Nazi Swastika Ban and Impact on Freedom of Speech


Victoria is the first Australian state to introduce a law banning the disclosure of Nazi Swastika to Parliament. The abbreviated prosecution amendment (Nazi symbol ban) bill has gained bipartisan support and therefore passes parliament without opposition.

Following a congressional investigation recommendation, New South Wales plans to adopt a similar law. However, the emblem has religious versions of Hinduism and Buddhism, and its use remains legal.

There is no doubt that the Nazi government, which ruled Germany from 1933 to 1945, was evil. Based on the racist ideology, it wages a war of aggression, resulting in the persecution and killing of about 6 million Jews known as the “Holocaust.”

It is arguable that Swastika as a symbol of the Nazis portrays evil, but it is still appropriate to consider the impact of the proposed ban on freedom of speech in Australia.

Many countries do not ban the release of Swastika. In this regard, it is interesting to note that the use of Nazi symbols is legal in Israel. The country enacted a law banning swastikas in 2012, but so far no Israeli law has been passed.

The ban on Nazi symbols usually involves banning the spread of revisionist history in an attempt to deny the existence of the Holocaust.

As expected, the use of the Nazi symbol is banned in Germany. In accordance with Article 9 of the Basic Law of 1949, “organizations whose purpose or activity violates the criminal law or which violates the constitutional order … shall be prohibited.” This article is based on the former National Socialism (Nazi). Make the organization illegal and unconstitutional.

German criminal law prohibits the domestic dissemination, production, public use, production, inventory, imports, and exports of unconstitutional promotional materials, especially those aimed at promoting the purposes of former Nazi organizations. .. There is an exemption from prosecution for educational and artistic purposes. Such exemptions are also incorporated into Victorian law.

Epoch Times Photo
On October 1, 2012, a swastika can be seen scribbled in front of the Victoria Parliament House in Melbourne, Australia (AAP Image / David Crosling).

The suitability of Swastika’s ban and freedom of speech was tested by the European Court of Human Rights in Nix v. Germany, which was decided on March 13, 2018. Nix’s appeal to the court was based on Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights. , This stipulates as follows. “Everyone has the right to freedom of speech, which includes the freedom to hold opinions, receive and convey information and ideas without interference from public authorities.”

However, the right to free speech is subject to legal restrictions and is necessary in a democratic society. Knicks argued that Article 86a of the German Criminal Code constitutes an unnecessary intervention in free speech in democratic societies.

However, the court dismissed Knicks’s allegations that his intervention in free speech was a legitimate restriction proportional to the purpose of defeating racial hatred and therefore did not violate Article 10 of the Convention. Certified.

People may disagree with the European Court of Human Rights’ decision and proposed Victorian law. This disagreement is based on the idea that a society that suppresses discussions on controversial issues is inherently a weak society.

Consistent with this view, people deserve to live in a society where sensitive and controversial debates are not fatal, and well-meaning citizens awaken social policy makers, trendsetters and politicians. rice field.

Bad legislation recently adopted by the Parliament of Victoria shows that Australia is trying to align people with totalitarian ideas that do not critically support the suppression of free speech. For example, Victoria has adopted the 2021 Change or Suppression (Conversion) Practice Ban Act. It either bans the advocacy of conversion practices or encourages teens to revoke the treatment of gender changes.

The state’s proposed ban on Swastika (and other Nazi tools) will have unfortunate consequences as the exhibit simply goes underground and it infects in a rage. This is an unhealthy situation.

All ideas, good or bad, should be allowed to be discussed in the “idea market”. This is because the truth emerges from the competition for ideas in free and transparent public discourse.

The “Freedom of Opinion Market” is a phrase prominently advertised by the US Supreme Court in the 1950s and 1960s and is a major achievement of the First Amendment that guarantees the right to freedom of speech.

Epoch Times Photo
On October 20, 2016, a statue of Themis, the god of justice in Greece, stands outside the Supreme Court in Brisbane, Australia. (AAP Image / Dave Hunt)

The federal election campaign 2022 currently underway in Australia has already revealed the existence of intolerance policies for unpopular or unwanted ideas.

For example, liberal Waringa candidate Catherine Debes was severely criticized for allowing or encouraging teens to change gender, saying that it was equivalent to a “surgical amputation.”

There are many “bad laws” in the Australian Law Book. These laws are not intended to promote freedom of speech, but to criminalize them. It can be argued that Australia will become a more harmonious society if there are fewer laws that suppress freedom of speech.

Until decades ago, college students celebrated the achievements of free speech in Western civilization and read great books. Most of them are currently banned because they are supposed to be racist or sexist.

These students may have heard nothing about gender fluidity, euthanasia, affirmative action, same-sex marriage, awakening, and witnessed the destruction of “racist” monuments and statues. Wouldn’t have been.

Now, every aspect of our civilization is threatened, from the cradle to the graveyard. It regulates how people are born to how they get married and die. It’s a changing society.

Now we are no longer allowed to challenge general legitimacy. If Australians (and Americans) submit to this trend, it is still irreversible, but their freedom, once taken for granted, is irreparably restricted and regulated.

In this context, Florida-based journalist Ashley Sadler, Ask rhetorically Why does our gorgeous modern society seem to be heading towards the demonization and expulsion (or worse) of those who oppose the dominant regime? “

Regaining the right to free speech is inevitably difficult, but it is necessary to return Australia (and the free world) to its former stable, free, egalitarian and prosperous country.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.

Gabriel Moens


GabriĆ«l A. MoensAM is an emeritus professor at the University of Queensland and vice president and dean of Murdoch University. In 2003, Mornes was awarded the Australian Centennial Medal by the Prime Minister for her service to education. He has taught extensively in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the United States. Moens recently published two novels, “ATwisted Choice” (Boolarong Press, 2020) and “The Coincidence” (Connor Court Publishing, 2021).