Phillip Ruddock, Attorney-General, Australia
I realize that the banning of books, any books, opens the door to abuse of that power but I have to agree with what the Australian government is doing when it comes to books advocating or praising the use of terrorism.
Mr Ruddock has declared a “zero-tolerance approach” to material that “advocates” terrorism, which would be pulled from shelves and prevented from entering the country under the new laws, News Ltd newspapers report.I admit that this kind of thing makes me a bit uneasy, but I have to hope that new laws like this one will be administered correctly by people who combine a common sense approach with their good intentions.
Under the existing Classification Act, material can only be removed from sale if it is deemed likely to “promote, incite or instruct in matters of crime or violence”.
But the amended law - to be discussed at a meeting between Mr Ruddock and the state attorneys-general in Canberra tomorrow - makes it an offence to circulate material that “advocates” a terrorist act.
Imported material published outside Australia will be stopped at Customs if it is found to glorify or encourage acts of terrorism.
“We are not going to allow material to be out there saying terrorism is a good idea,” Mr Ruddock told the newspaper.