Stand up to bullies and hate speech

UPDATE: Is our campaign having an effect? Slater first blogged about us misrepresenting our campaign and telling his readers we were "useful idiots", then edited his post to refer specifically to ISIS, rather than generally to Muslims.

We sent our open letter to the Commission yesterday, we'll update you when we hear back. But having Slater edit his post in and effort to make it clear he's not calling for the death of all Muslims is a good start!

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On 29 October right-wing blogger Cameron Slater wrote that “the only solution” to radical Islam is to kill them before they kill us”.

Some people have defended the post, arguing that Slater was only calling for the death of ISIL militants or Palestinians, but he refers to Islam as a whole, asking “Religion of peace? No way, it is a death cult and we should kill them before they kill us.”

Freedom of expression is a core element of any functioning democracy. So is the protection of the rights of minority groups to, amongst other things, practice their religion. Under New Zealand’s human rights laws, freedom of expression ends at the point where racist comment reaches a threshold at which it could be said to “actively excite racial hostility.” [1]

Some people say we should simply ignore the hate speech, that responding to it just gives it more ‘oxygen’. But that approach misses two essential points:

  • the urgency of demonstrating to Muslim New Zealanders that the views in this post are not shared by most New Zealanders; and

  • the corrosive effect of allowing hate speech to go uncommented upon.

Moments like this call us to stand up for the values of tolerance that underpin our society, and to make it very clear that we won’t be silent while voices of hate describe an entire religious community as “a death cult”nor will we tolerate violence against a group of people because of their religious beliefs.

Join us in calling on the people entrusted with the protection of human rights and promotion of racial harmony in New Zealand to do just that. Add your name to our open letter to the New Zealand Human Rights Commission, asking them to investigate this hateful post and if they agree with us that it meets the threshold of inciting racial hatred, have it removed.

[1] https://www.hrc.co.nz/enquiries-and-complaints/faqs/racially-offensive-comments/

Will you sign the open letter?

 

Dear Commissioners,

On 29 October right-wing blogger Cameron Slater wrote on his site WhaleOil that “the only solution” to radical Islam is to kill them before they kill us”.  In the post he refers to Islam as a whole, asking “Religion of peace? No way, it is a death cult and we should kill them before they kill us.”

Freedom of expression is a core element of any functioning democracy. So is protection of the rights of minority groups to, amongst other things, practice their religion. Under New Zealand’s human rights laws, freedom of expression ends at the point where racist comment reaches a threshold at which it could be said to “actively excite racial hostility.”

Moments like this call us to stand up for the values of tolerance that underpin our society, and to make it very clear that we won’t be silent while voices of hate describe an entire religious community as “a death cult”nor will we tolerate violence against a group of people because of their religious beliefs.

So we ask you to investigate this hateful post and if you agree that it meets the threshold of inciting racial hatred, ask Slater to remove it from his site.

699 SIGNATURES
700 signatures

Will you sign?


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