The Australian government has announced a new bill that would make it illegal to display Nazi symbols such as swastikas and SS runes in public places.
The bill aims to combat the rise of neo-Nazi groups and hate crimes in the country, and to send a clear message that Australia rejects any form of racism, antisemitism, or fascism.
The bill would amend the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 to include Nazi symbols as a form of racial vilification, punishable by fines or imprisonment.
The bill would also empower the Australian Human Rights Commission to investigate and resolve complaints of Nazi symbol display, and to educate the public about the history and impact of Nazi ideology.
The bill has received bipartisan support from both major parties, as well as from various community groups and civil society organizations. The bill’s proponents argue that Nazi symbols are not protected by freedom of expression, as they represent a direct threat to human dignity and democracy.
They also point out that many other countries, such as Germany, France, and Canada, have already banned Nazi symbols in public.
However, the bill has also faced some criticism from some legal experts and civil liberties advocates, who question its constitutionality and effectiveness.
They warn that the bill could infringe on the right to political communication, and that it could create a slippery slope for banning other controversial symbols or opinions. They also doubt that the bill would deter neo-Nazis from spreading their hateful views online or in private settings.