11 May 2017

Gillian Triggs tells of alarm over 'demonising' of Muslims in Australia

Gillian Triggs, president of the Australian Human Rights Commission, has expressed alarm at Australia’s growing tolerance for “demonising” Muslims and hate speech directed at minorities.

Triggs said the controversy over an Anzac Day Facebook post by the writer and television presenter Yassmin Abdel-Magied – “a hijab-wearing Muslim woman” – was an example of a “growing tolerance for demonising Muslims generally”.

Abdel-Magied posted “LEST.WE.FORGET. (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine … )” on her Facebook page on 25 April, before deleting it.

“Despite a speedy apology for what she conceded was a disrespectful comment on this day of remembrance,” Triggs said, “this relatively minor incident has been used to demand the removal of Abdel-Magied from the Council of Australian-Arab Relations, to constrain her right to freedom of speech and to demand that, as an Australian resident since she was a young child, she should return to Sudan, her country of origin.” [The Guardian] Read more