Ignorance & stupidity is killing us
The judiciary has a lot to answer for. This judgment is based, extremely biased & ignorant.
EYE-rolls aplenty as I read the ABC’s report on the jailing of “far-right extremist” Neil Eriksonfor “disrupting a religious gathering”… in Federation Square. Ardent reporter Sarah Farnsworth went further by alleging Erikson “stormed into a Muslim peace festival” where he used a megaphone to amplify “offensive comments.”
In an unusual case, the magistrate told the court Erikson had stated he preferred to go to jail, rather than undertake a de-radicalisation program as part of a community corrections order.
“I have no alternative but to send you to prison,” Magistrate Charlie Rozencwajg told him…
Magistrate Rozencwajg said the remarks were “offensive in the extreme” to those who had gathered to pray, adding that was Erikson’s intended effect.
“Your actions are racist,” the magistrate said, noting his views were those held by far-right extremists and white supremacists.
“They have no place in Australian society and are the very antithesis of our values and morals.”
There is no evidence Erikson “stormed” anywhere and none that he made any remarks about race or the supremacy of white people. These claims are buzzword embellishments. Nor was the event a “religious gathering” where Muslims had “gathered to pray.” As a report published last year makes clear, the Federation Square event – dubbed “SalamFest” – was a PR exercise where “arts, culture, food and spiritual traditions” were showcased to counter “Islamophobia.” No charges of violence, incitement to violence or obscene language were made against Erikson.
Oddly, magistrate Rozencwajg refused to authorise the media to use video of the incident captured on CCTV. Maybe the footage doesn’t match the fuss. According to that earlier report, police alleged Erikson had shouted “Mohammed was a false prophet” and “Mohammed was a terrorist.” P’s and Q’s aside, the first claim is held by all Christians to be true. The second is accurate even if ‘terrorist’ is an anachronism applied to the sixth and seventh centuries.
Nevertheless, Erikson disrupted a peaceful assembly with intent to spoil and humiliate. I have no objection to the likes of him being warned off by police. Twelve months of left-wing terrorism has exposed with pellucid clarity what happens when bullhorn desperadoes use public squares to stalk their enemies. But this idiot, on this occasion, committed no serious crime and is no more a white supremacist – based solely on his enmity for Mohammed – than the Uyghur-phobes of the Chinese Politburu. Finally, if a “de-radicalisation” program can heal court-prone faith-baiters, I can think of one ABC reporter who should be booked in. ASAP.