We welcome a historic decision handed down yesterday that is an important legal and moral victory in Australia against bigotry and discrimination.

In particular, we congratulate the following organisations and people for their hard work in achieving this outcome:

  • Rita Jabri-Markwell, an esteemed member of our firm.
  • The Council of Queensland
  • The Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN)

The outcome sees former Australian senator Fraser Anning ordered to remove 141 pieces of content from the internet after a Queensland tribunal found he breached anti-discrimination laws by vilifying Muslims.

The Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT) found Mr Anning breached state laws that ban the incitement of hatred, serious contempt or severe ridicule on the grounds of religion.

The material was mainly shared on Twitter and Facebook, much of it while he was a senator for Queensland between 2017 and July 2019.

It includes memes, links to interviews featuring Mr Anning, calls to ban Islam in Australia, and criticism of an AFL training camp for young Muslims.

Mr Anning has also been ordered to remove a press release issued on the day of the Christchurch massacre which blamed Muslim immigration for the bloodshed.

The statement was released just hours after an Australian gunman killed 51 people at two mosques in the New Zealand city of Christchurch.

Mr Anning was later censured by the Senate for his comments.

The civil rights organisation Australian Muslim Advocacy Network (AMAN) and the Islamic Council of Queensland noted one post from Mr Anning’s public Facebook page had almost 8,000 interactions and reached almost 315,000 people.

They also submitted comment threads to the tribunal in which followers of Mr Anning’s page incited violence against Muslim Australians.

The legal action was brought after Mr Anning’s horrific response to the Christchurch massacre.

Neither Facebook nor Twitter have been ordered by the tribunal to remove any material.

 We hope for continued success in the fight against bigotry, discrimination and hate which ultimately culminated in the events of March 15 2019 in Christchurch.

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