'Alarming emergence' of religious intolerance in Australia

2015-11-05 14:18


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sydney - Australia is experiencing an "alarming emergence" of religious intolerance, Attorney-General George Brandis said on Thursday, calling for greater efforts to counter discrimination, particularly against Muslims and Christians.

Brandis, who spoke at an inaugural Religious Freedom Roundtable, said he was fearful for religious freedom and tolerance in Australia.

"Members of the Islamic community are sometimes the victims of suspicion and hostility directed against them by those ignorantly seeking to blame terrorist violence upon Koranic teaching," Brandis told the gathering of religious representatives in Sydney.

"Members of Christian faiths - in particular the Catholic faith - are routinely the subject of mockery and insult by prominent writers and commentators.

"It is the work of this roundtable to identify some of the challenges which this alarming emergence of intolerance of religious faith... presents," the nation's top law officer added as he called for the development of strategies to promote tolerance and understanding.

National security

Brandis' comments came as a report reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the Racial Discrimination Act, and which surveyed Muslim Australians, found they experienced "daily or regular" discrimination due to their beliefs.

"Many participants in the public consultations observed a rise in anti-Muslim sentiments, reflecting increased public attention on terrorism and national security," said the report released Thursday by the Australian Human Rights Commission.

"Many participants labelled anti-Muslim discrimination a daily or regular occurrence, particularly following the Sydney Lindt cafe siege in December 2014 and heightened concerns about national security."

The cafe stand-off, where Iranian-born gunman and self-styled cleric Man Haron Monis and two hostages were killed, took place amid growing fears about home-grown extremists and the movement of dozens of Australians to the Middle East to fight with jihadist groups such as Islamic State.

The report said the current racial discrimination laws might not protect Muslim Australians against ethno-religious or religious vilification.

Read more on:    australia  |  religion

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.