NSW cabinet must make inciting violence a crime

NSW cabinet must make inciting violence a crime, by Janet Albrechtsen.

Picture this poster. A Nazi holds a gun to the head of a man on his knees wearing the Star of David. “Legalise the execution of Jews,” it says across the top. “Join your local Nazis,” it says along the bottom.

This poster, which appeared on the school sign outside Maroochydore High School in Queensland last week, incites violence against Jews. The same posters were plastered on walls at Melbourne Grammar School and Melbourne High School in August last year, and they are the work of Antipodean Resistance. …

Other posters are more dangerous because they plainly incite violence against people on the basis of their sexuality, race or religion. …

Now for more disturbing news. The NSW Liberal government has refused to take steps so that these neo-Nazis thugs will be prosecuted, and convicted, for inciting ­violence. A law, section 20D, has been on the books for almost 30 years. It prohibits the incitement to violence. But there hasn’t been a single conviction since the Anti-Discrimination Act was enacted by the Greiner government in 1989. Not even a single prosecution. …

There was no prosecution of ­Ismail al-Wahwah, the extremist imam and head of Hizb ut-Tahrir in Australia, when he called for “jihad against Jews” in 2015 during a sermon at a mosque in Lakemba. Nor when he described Jews as a “cancerous tumour — it must be uprooted and thrown back to where it came from”. Instead, his violent incitement was freely distributed online to young men who have murder on their minds and hatred in their hearts. …

This is not a free-speech issue. This is not about hate speech, a term that is not always easy to objectively define and ap­ply. It’s not about protecting snowflakes … It’s not about insults that bruise an ego or words that merely offend or harass or intimidate. This is about stopping people who are determined to ­incite phys­ical violence. This is about the safety of Australians, especially those who live in NSW without protection from people who incite violence. …

Inciting physical violence is where we should all draw a thick black line. No discussion required.