News, Queensland

Brisbane man charged over Nazi flag display opposite synagogue

Queensland police have charged a 45-year-old man with public nuisance over the display of a Nazi flag from a Brisbane apartment building.

The display was noticed by a pedestrian outside the building next to The Brisbane Synagogue on the weekend of Brisbane Pride Festival celebrations.

The “sickening” incident has prompted Lord Mayor Adrian Shrinner to call on the State Government to ban the Nazi flag.

“For someone to fly this symbol of hatred and genocide right above the Brisbane Synagogue on Margaret St is pure evil,” Mayor Shrinner posted on social media. 

“It’s time for this vile flag to be banned in Queensland.

“The Queensland Government needs to get serious about cracking down on these open displays of racial hatred.” 

He described the public display of the flag as “sickening”.

Members of the synagogue arriving for the service on Saturday morning saw the Nazi flag before it was removed by police.

No Australian states have yet banned the display of swastikas and other Nazi symbols.

In Victoria, a parliamentary inquiry earlier this year recommended that displaying the symbols should be a criminal offence. 

Such laws already exist in Germany, Austria, France, and other European countries.

In September, Jewish LGBTIQA+ organisation Aleph Melbourne thanked the Victorian Government for committing to strengthen anti-hate protections in Victoria.

The parliamentary inquiry supported making the public display of Nazi symbols illegal, as well as extending anti-vilification protections to cover sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, and HIV/AIDS status.

Public hate messaging often combines homophobic and antisemitic sentiment.

In addition to Nazi flags appearing around LGBTIQA+ Pride events, recent episodes of vandalism reported in Victoria have included messages attacking both queer and Jewish people.

The increasing calls for improved laws against vilification come as pressure mounts for federal and state anti-discrimination laws to better protect LGBTIQA+ people and other minority groups.

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