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AIJAC deeply disappointed by dropping of investigation into Sydney hate-speech clerics

Dec 7, 2023 | AIJAC staff

Image: X/ Twitter screenshot
Image: X/ Twitter screenshot

The Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council (AIJAC) today expressed its “deep disappointment” and “frustration”  at the news that State and Federal police have dropped their investigations into hate speech by several clerics in southwest Sydney in the wake of the October 7 wave of mass-murder attacks in Israel.

AIJAC Executive Director Dr Colin Rubenstein said:

“I am deeply disappointed and frustrated that State and Federal police have dropped their investigations into hate speech by clerics in southwest Sydney.

We acknowledge that the Minns Government passed laws last week and they should become operational as soon as possible.

How can a small group of clerics be allowed to propagate hate from the pulpit and fail to be held to account? The community is scratching their heads in bewilderment. The reported comments were as blatant as anyone could imagine. If these comments were not prosecutable under Australia’s hate speech laws, it is hard to see what would be.

No one should be permitted to preach hate towards another group or a minority without facing tough consequences.

If we are to strive to maintain our harmonious, democratic, multicultural society that is free from incitement to violence, then it is essential that our relevant State and Federal laws are workable and enforceable. Make no mistake, hate speech has no place in our society.

The Jewish community has long advocated changes to State and Federal race hate laws and AIJAC wrote in early November asking State and Federal leaders and their shadow ministerial counterparts requesting they urgently consider toughening up our laws in this area.”

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