29 March 2017

Move for blasphemy law could 'turn us into Saudi Arabia'

Moves within the Labor Party to extend the reach of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act to cover religion have triggered fears a government led by Bill Shorten would establish an anti-blasphemy law to prevent people offending and insulting Islam.

The proposal, from Labor's Anne Aly, was denounced by Liberal backbencher and former Human Rights commissioner Tim Wilson, who said it would "turn Australia into Saudi Arabia, where people can be hauled before courts for criticising religion".

The move was also rejected by Nick Xenophon, despite his senators being committed to blocking changes that would prevent 18C claims by those saying they have been offended or insulted. "As a general principle I do not support the reintroduction of blasphemy laws in this country," he said. [The Australian] Read more