You said that, you may have meant this: we’ll decide

You said that, you may have meant this: we’ll decide, by Steve Chavura.

What did Kruger utter that might be vilification?

In an ­exchange between co-hosts Lisa Wilkinson and an inarticulate David Campbell, Kruger said “there is a correlation between the number of people who, you know, are Muslim in a country and the number of terrorist attacks … Personally I would like to see it (Muslim immigration) stopped now for Australia. Because I want to feel safe, as all of our citizens do, when they go out to celebrate Australia Day.” …

Under the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act, which she is accused of having breached, it is unlawful “to incite hatred towards, serious contempt for, or severe ridicule of, a person or group of persons on the ground of the race of the person or members of the group.” Channel 9 pointed out the obvious. Kruger has said nothing about race and therefore could not have breached the act.

The usual leftist argument against distinguishing between race and religion is that religion is really a surrogate for race: people who criticise Islam really just don’t like Muslims. So, while Kruger claims she’s talking about a religious category, she’s just dog-whistling to anti-Muslims.

But, again, strictly speaking would not be clearly racist either; a Muslim can be of any race, so the identity marker picked out in anti-Muslim speech or sentiment is not racial.

This is proven by the fact some of the most vocal critics of ­Islamic immigration in Australia are Egyptian and Lebanese Christians; they don’t criticise Islamic immigration because they dislike Arabs. …

Is it wise to grant state-backed human rights commissions and anti-discrimination tribunals the power to declare what someone really means, despite what they said? Isn’t it especially unwise to grant such powers when it comes to political speech? Do we want the state telling citizens what they really meant by their utterances on immigration, Islam, and Muslims, then punishing them for it?