Saturday, June 05, 2004

Do anti-vilification laws work?

Talk about a change of heart! Amir Butler is a Muslim community leader in Australia. He strongly supported the establishment here in Victoria of anti-vilification legislation.

Having secured the legislation, Amir Butler then filed a complaint against a Christian church which had criticised Islam for its treatment of non-believers.

Now Butler has changed his mind, and opposes the anti-vilification legislation. Why? Because the legislation is being used to scrutinise the public comments of Muslim leaders, and not just Christians.

Furthermore, Butler now admits that anyone who takes religion seriously is likely to hold the beliefs of other churches to be in error. He therefore thinks it reasonable for one church to make criticisms of other churches. He thinks it better to have such debate about religion openly, rather than for churches to set their lawyers on to each other.

1 comment:

  1. One would have thought Amir Butler would have been more concerned that anti-vilification legislation would pose a threat to supporters of the Taliban and Saudi Wahhabism who set up webpages in order to attack Sufis and other Islamic Traditionalists, declaring them to be unislamic cultists.

    But of course, Amir Butler has not done anything like that, has he? At least, not since the legislation was introduced.