By inadvertently calling for a national anti-blasphemy law, Labor’s Anne Aly has exposed the hollowness of her party’s opposition to constructive reform of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
The member for Cowan told The Australian earlier this week that there was scope to reassess extending 18C-style protections to make it unlawful to offend someone on the basis of religion.
In making her point, Aly said she didn’t understand why “someone can call you a dirty Arab and that be covered under the bill, but if they call you a dirty Muslim, you’re not covered”.
Aly’s position is consistent with Australia’s Grand Mufti, who proffered the same proposal earlier this year.
No one is disputing that people should be free from harassment. But if 18C is extended to make it unlawful to offend religion it would amount to a national anti-blasphemy law.
18C is already an anti-blasphemy law, if you just recognize multiculturalism as part of the new PC religion.
After the absurdity of her proposal was exposed, Aly has rejected any suggestion she wanted “to extend section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to cover religion”.
With such a simple statement, Aly confirmed how vacuous and opportunist Labor’s consideration of 18C reform has been.
It either has to explain why offending someone on the basis of race, colour, national or ethnic origin is worse than doing the same towards religion or acknowledge being offended is the wrong test in law. …
Now both Dreyfus and Aly are caught in hypocritical incoherence. They now think making it unlawful to harass someone on the basis of race amounts to licensing “hate speech”, and concurrently argue making it unlawful to offend any other section of society is an unsupportable restriction on free speech.