A challenge to Victoria's "anti-vilification" laws

The email below was sent by Joe Cambria to the Chief Executive Officer of the Equal Opportunity Commission of Victoria

Dear Ms. Szoke:

I have just read a piece in Brookesnews.com referring to the racial vilification laws as the Bracks blasphemy laws. The writer, Mr. Gerry Jackson, makes reference to the case your office brought against the two Christian ministers and the "aggressive" way in which your office persecuted these two men. The pastors were, as we are told, simply quoting passages from the Koran and then asking the congregation to "pray and love all Muslims".

This has a certain smell about it, Ms Szoke, reminding many of us of what used happen in Star Chamber proceedings in earlier times in England when people were prosecuted in secret trials for speaking up against the Crown.

I believe Mr. Jackson has thrown down the gauntlet with this piece. He describes himself as an active liberal party member daring your office to prosecute him. Mr. Jackson is portraying the Islamic Prophet as a vile person. I don't believe your office can avoid prosecuting Mr. Jackson judging from what he wrote in this article, which has been posted on the web.

Ms. Szoke, if I can please make an observation? If you fail to go after Mr. Jackson, the legal attack against the two pastors becomes obviously selective and capricious, smacking of opportunism. If you move to prosecute Mr. Jackson, the political position you place the State Government in could have adverse political consequences. After all, going after a Liberal Party member who writes a piece and then publishing it on the web that directly flies in the face of the blasphemy laws will simply look like a Stalinist prosecution.

I am sure that, as a matter of courtesy, Mr. Jackson will be notifying the pastors' legal representatives about his article written in Melbourne and therefore violating the Bracks Blasphemy laws. He will, I'm sure also notify these representatives of your failure to act if you fail to bring action.

As you can see, prosecuting a Liberal Party member will smack of Stalinism. However failing to act will immediately jeopardize the current ongoing case.

I am also copying this email to several people including the leader of the opposition, the Prime Minister and several journalists to ensure this correspondence receives the proper attention. See here for the article in question.

Comments? Email John Ray

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