Minister for Justice Simon Harris has insisted there is no conspiracy behind the new anti-hate speech laws as he rejected criticism from Donald Trump Jr. and Elon Musk.
Mr Harris said when someone in the Trump family or Mr Musk took a different view, it was “not a bad day at the office”, reports Breaking News.
Mr Harris said there were people who portrayed the new legislation as an attempt to make the police think they were trying to misrepresent the intent of the laws.
Earlier in week, Mr Trump Jr described the Criminal Justice (Incitement to Violence or Hate Crimes) Act 2022 as “insane”, and Twitter owner Mr Musk said he was “very concerning”.
The law, which will go through the Senate after passing the Dáil, is the first specific hate crime law in the state.
It aims to make it easier to prosecute crimes that target “protected characteristics” such as race or sexual identity. There are provisions to prosecute people for hate speech or possession of hate material, reports Breaking News.
On Friday, Mr Harris was questioned about the situation at the opening of a new call processing facility in Garda, Dublin city centre.
Any time Donald Trump and Elon Musk have a different view to you is not a bad day at the office. And, funnily enough, I don’t take my political philosophy from the Trump family or from Mr Musk or his associates. The reality here is there’s people trying to overstate things here for whatever reason. That’s fine, we live in a democracy and let people have their debate. This legislation went to Dáil Eireann. There’s not much that the Opposition and the Government agree on, (yet) overwhelmingly the Dáil passed this legislation, because it’s not about policing thought, it’s not about stopping freedom of expression,” he said, reports Breaking News.
Mr Harris said critics need to “take a little step back” and consider what the Bill contains.
“Freedom of speech, freedom of expression – these are protected rights. We have a constitution, and we’re members of the European Union, we’re proud members of the United Nations,” he said, reports Breaking News.
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