Australia

Jul 31, 2014

‘Terrorism is terrorism’ — until it’s not

Expanding anti-terrorism laws to include "promotion" of terrorism is fraught with dangers -- especially when some countries define good journalism as terrorism.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

While there are concerns about the free speech and censorship implications of the national security reforms proposed by Attorney-General George Brandis — albeit not as serious as some make out — further reforms flagged by Brandis have far greater potential to undermine free speech.

8 comments

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8 thoughts on “‘Terrorism is terrorism’ — until it’s not

  1. drsmithy

    “You have to identify a particular terrorist act. So one of the reforms that I’m looking at is a broader prohibition against the promotion or encouragement of terrorism … There’s a general law. It’s a very ancient part of the criminal law that makes it a crime to incite violence. If it’s a crime to incite violence, surely it ought to be a crime to incite or promote terrorism.”

    Promoting or inciting racism and discrimination, however, is A-OK.

    Would drowning the Prime Minister in a hessian sack count as terrorism ?

    In most circumstances, the naked hypocrisy of people like Brandis is merely laughable. When they’re running the country, it’s scary.

  2. j.oneill

    One of the fundamental problems with enforcing so-called terrorism laws is the uncertainty of their application. I have yet to hear Brandis mention prosecuting Australians who go to Israel and commit war crimes there in Israel’s terrorism of Palestine. Nor do we hear anything about prosecuting Americans who have for decades practised terrorism in a huge number of countries, Not to mention the active support for terrorist groups who at least temporarily are on the side of the Americans.

    I suspect the real motive is to (a) further enhance government control of citizens with whose opinions it disagrees; and (b) provide another weapon in the war against the enemy du jour. This government has shown an alarming tendency to bypass democratic procedures and safeguards, and this is just another example.

  3. klewso

    Sounds like this Beetle-nut leaf has been plucked straight from “The Little Dictionary of Big Bush-Cheney Scary Words” – available for a Coalition Shilling at all the Right outlets?
    It’s all in the eye of the beholder of the big stick?

  4. AR

    Meagre but accurate article BK but you really ought to replace some of the stock phrases in your F3 function, to wit & to woo – “Saudi Arabia, has been providing weaponry to moderate forces fighting the monstrous regime of President Bashar al Assad in Syria — a conflict where both sides have been guilty of atrocities” – sooo, ‘moderate forces…have been guilty of atrocities’? If that doesn’t disqualify their ‘moderateness’ I can’t imagine what would.
    Odd how the majority of the Syria population continue to prefer the “monstrous” Basher to the maniacs supported funded by, not to mention exported from the unsavoury Saudi fuedal dictatorship.
    Long spoons look like being a boom market.

  5. bushby jane

    Combined with the proposed new laws regarding online misuse, our wonderful Libs are proving to be a lot less than liberal. Until the next contradiction.

  6. Graeski

    Abbott terrifies me, ergo he’s a terrorist. Brandis encourages Abbott, ergo he should be jailed.

  7. Bill Hilliger

    J O’neill: Israeli terror and American bombs and weapons of mass destruction. One thing seems to be in their favour with respect to Australia’s tolerance …they have God and Rupert Murdoch’s press on their side.

  8. Sir Leigh Curmudgeon

    My dear Graeski, Abbott terrifies everyone, not because he’s a terrorist but because he’s just bally terrific!

    Good old Georgie B can take a somewhat superior tone sometimes but that’s just the latent school bully coming out. Nothing to get your tiara in a twist about. We’ve all got a bit of the school bully in us. Or had.

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