Hate speech could prevent political activist from speaking in New Zealand

hate speech

Canadian Lauren Southern, described as a “far-right political activist, internet personality, and journalist associated with the alt-right,” is advertising a show in Auckland.

She was banned from entering the UK in March after antagonising Muslims by displaying flyers reading “Allah is a Gay God” and “Allah is trans.”

Unlike in the UK, a hate speech is not a specific offence in New Zealand. It is coded under existing crime categories.

But, should the Human Rights Commision plan to ban hate speech or disharmonious comments that are “targeted at the religion and beliefs of ethnic minority communities” in New Zealand, Southern could be banned from entering the country.

On the other hand, if she confines her hate speech to the Christian religion, she may not experience any problem.

Christianity is not considered to be a religion and belief system of an ethnic minority community.

So, as academic and blogger Paul Moon has recently pointed out, the “open season on attacking Christianity will remain, with its followers responding, as their faith requires, by turning the other cheek.”

Moon said the freedom to criticise religion and to try to discover the truth was a burning issue in previous centuries.

“Yet in our more enlightened age, the Human Rights Commission is challenging the notion that we have progressed far enough to discuss, debate and even criticise ideas that are different from our own.”

Police and the Ministry of Justice are considering new ways of recording crimes in an effort to combat racism.

But concerns have been raised over suppressing New Zealanders’ right to free speech.

The police have started consulting with community leaders to consider the pros and cons of recording the data separately.

Source

News category: New Zealand.

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