What the Anzacs fought for




Promoters of free speech burn Yassmin Abdel-Magied at the stake. Cartoon by Fiona Katauskas



Fiona Katauskas Fiona Katauskas' work has also appeared in ABC's The Drum, New Matilda, The Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, The Australian, The Financial Review and Scribe's Best Australian political cartoon anthologies.

Topic tags: Fiona Katauskas, Yassmin Abdel-Magied, free speech, Anzac Day



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Existing comments

I don't get your point. No one is stopping her speaking. No one is hauling her up before the HRC to the tune of tens of thousands of dollars, unlike the hapless UQ students. All that's happening is that she's being roundly criticized for her opinions! And that maybe taxpayers shouldn't be forced to shell out for her opinions whether they agree with them or not! How is that criticism opposed to 'free speech'?
HH | 01 May 2017

It sounds like you do get the point HH, you just don't agree with it. We all have the right to opinions but when you look at some of the over-the-top venting of rage at a comment that was quickly withdrawn and apologised for, it's not that hard to get the point.
Brett | 02 May 2017

Nope, I don't see it Brett. She's not being physically punished or even threatened with fines (a la the UQ students) for her words. So...being burned at the stake? That's what I call OTT.
HH | 02 May 2017

The critics want Yassmin Abdel-Magied to be sacked and one particularly mean spirited voice wants "self-deportation". As Yassmin's offending comment was very quickly withdrawn and an immediate apology given, the sense of outrage last week looks like anger in search of a target. It seems to be beyond the scope of the critics to appreciate that Yassmin has learned something from the experience. If you have a case against Yassmin Abdel-Magied that you can take to the HRC (ie, did she offend, insult, humiliate or intimidate another person or a group of people) then please do so. Otherwise, your ongoing comparison to the UQ students is a red herring. If you insist on looking at the cartoon as literal instead of a metaphor then I suggest you do get the point, you just don't want to get it.
Brett | 02 May 2017

H.H: "Nope, I don't see it". There are other ways of being 'burnt' other than physically. 'Over the top venting of rage' by those who should know better certainly stifles freedom of expression, even when, as in this case, when it needs to be expressed. It is noticeable that the survivors of the Anzac debacle, while wanting to honour the loss of lives of their comrades, rarely had a word to say about the whole futile disaster.
Robert Liddy | 03 May 2017

Brilliant cartoon. It certainly nails it. And while not exactly analogous to the UQ student case, she certainly has been threatened with loss of income in a hate-fuelled, Murdoch conducted campaign.
Sara Dowse | 03 May 2017

Brett. Yassmin certainly offended and insulted me, the very ethos of this country, the memory of my forebears and many others I know. She fortunately seems to have realised that and withdrew her ill-informed post and apologised. No-one who has grown up and lives in the real world, however, is likely to run off to the mickey mouse, politically correct HRC and charge her with anything. Fortunately she is free to express her opinions in this country thanks to the ethos the Anzacs helped establish.
Hopefully Australian | 03 May 2017

A few points in reply to HH and Hopefully Australian 1. They were QUT students not UQ students. And they weren't exactly hapless given the case against them was thrown out on Summary Judgement and the plaintiff ended up having costs ordered against her. 2. You can't be hauled before the HRC. The HRC only has the power to receive complaints and organise conciliation between the parties. If a remedy can't be reached at conciliation, it's up to the complainant to take the matter to the Federal Court. 3. Taxpayers aren't being "forced to sell our for her opinions." Yassmin's comment was posted on Facebook and was in no way connect to the program she runs for the ABC. 4. You can't get fined for breaches of 18C - It's not a criminal provision. The most likely remedies, in the few cases that are ever successful in court, are retractions and apologises. Expressive remedies. 5. Given there are calls for the ABC to fire Yassmin and for "self deportation" I would suggest the some on the right are trying to see her punished for the comment.
Julia | 03 May 2017

In a world in which people are actually, not just metaphorically, being burnt at the stake (or equivalent) for their beliefs, it's a bit rich to equate mere verbal criticism of one's beliefs with being burnt at the stake.
HH | 04 May 2017

I suspect some of Yassmin’s critics would happily bring the kindling and matches if given half a chance. But I wonder if those who think Fiona’s cartoon is exaggerated or over the top or a bit rich thought the same thing about the “Aboriginal Dad” cartoon by the late Bill Leak. Somehow I doubt it. Outrage can be very selective.
Brett | 05 May 2017

Leak's cartoon was spot on, IMO. And, not to push an ad hominem argument, but it's interesting that many aboriginals agree with it. You know, you can be for aboriginals but against statist "welfare" programs.
HH | 05 May 2017

Some Indigenous people might agree with Leak’s cartoon HH but that doesn’t change the fact it exaggerated a negative cliché and used it to stereotype all Aboriginal parents whose kids were getting into trouble. In other words, it was a poor generalisation applied to all. But if you think it was spot on, that’s your choice. My point is that cartoonists do exaggerate to make their point. Leak clearly did it with his cartoon; so did Fiona. IMO, it’s a bit inconsistent to say Bill’s cartoon was spot on but Fiona’s cartoon is over the top and a bit rich. Then again, you may have been right with your first comment after all – you really don’t get it.
Brett | 08 May 2017


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