Friday, December 21, 2012
Australia: Radio jock Alan Jones makes apology on air over Lebanese comments
The comments were of course too sweeping and extreme to be universally true but they were clearly just a statement of opinion, not an academic thesis, so deserved free speech protection. But there is little such protection in Australia, particularly where that most sanctified of groups -- Muslims -- is concerned, of course
What is not in doubt is that Sydney police have a Middle Eastern Organised Crime squad, with Lebanon being the particular part of the Middle East principally concerned. So Jones had some basis for his views, to put it cautiously. Some very recent shooting deaths would appear to involve the Lebanese Muslim community
Controversial broadcaster Alan Jones has apologised on air over comments he made in April 2005 describing Lebanese Muslims as "vermin" and "mongrels".
The Administrative Decisions Tribunal (ADT) had ordered Jones to apologise on his 2GB radio show between 8am and 8.30am (AEDT) any day this week.
On Wednesday just after 8am he did so, saying his comments were in breach of the Anti-Discrimination Act.
The apology comes two months after Jones lost a lengthy legal bid to overturn the 2009 decision, which found he "incited hatred, serious contempt and severe ridicule of Lebanese Muslims".
The case was taken against him by Sydney-based Lebanese-born Muslim leader, Keysar Trad.
The complaint related to comments Jones made on April 28 about a Nine Network current affairs story reportedly showing young men of Lebanese origin taunting police.
"If ever there was a clear example that Lebanese males in their vast numbers not only hate our country and our heritage, this was it," Jones said.
Referring to the men as "vermin" and "mongrels", he added: "They simply rape, pillage and plunder a nation that's taken them in."