Articles on Hate speech

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Section 18C goes further than the laws of many other democracies by applying to ‘offensive’ and ‘insulting’ speech. AAP/Lukas Coch

We should follow other countries’ lead on hate speech by changing 18C

A minor change, substituting 'vilify' for 'offend' and 'insult', would bring Section 18C more in line with similar laws in other democracies without undermining its effectiveness.
Protestants hold a Sunday service in the open air in Jakarta. Their efforts to erect their own church buildings have been blocked by hardline Muslim groups. Cherian George

The curious power of hate propaganda in open societies

Truth’s victory over hate propaganda is neither automatic nor preordained. It requires a commitment to equal rights and norms of tolerance.
A survivor stands in the graveyard where a church was torched in Eldoret, 300km west of Kenya’s capital, Nairobi. The consequences of hate speech are evident in the country. Reuters/Noor Khamis

Hate speech raises its ugly voice as Kenya drifts into election mode

The violence that often accompanies political disputes or elections is testimony to the efficacy of hate propaganda as a tool in the political arsenal of Kenyan politicians.
The cover of the ‘Weekly Standard’, February 2016.

There should be no monkeying about with hate speech

Two recent controversial cartoons depicting people as apes have raised an important question: what are the legal and philosophical distinctions between harm and offence?
Students protest at South Africa’s Stellenbosch University demanding the right to be taught in English rather than Afrikaans, which they identify with apartheid. Reuters/Mike Hutchings

Universities need to manage hate speech, not stifle freedom of expression

The university should be the bastion of the right to free expression in the promotion of democracy, and has a moral and ethical obligation to provide spaces for fierce debate and critical engagement.
When Manal Kassem laid her bridal bouquet at the tribute to the Lindt Cafe siege victims in Sydney, onlookers applauded – no-one cast doubt on her sincerity as a Muslim in the way Tony Abbott’s words have done. AAP/Supplied

Playing the Muslim card: Abbott’s loose lips threaten to sink unity

By casting doubt on the sincerity of Islamic leaders when they condemn terrorism and extremism, the prime minister risks alienating Muslims and dividing instead of uniting the Australian community.
French comedian Dieudonné has just been charged as an ‘apologist for terrorism’ for his Facebook posting ‘Je me sens Charlie Coulibaly’ (I feel I am Charlie Coulibaly). EPA/Didier Jouret

Speech in France is not so free as Section 18C critics would have it

Recent commentary about the so-called “French” idea of free speech is fuelling confusion and misinformation in the debate about Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 in Australia. Human Rights…

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