An open letter to Malcolm Turnbull on 18C

March 28, 2017 by J-Wire Staff
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Josie Lacey has sent a letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in her capacity as convenor of Religions for Peace in NSW.

Dear Prime Minister,

Proposed Changes to the Racial Discrimination Act

Religions for Peace (NSW) is deeply concerned at reported proposals to diminish the protection against racial harassment and vilification afforded by Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.

Religions for Peace (NSW) is a member of the World Conference of Religions for Peace,  which is a Non-Government Organisation with branches in 72 countries and headquarters at the United Nations. The NSW executive includes members of seven major religions, and we meet regularly at Parliament House in Sydney.

Our aims include the promotion and advocacy of interfaith harmony and understanding, respect between the adherents of the various religions in Australia, and action to combat religious prejudice and discrimination. We see the preservation of harmony in Australia’s culturally diverse society as associated with these objectives.

Our view is that any reduction in the protection afforded by the law for our various communities would send a message that the Australian government is losing the will to provide legislative remedies which contribute to the preservation of our uniquely harmonious and culturally diverse society.
While we recognise the vital importance of the promotion and protection of freedom of speech, we would submit that Section 18C as it presently stands does not limit the civilised exchange of ideas, and that it only addresses offensive behaviour. If speech or writing does not offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate, then it is clearly not limited by the present law.
It is also our view that the very idea that the victims of racial abuse ought to defend themselves by rational argument betrays a deep misunderstanding of the sadistic mechanism of racism and its corrosive social impact. The victims of abuse should never find it necessary to engage in demeaning protest and argumentation, and they certainly would not wish to promote racist defamations by public debate.
The members of our communities have a right to live their lives in freedom from insult, humiliation and intimidation on the ground of their ethnic identity, and we look to the Australian Parliament to continue to assist in maintaining that right.

Yours truly

Josie Lacey, OAM
Convenor
Religions for Peace (NSW)

Comments

One Response to “An open letter to Malcolm Turnbull on 18C”
  1. Paul Winter says:

    Josie, the mohammedans pocket the benefits of multiculturalism and interfaith efforts to demand a special status for Islam.

    Whenever did you see any mohammedan activity when jihadi invaders raped women in Cologne, when the police accountant was murdered in Sydney, when Ismail al-Wahwah incited murderous hatred against Jews?

    Forget about the interfaith work. It is not only a waste of time, but distracts from the battle between 21st century Western Judaism based civilization and 7th century a fascist, tribal, supremacist death cult with the outer trappings of a religion. All the mohammedans want is to protect the good name of Islam and for do-gooders to lower their guard.

    Multiculturalism is a dead as the two state solution. Both were killed by jihadis seeking power and imposing their religion on everyone else.

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