What Golriz Ghahraman would rather not discuss

Green party list MP Golriz Ghahraman

It turns out that Whaleoil is not the only New Zealand media which has measured Golriz Ghahraman and found her wanting. It has taken a while for mainstream media to call her and the Green party out, but it was worth the wait. quote.

Like many campaigners against hate speech, Green MP Golriz Ghahraman would rather not discuss how a law change would affect freedom of religion.

If there is a case to be made for stricter hate-speech laws, you?d have to say Green MP Golriz Ghahraman doesn?t appear to be the best person to make it.

Watching her argue for tougher laws on Newshub Nation over the weekend, it was impossible not to wonder why a lawyer educated at Auckland and Oxford universities, seemed so unaware that she was repeatedly making highly questionable assertions and wild jumps in logic. end quote

Ouch! Don’t hold back, tell us what you really think. quote.

In the debate with lawyer and free-speech advocate Stephen Franks, Ghahraman said, ?This is a conversation we need to be having because our hate speech laws aren?t actually fit for purpose right now?, but she didn?t come close to explaining why our laws need reforming ? apart from implying the Christchurch massacres themselves were reason enough.


Among a number of dubious claims, Ghahraman said that Facebook doesn?t ?regulate hate speech? when, as Franks pointed out, it actually spends a lot of money doing just that.


[…] tech companies, including Facebook, Google and Twitter, removed 72 per cent of illegal ?hate speech? on their platforms in 2018. Facebook removed 82 per cent of such inflammatory posts, up from 28 per cent in 2016.

When Franks turned the conversation to religion, Ghahraman said that under hate-speech laws, ?You can always criticise a religion.? This is patently untrue, including in the UK and France. end quote.

“Patently untrue”, “dubious claims”; this all reminds me of the infamous CV joke doing the rounds on Twitter last year. Quote.

When Franks pointed out that passages in the Bible incite hostility against adulterers and gays […] and that the Koran advocates the slaughter of infidels and apostates, it was clear Ghahraman didn?t want to debate that particular issue ? even though they would be clear examples of hate speech under such laws.
Franks said he didn?t think inflammatory sacred texts should be banned but rather their unpleasant messages should be countered with ?more speech and persuasion? but, clearly unwilling to discuss the issue, she abruptly changed the topic.

?So let?s look at what?s happening in New Zealand right now,? she said. ?We?ve had an outpouring of absolute love and unity across the country. New Zealanders have told us they don?t want to live in a divisive, hateful world.?
How anyone ? let alone a trained lawyer ? would think that such an ?outpouring? is evidence of a general desire for stricter hate speech laws, which is what I assume she meant, is beyond bewildering.[…]

[…] Ghahraman finished the debate on a triumphant note after Franks implied there was no compelling evidence for a link between hate speech and hate crimes.
?How about the words ?UN Migration Compact? being written on the butt of [the accused’s] gun?? she cried, as if that irrefutably confirmed a link between hate speech and the Christchurch killings, presumably because she assumes that opposing the compact always amounts to hate speech towards immigrants.
Unfortunately, Ghahraman?s performance cannot be put down to nervousness from being under the gaze of TV cameras. She seems just as confused on Twitter. end quote.

” Confused” ? double ouch. quote.

[…] many of us understand, like Franks, that some of the most influential purveyors of opinions hostile to gays, lesbians and transgender folk are organised religions that rely on fundamentalist interpretations of sacred texts. Knowing that, why would anyone who supported gay and lesbian rights want religions to be protected from criticism? end quote.

What a great question. Why would anyone who claims to support equal rights for gays lesbians and transgender people want to protect religions from criticism?quote.

[…] days before Ghahraman?s April 3 tweet, leaders around the world ? including Winston Peters ? condemned Brunei?s strict Sharia laws that prescribe death by stoning for homosexuals and adulterers.

When asked on Twitter if she would also condemn these laws, Ghahraman didn?t answer the question. end quote.

Why did she not answer the question? It is a very simple question. quote.

[…] when faced with the dilemma of condemning Sharia law or standing up for gays in countries subject to its lethal punishments, Ghahraman ducks for cover.

[…] Expanding hate-speech laws in a country that has been remarkably secular and open to free speech for decades is dangerous ground for a politician.

[…] Labour and the Greens may be buying themselves an extremely bitter and damaging fight. They could well find during its bruising rounds that many New Zealanders care more about retaining freedom of expression and their right to offend than campaigners such as Golriz Ghahraman might guess.

Noted

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