Australia to ban Nazi salute, hate symbols

Sydney, Australia, Nov 28 (EFE).- The public display of the Nazi salute would be banned in Australia as the government intends to introduce a bill in parliament prohibiting all symbols of hatred, Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus said on Tuesday.

“The government will ban the public display of the Nazi salute, making clear there is no place in Australia for those who seek to glorify hatred,” Dreyfus said in a statement.

The proposed counter-terrorism legislation amendment bill will be introduced on Wednesday “to strengthen our legislation by making the Nazi salute a criminal offense under Commonwealth law.”

The measure comes as hate crimes against the Jewish and Muslim communities have increased amid the war between Israel and the Palestinian Islamist group Hamas.

In June, the anti-terrorism law was reformed at the national level to penalize the display of Nazi symbols with up to 12 months in prison and prohibition of the sale of T-shirts, flags, bracelets, or other artifacts with swastika symbols.

“The amendments will ensure that no one will be allowed to glorify or profit from acts and symbols that celebrate the Nazis and their evil ideology,” Dreyfus said.

The measure coincides with a letter signed by more than 600 influential people, including politicians and media moguls, denouncing the rise in racist and anti-Semitic acts since the start of the conflict in the Middle East on Oct. 7.

The letter calls for greater commitment from Australia’s political leaders to combat racism in all its forms and support the Jewish community.

“All Australians are entitled to be treated with respect, free from offensive, hostile, and intimidating behavior.”

In the last seven weeks, anti-Semitic incidents have increased by 482 percent, the letter says. “We are unequivocal in our resolve that racism in all its forms is deplorable and abhorrent.”

Some jurisdictions in Australia, such as Tasmania and Victoria, banned the Nazi salute in August and October this year, which includes imprisonment of up to five years.

However, exceptions apply regarding the display of the swastika in educational, artistic, scientific, academic, or religious contexts. EFE


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