Saturday, August 27, 2005

Bracks Vilification Laws Make Victoria Global Laughingstock

Amir Butler, executive director of the Australian Muslim Public Affairs Committee has written an article for UK website Spiked Online decrying the disastrous effects of the Bracks' governments vilification laws:

Like his Blairite counterparts, the premier of Victoria, Steve Bracks, introduced the legislation amid promises of a new era of 'tolerance'. Two years later, it's a strange kind of tolerance when Muslims are suing Christians, witches are suing the Salvation Army, acolytes of Aleister Crowley are suing child psychologists, and faith communities are playing an obscene game of 'gotcha'.

. . . Religion is an abstract concept. This causes issues in a secular state that cannot hold an opinion as to the spiritual legitimacy of a faith. A witch, for example, is therefore entitled to the same protection from vilification as a Christian or Jew.

. . . Religious hatred laws are also a useful tool for cults wishing to stifle debate or hinder exposure. In Australia, followers of Aleister Crowley's Ordo Templi Orientis have already initiated a lawsuit against a prominent child psychologist. Dr Reina Michaelson, a former Australian of the Year, had the temerity to quote from the group's own Book of Law as evidence linking the group with the ritual abuse of children. Currently overseas working with victims of the Asian tsunami, she must now return to Australia to defend herself in the courts.
- Amir Butler

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