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Australia needs stronger laws to deal with hate speech

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The attack on the Al Noor mosque began at 1.40 in the afternoon, when most of those in attendance were at prayer. Forty-two people, ranging in age from three years old to 77 years old, died. The attack resumed about 15 minutes later at the Linwood Islamic Centre, a few kilometres from the Al Noor mosque where eight people died.

A 28-year-old Australian has been charged with 50 murders. He had earlier written and distributed a rambling manifesto, which included the vilest sort of hate speech against migrants, white supremacist rhetoric and approving references to terrorist attacks committed by far-right extremists such as Anders Brevik who, in 2011, brutally murdered 78 people in and around Oslo.

In the wake of Christchurch, we have been heartened by the outpouring of genuine grief and sympathy for the victims, not just in New Zealand, but across the globe. It is deeply reassuring to see how at these moments of our deepest anguish, we demonstrate our most profound capacity for compassion.

Flowers at a memorial in Christchurch for the victims of last month's terrorist attack.Credit:AP

Unfortunately, as too often happens surrounding these types of tragedies, a small number of people on the far-right have chosen to eschew compassion in favour of advancing their dark world-view. The comments made by Senator........

© Brisbane Times