Three men who made a video of a mock beheading with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’ to urge people to rally against a proposed mosque in Bendigo, have become the first people convicted under Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act.
Blair Cottrell, the leader of the far-right activist group United Patriots Front, Christopher Shortis and Neil Erikson were charged with knowingly engaging in conduct with the intention of inciting serious contempt for, or revulsion of a class of persons, namely Muslims.
The men appeared before the Melbourne Magistrates Court for a contested hearing of the charge relating to the October 2015 video which was posted on the United Patriots Front Facebook page.
Today Magistrate John Hardy found the trio guilty and ordered each man to pay a $2000 fine.
He said he rejected the submission by Mr Shortis that the video dealt with a tenet of Islam and the beheading, not the religion itself.
He said he accepted prosecution submissions that in this case it was not necessary to prove that the video would incite such responses or that it did so, only that it was intended to incite contempt or revulsion. …
Earlier, the men claimed the stunt beheading a mock dummy was an act of free speech rather than religious vilification. …
Mr Shortis said no evidence had been presented to show the video was intended to incite serious revulsion or contempt.
“We the accused made a political statement on the dangers of Islam,” he said. …
[Prosecutor Fran Dalziel] said the beheading itself clearly referenced well publicised and tragic acts of terrorists purporting to act in the name of Islam.
“They are imputing acts of terrorists as part of general acts of Islam,” she said.
Shut up, deplorables! See the next post, on Europe submitting to Islam, under the wise leadership of the PC crowd.
hat-tip Stephen Neil