likes of Hitler once did.
Professor [James] Allan said there were no hate speech laws in the US and it was a destination of choice for minority groups around the world…
Professor Allan said that “in the long run, letting people rip is the best protection for minority groups”.
He added that by silencing people, “it doesn’t get rid of the problem, it drives it underground, it turns them into martyrs, it’s very short-term thinking”…
Indigenous man Wesley Aird, a former member of John Howard’s indigenous advisory council, said he supported free speech, arguing legislation would never stop racism.
“I am in favour of free speech and firmly of the view that no amount of legislation can stop idiots saying stupid things,” Mr Aird said.
Gee, those laws are working well:
The Executive Council of Australian Jewry’s annual report on anti-Semitism last year listed 657 reports of racist violence directed at individuals or Jewish facilities in the year to September.
The figure marked a 21 per cent increase on the previous year…
Australian Human Rights Commission figures show the number of complaints received under the Racial Discrimination Act has risen during the past three years.
In 2010-11 there were 422 complaints made about racist behaviour under the act. That figure rose to 477 the following year, and to 500 last year.
We featured Afroz Ali here previously:
Clit-Cutting ExpertÂ Afroz AliÂ is “Setting the Record Straight” About Female Circumcision & Genital Mutilation: its aÂ Â divinely ordained right of a woman, but it has “nothing to do with Islam”.