Hizb ut-Tahrir videos ‘a serious breach’
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Hizb ut-Tahrir videos ‘a serious breach’

Ismail al-Wahwah.
Ismail al-Wahwah.

ANTI-SEMITIC statements expressed in two videos produced by the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir constitute a serious breach of NSW racial vilification laws, the NSW Anti-Discrimination Board (ADB) has found.

In one video, filmed at a rally in the Sydney suburb of Lakemba in July 2014, Hizb ut-Tahrir’s spiritual leader Ismail al-Wahwah called all Jews corrupt and a “hidden evil” and said “the ember of Jihad against the Jews will continue to burn”.

In a newer video, filmed last month, al-Wahwah called Jews “the most evil creature of Allah”, adding: “Moral corruption is linked to the Jews. Prostitution in the world began with the Israelites. Usury and gambling began with the Israelites. Killing began with the Israelites … They will pay with blood for blood, with tears for tears, and with destruction for destruction.”

The videos were referred to the ADB last month by NSW Jewish Board of Deputies (JBOD) president Jeremy Spinak and former NSW Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello.

ADB president Stepan Kerkyasharian told The AJN this week: “Having considered the material, and having asked my delegates to consider it as well, I formed the opinion that it was a breach of serious vilification under the legislation.”

Kerkyasharian declined to go into more specific detail on the basis that the ADB is still considering further action. “There may be some more action on our part under unlawful vilification,” he said.

“Even though it has been referred for serious vilification, it can still proceed concurrently for unlawful vilification. So the process has not been finalised.”

The office of NSW Attorney-General Gabrielle Upton has been notified of the ADB’s findings.

A spokesperson for Upton said, “If and when it is considered that there is sufficient admissible evidence to institute proceedings, an appropriate officer from either the NSW Police or the ADB will seek consent to do so from the Director of Public Prosecutions.

“We welcome the action taken by the ADB and wish to see a prosecution begin as soon as possible,” said Spinak. “A strong message needs to be sent by the government and law enforcement that Hizb ut-Tahrir’s violent hate speech will not be tolerated in NSW.”

GARETH NARUNSKY

Hizb ut-Tahrir’s spiritual leader Ismail al-Wahwah.

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