Idiot Writes Anti-Islam Post On FB, Cops Religious Vilification Charge

Victoria Police have handed out their first-ever charge for religious vilification for a crime stemming from a post made on social media.

A 38-year-old Australian woman from Swan Hill has been officially charged by police, after a comment she made on a post on a Facebook page pertaining to the highly criticised “Stop the Mosque in Bendigo” movement caught widespread attention.
The post called for all mosques to burned down, with the doors locked, during prayer time.
However, the woman has remained outwardly defiant, to the point of pure arrogance, about the charge. She has claimed that she cannot be charged with religious vilification, given that she personally does not recognise Islam as a religion.
The woman, who Fairfax Media chose not to name, posted her charge sheet and a lengthy self-defence, stating that she absolutely would not back down to police over the matter.

“It was not long after the Lindt Siege and I commented on a Stop the Mosque in Bendigo page. It was when Sweden were burning mosques down and I made a comment of: all mosques should be burnt down with the doors locked at prayer time! Probably not the best thing to write but that’s my opinion, others commented after my post agreeing with it and unbeknown to myself it got a lot of likes, that is where their incitement charge is coming from.”

“Yesterday I got a call at work by the detective and he told me I was being charged. I told him how can I be charged for an opinion and how can I be charged with a religious vilification when I don’t acknowledge those that are Muslims and those that follow the Quaran (sic) as a religion but as an evil, hateful ideology.

“I am more than happy for it to go public, if I do nothing about it and let them win it goes against everything I stand for and I can’t do that! I didn’t want this or the publicity that will come with it but it is what it is and I’m not about to back down.”

Fun paragraph, right?

The reality, though, is that under Section 25 of Victoria’s Racial and Religious Tolerance Act, you absolutely “can be charged for an opinion.” Quite easily, in fact.

“A person (the offender) must not, on the ground of the religious belief or activity of another person or class of persons, intentionally engage in conduct (including the use of the internet or email) that the offender knows is likely—

(a) to incite hatred against that other person or class of persons; and 

(b) to threaten, or incite others to threaten, physical harm towards that other person or class of persons or the property of that other person or class of persons.”

And using Facebook to make a blanket statement that all persons of a particular religious persuasion should, in the normal, peaceful practice of that religion, be locked up and murdered by fire seems to fit quite comfortably into that definition.

Anna Brown, director of advocacy at the Human Rights Law Centre, confirmed as much – even going so far as to state that any posting on Facebook, public or private, constitutes speech to an audience under the act.

“Under the Act, a message needs to have an audience in order to incite. So arguably even if the audience is limited on a private Facebook page, it is still an audience.”

“To publicly encourage people to burn to death people of a particular faith – as this woman has allegedly done on Facebook, is clearly unacceptable.”

“We have laws that aim to prevent harmful hate speech that incites violence, so it’s understandable that the police would want to follow this matter up. Whether it’s in the street or on social media, it’s unacceptable and dangerous to actively call for the murder of other people.”

The woman is due to appear in the Swan Hill Magistrates Court to have the charges heard on February 16th.

The charges carry a maximum penalty of six months prison, and a fine of $9,100.
Photo: Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.
Source: The Age.