Mosque flyer 'offensive' but not racist: Commissioner
A controversial anti-mosque flyer distributed in Gungahlin has probably not breached the ACT’s Discrimination Act, but has prompted the Human Rights Commissioner to again call for stronger anti-discrimination laws in the territory in a report on the matter released today.
The flyer, distributed in Gungahlin by a group calling themselves the Concerned Citizens of Canberra, urged residents to oppose the construction of a mosque on The Valley Avenue because of its ‘‘social impact’’ on the ‘‘Australian neighbours’’ in the northern Canberra region.
The flyer also raised concerns about traffic and noise, ‘‘public interest’’ and the proposed size of the development.
ACT Human Rights and Discrimination Commissioner Dr Helen Watchirs, who was asked to investigate concerns the flyer constituted racist material, released her advice on the matter today.
Dr Watchirs said that while the flyer was ‘‘undoubtedly offensive’’, the ACT’s current discrimination laws had too high a test for racial vilification for the flyer to be considered in breach of the Discrimination Act.