The Age reports that “A prominent US anti-abortion campaigner has been granted a temporary reprieve, after Immigration Minister Peter Dutton agreed not to remove him from Australia in the next 24 hours.
Troy Newman was detained at Melbourne Airport on Thursday after flying to Australia despite Mr Dutton this week revoking his visa amid concerns the speaker would incite community harm.”
Like most situations, this one is pretty messy. Newman arrived at Tullamarine, after booking a flight to Australia, despite the fact he knew his visa had been revoked.
He is now getting publicity well in advance of the importance or relevance of the message he carries, namely that doctors who perform abortions should be executed. Now, because of a cock-up on the part of United airlines, he is getting front page coverage, something he would not have got if he had been allowed into the country unannounced.
The difficulty with banning nut cases like Troy Newman is that it gives them a lot of publicity. this allows them to mount the argument around freedom of speech rather than around the validity of their nutcase views.
Newman should be allowed to express his obnoxious opinions and the media and the Australian public should also make their attitude quite clear.
You don’t counter views like Newman’s by banning them, you counter them by mounting the rational, humane and legal arguments against what he is saying.
We can, and we should do this.