Tuesday, February 05, 2019

REVISED “HATE SPEECH BILL” NOW OPEN FOR COMMENT (DEADLINE EXTENDED)

Action Alert from FORSA:
The call for comments on the revised draft of the PREVENTION AND COMBATING OF HATE CRIMES AND HATE SPEECH BILL (“the Bill”) is now open until 15 February 2019 (final date extended from 31 January to 15 February 2019).

Religious Freedom at Risk 
Most notably, clause 4(1) of the Bill makes “hate speech” a crime – with potentially dire repercussions from a freedom of speech, freedom of expression, and freedom of conscience point of view. The offence will make any speech (as well as the distribution of such speech) that could be construed to be “harmful” on a wide range of subjective grounds, a criminal act carrying a jail sentence of up to three (3) years.

Religious Exemption Clause is only Valid For “Pulpits” 
While we are encouraged by the inclusion of a “religious exemption clause” (in clause 4(2)(d)) in the Bill – as advocated for by FOR SA, and the many religious organisations and groups who previously made submissions on the Bill – concerns regarding criminalisation of free speech remain. Especially as the Deputy Minister of Justice noted that the religious exemption clause would only apply to “pulpits”.

Even if you have previously made a submission on the Bill (to the Deputy Minister of Justice), please do make a submission again (this time, to the Parliamentary Portfolio Committee on Justice). Written submissions must be received by 15 February 2019, and can be emailed to the Committee Secretary, Mr Vhonani Ramaano (vramaano@parliament.gov.za).

Please use the TEMPLATE SUBMISSION FORSA have prepared to assist you in commenting / objecting to the provisions of the Bill which will significantly and negatively impact on freedom of (religious) expression. Sunday School teachers, worship leaders, Bible Study groups and social media commentators are all threatened by this bill.

Redefining Hate Speech
The Bill's extremely broad definition of hate speech under section 4 of the Bill includes in its scope any communication which is considered "abusive or insulting" and intended to "bring into contempt or ridicule" a person, or group of persons, on the basis of their gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, etc. This includes email, or social media communications as well as teachings from a pulpit, or in a Bible study. Instead of an objective definition of what constitutes "hate speech" (for example those who sing "Kill the Boer! Kill the Farmer!" or those advocating Islamic Jihad to behead Christians), this bill seeks to focus on subjective definitions of where an individual may feel offended, even if that was not the intention. Yet, blasphemy and pornography are considered free speech! However, free speech is to be criminalised by this bill!

 "He who justifies the wicked, and he who condemns the just, both of them alike are an abomination to the Lord." Proverbs 17:15

See also:
www.SAvotersguide.org 
Ten Principles for True Freedom
Religious Freedoms at Risk in South Africa
Rise of the GayGB and the Pink Inquisition
Through the Looking Glass - An Insight into the Racist Agenda
Promoting Racism and Intolerance in the Name of Confronting Racism
The Heart and Soul of Karl Marx
Racism - Rhetoric and Reality
Do Not Take God’s Name in Vain
Africa Christian Action PO Box 23632 Claremont 7735 Cape Town South Africa Tel: 021-689 4481 E-mail: info@christianaction.org.za Web: www.christianaction.org.za/ Join us on Facebook and Twitter

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