Inquiry into matters relating to extremist movements and radicalism in Australia

February 16th, 2021

On 9 December 2020 the Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, and Senator Kristina Keneally agreed upon Terms of Reference for an Inquiry by the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) into extremist movements in Australia “including, but not limited to, Islamist and far right-wing extremist groups”.  On 10 December 2020, the ECAJ received an Invitation to make a submission from the PJCIS.

The Terms of Reference are wide-ranging and cover many issues that have been of long-standing concern to the Australian Jewish community and have been the subject of advocacy by the ECAJ.  These include:

  • measures to be taken against extremist groups such as National Socialist Network (and its predecessor Antipodean Resistance) and Hizb ut-Tahrir, which advocate violence, but are thus far not known to have engaged in violence.
  • the efficacy or otherwise of current hate crime laws ie laws against crimes which include, among their defined elements, hostility or prejudice against the victim on the basis of a protected attribute such as race or religion.
  • the need to list the entire Hezbollah organisation (not merely its so-called “External Security Organisation”) under Australia’s terrorist organisation listing laws.
  • banning the public display of hate symbols.
  • the need for a much more systematic, whole-of-government approach to address the problem of extremism, both through legislation and, most especially, through education.
  • the need for a uniform national system for classifying and recording hate crime and hate-motivated crime.

The ECAJ sought and obtained input from each of the State and ACT roof bodies, and others they wished to consult, including the CSG.  The ECAJ submission covers each of the above matters and is necessarily a longer submission than usual.

The full submission can be accessed here.

The PJCIS is due to bring down its report to the Minister in April.