FREEDOM OF SPEECH
“Australia and New South Wales in particular, is a free and strong democracy where expression of political opinion on social and cultural issues, when made in a constructive way, strengthens our multicultural society”, the Chair of the Community Relations Commission of NSW, Stepan Kerkyasharian said today.
Mr Kerkyasharian was commenting on the current speaking tour of the Dutch politician, Geert Wilders.
“It is important that groups with their own agenda do not try to use his visit as an opportunity to vent their own venom.
''We do not want anyone looking for an opportunity, such as a visit from someone from overseas, to try to undermine our cohesive, co-existence.
“I appreciate that Australians of the Muslim faith might be concerned about the outcome of Mr Wilder’s tour and I welcome the joint statement from a number of community and religious organisations in support of the ideal of freedom of speech and the fundamentals of multiculturalism – acceptance of religious diversity and mutual respect, in other words, a fair go for all.