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Queensland likely to be second Australian state to ban Nazi

Queensland is to become the second state in Australia to ban Nazi symbols.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will introduce a bill to ban the public display of the swastika flag in the “Sunshine State”.

That will make it the second to ban Nazi and other hate emblems, to ensure extremists are “called out, confronted and condemned”.

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She will introduce a bill on Thursday which criminalises the intentional display of symbols to promote hatred or cause fear, such as the swastika, which is also known as the Hakenkreuz.

“Nazism is evil,” the premier said. “Evil triumphs when good people do nothing. These crimes are not harmless and nor is the ideology behind it. We will make it a criminal offence to display symbols promoting hatred and causing fear.

“These crimes are not harmless. Nor are their ideologies.

“They are to be called out, confronted and condemned.”

Her decision comes after a Nazi flag was displayed in the window of a block of flats near the Brisbane Synagogue – and a train carriage was vandalised with Nazi slogans and symbols last year.

The government of Victorian has already introduced a bill to ban them and New South Wales is set to follow suit.

A Queensland parliamentary committee last year recommended prohibiting hate symbols, including those representing the Nazi and Islamic State ideologies, after an inquiry into serious vilification and hate crimes.

The committe also recommended it the bill should cover social media and internet displays of hate symbols.

“The committee notes the proliferation of vilifying commentary on various social media platforms and considers that the public nature of social media usage needs to be recognised in the definition of ‘public acts’ for the purpose of anti-vilification legislation,” its report said.

The cross-party panel said the protections should include race, religion, sexuality and gender identity but also disability, medical status, sex characteristics and intersex status. It also proposed making hate or serious vilification an aggravation in criminal cases. Another plan is that the civil incitement test should only need to prove offenders’ actions were “likely to” incite hate, even if they actually did not.

There are no plans to make exceptions for Hindus, Buddhists and Jains – for whom swastikas are religious symbols.

Source: Jewish News

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