Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Humble impressions on Mark Steyn

Islamist terrorists haven’t yet developed bombs that only kill non-Muslims. Victims of the New York, London and Bali attacks included people of all faiths. One of the London 7/7 victims had the surname Islam.

You can fight terror using Andrew Robb’s method – actively consulting all communities, including Muslims, to develop sensible strategies to root out some causes and grievances that turn young people into potential suicide bombers.

You can also fight terrorism by handing victory to terrorists, by actively working to marginalise the very communities whose cooperation you need to win the battle. You can write that bin Ladin and Zarqawi were right all along – that Islam is inherently violent, intolerant and apocalyptic that has no place in Australia.

In other words, you can effectively provide free propaganda services to al-Qaida. Mark Steyn chooses to take this course.

I confess I found Mark Steyn seriously funny on Monday night. But behind all the jokes about burning widows in colonial India were some sinister views.

Steyn spoke at the CIS’s 5th Annual Big Ideas Forum, accompanying by respected conservative scholar Owen Harries and chaired by Dr Janet Albrechtsen.

Steyn argued Muslims will never form part of Western civilisation because Islam cannot exist in a pluralist society. Islam as an “apocalyptic faith engulfing Europe”, the biggest threat coming from 2nd and 3rd generation Muslims. At this stage there’s no need to nuke Mecca, but Western converts must be convinced that being Australian is better than being Muslim.

Pauline Hanson made an appearance at question time (though thankfully this time she didn't dance on stage). Even yours truly got a chance to ask something - what would happen if 2nd & 3rd generation Muslims became too great a problem and needed to be deported. After all, the relevant DIMA bureaucrat in charge of it would probably be of Muslim background. As might be a financier.

(Incidentally, the Chair of the NAB is on the CIS Board of Governors.)

I then suggested Steyn’s arguments be collected into a book entitled “The Protocols of the Learned Mullahs of Tehran”. Visibly angry, Steyn demanded I answer for terror suspects in London. It wasn’t pretty, and at least one CIS person wasn’t a happy camper.

(Then again, another came upto me and congratulated me on having the guts to “challenge” Sten’s “racist rant”.)

Still, that’s what happens when you provide a podium to some Canadian monoculturalist to lecture on the dangers of people like Shaoquett Moselmane pose to Australia!

I really hope that in future the CIS carefully choose their speakers. Inviting neo-Con Muslim-hating polemicists like Daniel Pipes and Mark Steyn doesn’t help further the debate on security and culture. All it does is enable the CIS to be party to a further marginalising of even the most well-adjusted and moderate Muslim Aussies and Kiwis (i.e. 99% of Muslims either side of the Tasman).

When your average Aussie Mossie is marginalised by speakers invited by mainstream thinktanks like the CIS, the only people who benefit are al-Qaida types who point to such events and say to Muslims: “See, we told you so!”

Maybe the CIS could invite other well-spoken and articulate Western Muslim writers and scholars. There’s no shortage of them. Here’s a few suggestions …

a) Khaled Abou el-Fadl

b) Hamza Yusuf Hanson

c) Tim Winter (or Abdal Hakim Murad)

d) Anwar Ibrahim

e) Dr Tanveer Ahmed

f) Professor Abdullah Saeed and/or Hassan Saeed

g) Dr Tariq Ramadan

h) Reza Aslan

i) Waleed Aly

j) Nuh Keller

And there are plenty more. Inviting openly and blatantly racist polemicists is inconsistent with the CIS’s standing and will open it to understandable allegations of pushing an ideological barrel whose only long-term beneficiary is the very radical Islamist groups it wishes to combat.

© Irfan Yusuf 2006

28 comments:

Law Student said...

Where can we see a video of this?

Andjam said...

Nice to meet you again.


You can fight terror using Andrew Robb’s method – actively consulting all communities, including Muslims, to develop sensible strategies to root out some causes and grievances that turn young people into potential suicide bombers.


In a pluralistic society, you can't guarantee that no-one will have grievances. In fact, the idea of a place where no-one has grievances scares me. All you can do is encourage people to express grievances via legitimate means, and to deal appropriately to those who use illegitimate means.

Steyn argued Muslims will never form part of Western civilisation because Islam cannot exist in a pluralist society. Islam as an “apocalyptic faith engulfing Europe”

I'll check the transcript to see if he said that.

the biggest threat coming from 2nd and 3rd generation Muslims

If he thought Islam is intrinsically evil, why would it be the 2nd and 3rd generation Muslims who are the main problem?

At this stage there’s no need to nuke Mecca, but Western converts must be convinced that being Australian is better than being Muslim.

"Cooler", actually. (For those who weren't there, he cited an opinion poll that claimed that the vast majority of British Muslims saw themselves as Muslim first, British second) I see myself as an Australian first, and agnostic second.


Pauline Hanson made an appearance at question time


And he disagreed with what she was saying.

Visibly angry, Steyn demanded I answer for terror suspects in London.

As far as I could recall, he asked you if you were surprised that the alleged plotters were Muslim, and how you felt about them acting in the name of your religion. And ultimately, his central thesis is that the problem isn't extremists acting in the name of Islam, but multiculturalism and cultural relativism.

It wasn’t pretty, and at least one CIS person wasn’t a happy camper.

Some people were of the opinion you said "please do" when he said he could give himself a heart attack ranting about Islam (with the point being that that wouldn't help the situtation).

Anonymous said...

Irf, those stoned in-breds at Tim Blair's blog have already started abusing you.

There's fruitcake "dee" and the usual idiots that harp on and on at the Online Opinion forums.

Even Greg Lindsay posted a comment defending Steyn and the CIS on Blair's blog.

He didn't do the same on your blog. Guess he gives more importance to racist far-right white trash.

Read it all here:

http://timblair.net/ee/index.php/weblog/comments/die_old_men/

Anonymous said...

andjam, are you the boofhead who stood up and asked a question after Irf? If I remember correctly, you hacked into him just because he writes for Fairfax.

Maybe you should learn to read and write before you post your lame comments on this blog.

You reckon you've got a transcript. Where did you get it from? Is that journalistic failure Tim Blair handing them out?

Anonymous said...

Irfan, you just can't help yourself.

Whenever you say anything, it just causes people to sigh "MUSLIMS OUT!"

Andjam said...

andjam, are you the boofhead who stood up and asked a question after Irf?

No I'm a completely different boofhead. As I use my internet tag rather than post anonymously, you can look me up and find, for example, this photo (I'm behind the guy in the green shirt and the guy in the light blue shirt)

Irfan said...

I've just re-read your comments. Some clarifications are needed.

It isn't correct to suggest Greg Lindsay didn't contact me. He did.

Also, Mark Steyn clearly did say that being Muslim and being Western are mutually exclusive. It was only when I asked my question that he backtracked.

Steyn was telling his audience (just as he tells his readers) that the best way to stop people converting to Islam is to convince them that being Australian or Canadian or even French is better than being Muslim.

In other words, the two are mutually exclusive.

When I raised the ethno-religious identities of the CEO of a major supporter of the CIS, I could here numerous members of the audience saying "Yeah, that's right". They could tell that now Steyn was treading on thin ice.

I'd appreciate it if we cease defaming other bloggers.

Anonymous said...

Steyn was telling his audience (just as he tells his readers) that the best way to stop people converting to Islam is to convince them that being Australian or Canadian or even French is better than being Muslim.

No he wasn't, and the chip on your shoulder is prejudicing what you heard versus what he said.

The problem isn't conversion to Islam. The problem is the disgraceful things which are done in the name of Islam. Do you deny these? That was the question he asked you (as a Muslim) specifically.

Yes, he did say cultures need to be more proud of themselves, however not 'versus Islam' as you claim ,but in general. The point he made, was that a migrant minority should be expected to assimilate to the dominant culture. Instead, what we are now seeing is the dominant culture comitting cultural suicide by assimilating to the migrant minority.

For example, removing pork from hospital menus for fear of upsetting a Muslim minority.

It is a shame that your recollection as well as Loewenstein's is so biased it does no favours to anyone who missed the presentation. Fortunately, the ABC will be airing it mid-September (way too late) and possibly with a transcript as well on their website.

As for defaming other bloggers, " journalistic failure Tim Blair"? Uh huh... Look at the scoreboard dickhead. Blog with hundreds of thousands of visitors, news editor of The Bulletin etc. etc. Margo Kingston and Antony Loewenstein... Now [i]that's[/i] a failed journalist.

Anonymous said...

Having attended the event, I find your version a pretty slanted view of the exchange between you and Steyn.

And you never did answer the question of how you felt about terrorists and bombers acting in the name of your religion.

Anonymous said...

Anon @ 1136, I was there also.

Some woman asked a question before Irf did. She was complaining about converts. Steyn said you've gotta tll converts that it is better and cooler to be Aussie or Canadian or French than to be Muslim.

What does that mean? It means you can't be Aussie and Muslim at the same time.

So Irf has to pick between Islam and Aussie citizenship.

I was reading that Steyn made up some story that US Muslims knew in advance about Sept 11. He wrote they were part of a conspiracy, and that most of them didn't show up for work at the Twin Towers on that day.

How could the CIS invite this fruitcake? Probably because they believe this tripe. Imagine if someone said that about Anglicans or Catholics or Exclusive Brethren.

Irfan said...

Anon at 12:10, with respect, I can only presume you must have troubles with the English language.

The talk will be broadcast on ABC radio. Presuming they don't edit it, people can hear for themselves that venom and racism of Mr Steyn.

You ask why I didn't answer his question?

1. The microphone was taken off me.

2. I wasn't given a chance to respond.

3. Ms Albrechtsen (the chair) immediately went to the next question.

Steyn is a conspiracy theorist. I have also read about his conspiracies concerning the prior knowledge Muslim Americans allegedly had of the Spet 11 attacks.

The CIS wouldn't invite David Irving in the name of free and honest debate, would they? No. Why? Because they know it would offend Jews.

So why invite Mark Steyn and Daniel Pipes when it is clear to all and sundry that it would offend Muslims?

Anonymous said...

irf, it's not about just offending moslems. steyn says things that are just stupid generalisations.

he's written stuff like "all the terrorism in the world always seems to be done by people named mohammed".

if that isn't a generalisation, i dunno what is?

a bit like a sri lankan sinhalese saying "all the terrorism in the world is committed by people called krishna".

why say it? cause it makes people hate moslems. simple. you don't need a phd in english lit to realise it.

Anonymous said...

Irf, obviously my "troubles" with the English language continue. So can you answer two questions now, on here?

1. How do you feel about terrorists and bombers acting in the name of your religion?

2. Did you actually say to Steyn, "drop dead"?

In your own time obviously.

Law Student said...

Anon 11.36: 'The point he made, was that a migrant minority should be expected to assimilate to the dominant culture.'

How fucked are you mate? Assimilation is evil. It is cultural rape. White aussie culture isn't being assimilated to minority ones you dimwit. Taking pork of a hospital menu is because the hospital was in an area of Muslim majority and had to be tailored for the need of the majority. It would have been costly otherwise. Thats not assimilation dude, its democracy.

We saw what Assimilation did to the Aboriginal people didnt we? When 90% of previous australian governments pursued their chauvenistic agenda by culturally raping the indigenous. The result was? the stolen generation. A whole people not knowing where they came from or where theyre going. An identity crisis. Its still a headache.

Australia was never white in the first place. So if in the next 100 years it turns to be coloured, that wouldnt surprise me.

The situation is sad. I can't believe the high level of racism directed at Muslims by such profiles. Being invited by the CIS makes the situation more frightening.

By the sounds of the comments above, i think Steyn the racist fuck should be charged under the vilification laws in the same way that sri lankan priest was charged.

Irfan said...

Anon at 1:12, I've just posted my answer.

Now you can tell me how you feel about American and British troops molesting and assaulting Iraqi prisoners in the name of freedom and democracy (which I presume are 2 principles you hold as dear as I do).

I certainly know how the genuinely conservative intellectual Owen Harries feels about it!

Anonymous said...

2. Did you actually say to Steyn, "drop dead"?

Irfan asked his question. Steyn was responding. When Steyn said: "I could drop dead tomorrow..." Irfan cried "please do".

As I understand it, the ABC will be broadcasting the whole presentation at some stage. No doubt it will be available for download (and transcription if anyone could be bothered). I don't know whether they'd bother including the Q&A as most people wouldn't find it that interesting.

If they do, Irfan shouting "please do" will probably be inaudible as the audience microphone had been passed on by that stage. It wasn't really much of an 'altercation' otherwise and I would imagine 99% of the audience have forgotten it.

Anonymous said...

To "Law Student" - I suspect you are failing your exams quite badly if you are that incapable of reading and drawing conclusions.

You have misinterpreted what I meant by assimilation and then applied an example which is precisely opposite.

Indeed, you have illustrated my point nicely however were so worked up and angry, shouting "racist...racist" like so many lefties you didn't even realise. Not to worry.

Law Student said...

Anon 7.06.

Everyone who doesn't agree with you is a leftie? Whatever makes you sleep at night hunny.

Andjam said...


I was reading that Steyn made up some story that US Muslims knew in advance about Sept 11. He wrote they were part of a conspiracy, and that most of them didn't show up for work at the Twin Towers on that day.


and

Steyn is a conspiracy theorist. I have also read about his conspiracies concerning the prior knowledge Muslim Americans allegedly had of the Spet 11 attacks.

Hyperlinks please? He wrote once about a schoolchild once boasting that one day the World Trade Centres are going to be destroyed, but given that it was attacked before, it wasn't exactly a hard guess. Not quite "beware the ides of September".

By the sounds of the comments above, i think Steyn the racist fuck should be charged under the vilification laws in the same way that sri lankan priest was charged.

I think you're the first person I've come across who has openly supported the laws. Congratulations on your honesty.

Now you can tell me how you feel about American and British troops molesting and assaulting Iraqi prisoners in the name of freedom and democracy (which I presume are 2 principles you hold as dear as I do).

British troops? Hyperlinks please?

If you're referring to Abu Ghraib, I'm not aware of the people saying, when they did it, that they were doing it in the name of freedom and democracy.

Random Pseudonym said...

I was reading that Steyn made up some story that US Muslims knew in advance about Sept 11. He wrote they were part of a conspiracy, and that most of them didn't show up for work at the Twin Towers on that day.

He wrote that did he?
Let's see it then. Come on.

Anonymous said...

Thes filthy, dirty, camel drivers will not stop even after they have removed Christmas trees, pork dinners in hospitals and any other public place, and anything else which offends the teachings of their prophet who married a 12 year old girl, a nasty pedophile, Mohammad.

Law Student said...

Anonymous 11.50,

Can you open your bible and turn to 'Songs of Soloman'. Read that out for me please?

Christian patriarchs penetrating there 3 year old daughters. What the fuck?!

Random Pseudonym said...

Still waiting for those sources...

Anonymous said...

MUSLIMS OUT!

Blast from the Parra said...

What about the fucking prophet of Isalm marrying a 12 year old cousin. One- Incest (that is way Arabs and Muslims are so fucked up! Their inbred and as such mentally retarded. Two- Paedephile (Need i say anymore).

I love how Mossies pay out the Bible but wont let anyone question that nutter who sat in a cave. HE SMOKED A DOOBIE!

Augustus said...

Law Student. Your posts so far have serevd to demonstrate your lack of intelligence and understanding. Let's face it, all bar yourself consider that you are not very bright. However, to compound this, we now find that you can't read. Here is a link to the Song of Solomon.http://www.fourmilab.ch/etexts/www/Bible/Song_of_Solomon.html. No reference to anybody penetrating 3 year olds. No Mohammedan references.

Now for the real point. The Song of Solomon is from the Old Testament you fool. The Jewish part. The part that Jesus basically told us to move on from to the New Covenant of Christianity. My friend, the Jews may have missed the boat but the Muslims decided to get out of the boat and swim back down stream.

Anonymous said...

On 8.40pm, Blast from the Parra proclaimed:

"What about the fucking prophet of Isalm marrying a 12 year old cousin. One- Incest (that is way Arabs and Muslims are so fucked up! Their inbred and as such mentally retarded. Two- Paedephile (Need i say anymore)."

1. She was 13 and mature. Do you want me to feed you with articles showing 9 year old girls giving birth in the Philipines, a strict Catholic society? Or 8 year old girls being married off in Romania, another Christian society? Or a 4 year old girl being 'saved' for a cousin that is 16 years older in Moscow, an Orthodox society?

2. She wasn't the cousin of the prophet.

"that is way Arabs and Muslims are so fucked up! Their inbred and as such mentally retarded"

3. It would be reasonable if you go and do some revisioning of history. Western Democracies had a zero chance of being as advanced as we are today had it not been for the kindness of Muslim Caliphates through the ages to share their advancement in sciences, technology, medicine, phiolosphy and litretaure with Europe. Show some respect.

"I love how Mossies pay out the Bible but wont let anyone question that nutter who sat in a cave. HE SMOKED A DOOBIE!"

4. Countless non Muslim scholars and historians have ranked Mohamed as the Greatest Man and Personality history has seen, outnumbering the praises Jesus the Messiah has recieved, and here you are blinded by your own prejudice? I suggest you have a look at the works of Michael Hart, Mahatma Gandhi, Sir George Bernard Shaw, Alphonse De LaMartaine, Thomas Carlyle and Annie Besant just to name a few.

By the way, nice post Irfan. I missed the event.

Anonymous
LLB, BA, MBA

Anonymous said...

Would "Law Student" let her 12 year old daughter, or niece, still playing with her dolls, marry someone who claimed to be a prophet? If the answer is yes, some planetary prophet may yet find a bride!

This is as perverse and bizarre as a woman named Mary, giving birth to a Christ child, while still being a virgin.

Muslims and Catholics and Jews should be segregated to Tasmania, where they can enjoy life with pig-rooting mass murderers, while slitting each others throats.

No, wait, we shouldn't give up a whole Australian State to these insane people...... um yes, maybe we should, as Tasmania was intended as an outpost for the worst of the worst.

If Tasmania isn't big enough, we could easily take New Zealand by military force, with the help of the US, and use the North Island for the Catholics and Scientologists to skirmish on, and the South Island for Muslims and Jews to butcher each other.

The Australian Government should appoint a ruthless slug, with a twelve year old girl tied by a chain to his neck, to administer these "religious discussion" fields.

All continents on the planet may send their religious insane to New Zealand for "holiday camps". They can even bake bagels, kebabs, and wafer-bread in human powered ovens.

We should seek the help of the Humanists and 60,000 Australian Jedi to implement this grand plan.

Anonymous, cos I am just another Australian.