Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock (pictured) has called for tougher laws to ban extremist books after the Classification Review Board banned two radical Islamic tomes, the first books to banned in Australia in decades. 2

Australian Attorney General Philip Ruddock (pictured) has called for tougher laws to ban extremist books after the Classification Review Board banned two radical Islamic tomes, the first books to banned in Australia in decades.

Mr Ruddock said he had notified state and territory censorship ministers that he would raise the issue at a ministerial meeting later this month.

“The Australian Government is already pushing for censorship laws to be reviewed to assess whether they deal adequately with material which urges or advocates terrorist acts,” he said.

The two extremist Islamic texts about jihad were discovered in a Lakemba bookshop last year in the wake of the London bombings. The books were banned for sale and importation from yesterday after Mr Ruddock asked the Classification Review Board to examine eight books and one film.

The board revealed its decision late on Monday night, saying the books were instructive in the crime of terrorism. The book Defence of the Muslim Lands “promotes and incites matters of crime, specifically terrorism acts, including the plan, action and execution of martyrdom operations”, the ruling says.

The second book, Join the Caravan, was banned because “it has the objective purpose of promoting and inciting acts of terrorism against ‘disbelievers”‘.

The ruling came after the Australian Federal Police and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions both ruled that the books did not constitute sedition under new anti-terror laws passed last year.

Classification Review Board convener Maureen Shelley said the books were banned because they glorified and were instructive about a criminal act, namely terrorism.

Scroll to Top