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September 2, 2021 12:30 pm
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Australian State of Victoria Set to Ban Nazi Symbols

avatar by Benjamin Kerstein

A swastika flag flying in the backyard of a house in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island. Photo: YouTube screenshot

The Australian state of Victoria will soon place a legal ban on Nazi symbols, the first such measure in the country.

According to Australia’s SBS News, legislation on the ban will be tabled next year and follows the recommendations of a parliamentary committee issued earlier this year.

The Australian Jewish Association (AJA)’s president, Dr. David Adler, welcomed the legislation, saying, “We support the banning of those symbols and what it represents. This was an ideology that attempted the mass murder of an entire people on an industrial scale.”

He pointed out that antisemitism has been sharply rising during the coronavirus pandemic: “We saw images being circulated on social media with Jews being blamed for spreading disease or characterized as vermin or various other ugly tropes.”

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“It (the Holocaust and references to the ideology of the time) does affect us personally. It is one of the darkest stains on human history. And we take very seriously the ‘never again’ lesson and we have to do everything we can to stamp out this type of bigotry,” he said, urging stricter measures against antisemitism.

Minister for Multicultural Affairs Ros Spence said that Nazi symbols “glorify one of the most hateful ideologies in human history. We must confront hate, prevent it, and give it no space to grow.”

In a statement, the ban was also praised by groups including the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service (VALS), Anti-Defamation Commission, Asylum Seeker Resource Centre, Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights, Asian Australian Alliance, Equality Australia, Human Rights Law Centre, Jewish Community Council of Victoria, and the Victorian Pride Lobby.

“When someone is attacked, abused or demeaned simply because of who they are, they should not be left to stand alone,” said the statement. “Our laws must ensure people who use hate to harm others are held to account for the harm they cause to people in our community.”

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