Anti-mosque flyer ‘unlikely’ to be in breach of discrimination laws

The ACT Human Rights Commissioner has found a flyer opposing a mosque development in Canberra’s north is unlikely to have breached the Discrimination Act.

The flyer was distributed by a group calling itself the Concerned Citizens of Canberra. It outlined a number of worries about a proposal for the mosque in Gungahlin including the social impact. The flyer raised doubts whether the mosque’s proponents would be good neighbours in the community.

ACT Multicultural Affairs Minister Joy Burch declared the Government supported the mosque and referred the flyer to ACT Human Rights Commissioner Helen Watchirs.

In a decision handed down today, Dr Watchirs found the flyer was concerned with religious issues rather than race and it was also unclear whether it breached vilification provisions. Dr Watchirs said a complainant might have more success in the federal jurisdiction where there was a lower threshold to establish racial hatred.

ABC News, 2 August 2012

See also “Mosque flyer ‘offensive’ but not racist: Commissioner”,Canberra Times, 2 August 2012