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Two articles in The Weekend Australian (1/4) should send shivers down the spine of Australians who still believe in freedom of thought and expression, and basic democratic values.
The first (“Ideology ousts news at ANU paper”), relates the experience of the young news editor of ANU’s student newspaper who gave up battling against political correctness and identity politics, where only “ethnocultural self-identifying students” were allowed to contribute to a special edition, and where “white Anglo-Celts” were excluded. Is this the norm in our universities? Is this how our brightest are educated?
The second (“Triggs slams parliament’s failure”) contains a remark by the Australian Human Rights Commission president Gillian Triggs who is reported as saying: “Sadly, you can say what you want around the kitchen table at home.”
We have the head of the AHRC complaining about the right of freedom of speech in the home. If we thought that the removal of the Berlin Wall put paid to thought police, we were sadly mistaken.
The Stasi in East Germany had collaborators in families who informed on their parents or spouses on discussions around the kitchen table that opposed the prevailing party line.
Is this the goal of those such as Triggs? And is the ANU grooming our students for such a society?
If the Turnbull government is serious about free speech, as a first step the PM must request Triggs’s resignation. And while the PM is at it, put in a call to ANU chancellor Gareth Evans and ask him what action is being taken to preserve the university’s reputation.
Dennis Murphy, Hope Island, Qld
Discrimination hurdle
Imagine an immigrant who is a devout Muslim. He is married with two daughters but he believes that women are inferior to men and he demands that his wife wears a burka.
His daughters have been subjected to genital mutilation at an early age and he sees their marriage as child brides as normal.
He supports the death penalty for apostasy and homosexuality and considers that his religion takes precedence over the state.
He has no tolerance for Western liberalism, is highly sensitive to any criticism and supports sharia law.
Such a man would not be hard to find in Australia today. It is horrifying to think that his views, rather than normal community standards, would be the starting point when adjudicating whether or not an offence was committed against him under section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act.
H. Ronald, Jerrabomberra, NSW