Campaign to shine a light on devastating impacts of ‘War on Terror’
PM Attempt To Water Down RDA 18CThe ICV is disappointed by the Turnbull Government’s decision to push for watering down of Australia’s protections against racial abuse. Section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act has served this proudly multicultural nation well for over twenty years. Protecting Australians from abuse because of the colour of their skin or where they came from is a matter of basic justice and fairness for all. As Australians, we are all free to express our opinions but no one has the right to subject their fellow citizens to bigoted and hateful abuse. ICV President Mohamed Mohideen said, “This is short term domestic politics that doesn’t reflect the good will of the Australian people. Replacing the words ‘insult’ and ‘offend’ with ‘harass’ will reduce the protection of many, especially the vulnerable, including indigenous Australians and those from an African background already experiencing the profound and serious harm caused by racism.” Adel Salman, ICV Vice President, adds, “The PM has far more important issues to worry about like energy supply and chronic under-employment than this ultimately doomed attempt to pander to the extreme elements in his party. And on Harmony Day of all days…what really is the point of all this?” The overwhelming majority of ethnic and cultural communities oppose any attempt to weaken the protections in the Act. In fact, there is a case for strengthening the Act so that religion is included. There is growing evidence to show that people wearing symbols of religious observance, such as the hijab, are being targeted for abuse in this country. “We know that this is not just about race, it’s about religion, and the Act needs to be strengthened which is why we joined with other Victorian Multicultural, Faith and Community Organisations to call for this in our joint submission to the Senate inquiry” Mohamed said. Racial abuse, and threats of violence against women and children is unacceptable in all its shapes and forms and it is our collective responsibility as citizens and community leaders to step up and protect people from racial and religious discrimination. For any media enquiries, please contact Adel Salman (ICV Vice-President and Media Spokesperson) at email@example.com or call ICV Office (03) 9328 3067.