Submission to Review of the Counter-Terrorism Legislation Amendment (Prohibited Hate Symbols and Other Measures) Bill 2023

In August AJDS has made a submission to the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security. A number of issues were of concern.

  • First, the limited utility of banning the Swastika and other known Nazi symbols, when so many other symbols are created, and can be appropriate by hate groups either physically or online.
  • Second, the effect on community relations engendered by banning the ISIS flag. This is perceived as banning words sacred to Muslims, even though it is argued that the ban is about political appropration of sacred words, not religion.
  • Third, to the inexpert eye, various objects ( clothing decorations, other objects) community could be confused as being associated with ISIS resulting in disturbing investigations or prosecutions.
  • It is also strange that the ISIS flag is being pursued when the flags of other groups are not banned.
  • Finally, the Amendments do nothing for the most important strategy, and that is schools and community education and development against political extremism.

The full submission is attached.