Call to curb racial-vilification grows

September 30, 2015 by J-Wire Staff
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Six ethnic organisations have added their voices to the call by the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies for the state’s race-vilification legislation to be strengthened.

Vic Alhadeff

Vic Alhadeff

They include Greek, Chinese, Assyrian, Indian and Sikh groups, and an organisation representing about 15 ethnic communities.

The call comes in the wake of the decision by the NSW Police and Director of Public Prosecutions not to take legal action against Ismail al-Wahwah, spiritual leader of Hizb ut-Tahrir, after he described Jews as “the most evil creature of Allah” in a public speech and threatened that “the ember of jihad against the Jews will continue to burn … an eye for an eye, blood for blood, destruction for destruction. Judgment Day will not come until the Muslims fight the Jews. There is only one solution for this cancerous tumour: it must be uprooted and thrown back to where it came from.”

In March the NSW Jewish Board of Deputies referred the incident to the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board, but the six-month time limit for commencing a prosecution closed without legal action being taken.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies, which has been calling for a strengthening of the race-hate law, has been joined in that call by: George Vellis, Director of the Australian Hellenic Council (NSW); Felix Lam, president of the Australian Chinese Community Association of NSW; Hermiz Shahen, deputy secretary-general of the Assyrian Universal Alliance; Dr Yadu Singh, President of the Federation of Indian Associations of NSW; Ajmer Singh Gill, President of the National Sikh Council of Australia; and Dr Anthony Pun OAM, national president, and David Dawson, honorary secretary of the Chinese Community Council of Australia Inc. Dr Pun is also chair of the Multicultural Communities Council of NSW, which represents about 15 Culturally and Linguistically Diverse communities – Chinese, Malaysian & Singaporean, Korean, Vietnamese, Croatian, Macedonian, Anglo-Celtic, Sikh, Indian sub-continent, Lebanese, Nepalese, Burmese, Egyptian, Pakistani and African.

Rajesh Sharma, publisher of Indus Age, has added his support to the call.

The NSW Jewish Board of Deputies is working closely with NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton MP on the need to amend the state’s hate-speech legislation, Section 20D of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act.

Board of Deputies President Jeremy Spinak and CEO Vic Alhadeff have had a number of meetings with the Attorney-General in recent weeks designed to progress the issue and achieve a constructive outcome.

Alhadeff said: “The State Government is keen to improve the legislative process and is working towards reform. The Attorney-General has been receptive to our views and supportive of the community’s concerns. Consultation is continuing, and we look forward to a positive outcome that will benefit the entire state of New South Wales.”

Reverend Fred Nile MLC recently put questions in the Upper House, calling on the government to take action on the issue. Duncan Gay, Leader of the Government in the Legislative Council, responded that he found the antisemitic remarks “not acceptable to any member of this House” and undertook to raise the issue with the Premier.

Comments

2 Responses to “Call to curb racial-vilification grows”
  1. Liat Nagar says:

    It seems to me that the Police and DPP actually did have the power to press charges, so the question is, why did they not do so? Perhaps because there was no precedent, and this would have been the first prosecution under the act? That’s no excuse. How weak and despicable.

    The utterance of al-Wahwah was clearly and comprehensively not only racial vilification, but also inciting hatred and action to destroy – how absolutely pathetic not to respond to it by prosecuting.

    Australia has a bad record for prosecuting or extraditing Nazis, too. It seems we’re not a very strong or determined people in attempting to mete out justice.

  2. Erica Edelman says:

    The Police/and or DPP should have been
    Able/had the power to charge this hateful excuse of a human being. End of story.
    It begins and ends with the first charge by either the police or citizens. The law needs
    To be clear and exacting. NO ambiguity. Hate speech is hate speech – no matter to whom it’s
    Directed.

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