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Proposed Changes To Hate Speech Laws

The Islamic Women’s Council of New Zealand supports several aspects of the recent proposed changes to New Zealand’s hate speech legislation. In particular, we welcome the expansion of the protected categories, the shifting of section 131 of the Human Rights Act to the Crimes Act, and the addition of incitement of hatred in the Crimes Act to include groups as well as individuals.

IWCNZ supports free expression and the right to criticise. Our advocacy and forthright direct approaches are well known, and we would not want our or anyone else’s ability to dialogue on important issues impeded.

As regular recipients of hate as individuals and as a group, IWCNZ can confirm the harmful impacts of targeted hate that crosses that line. Examples of such dangerous content were shared at the recent counter-terrorism conference in Christchurch in our session on “What Hate Feels Like Now” and in the session on Violent Extremism Online (that particular session can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Fuye6m1Hpk, starting at minute 52)

It is unfortunate that some politicians left the conference early and did not see the New Zealand-based evidence that was presented. We are happy to engage with all political parties in our parliament on these issues of public safety.

It is IWCNZ’s position that we do not want what happened to our community to happen ever again to any community within or outside our borders.

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