Thursday, January 25, 2007

Making news out of YouTube

It must have been a slow news day at the tabloid stable when Luke McIlveen has to trawl the YouTube.com video portal to come up with a story about race relations. Still, he had the decency to tell us:

The Daily Telegraph has chosen not to publish links to the offensive
videos.

But that’s not all the DT hasn’t published. It also hasn’t explained why it makes an issue of videos that have been online since November 2006.

Further, it hasn’t made any issue of racist videos linked to the stromfront.com and other White Pride website (examples of which can be found here and here), nor was the use of church music as background mentioned. Also not mentioned were comments linked to this website, including this beauty:


I vote we declare Islam Rabies = Muslims – RABID DOGS – THERE IS NO MODERATE
MUSLIM – TERMINATE THEM ALL.

Sounds like the sort of comment that would appear on the personal blog of the DT’s opinion page editor Tim Blair. Or the kind of opinions left by anonymous fruitcakes on this blog.

Although the DT broke the story, the Fairfax websites also covered the story as well as the responses from various politicians.

NSW Education Minister Carmel Tebbutt expressed concern that one video mentioned Granville Boys High School. Fair enough, even if she acknowledged she hadn’t seen the video.

But surely the award for tabloid responses must go to the PM, who claimed that the video serves as


a reminder that there is undoubtedly within a section, a small section, of
the Lebanese Muslim community a group of people who are antagonistic to the
values and the way of life in this country.

Which begs the question – in what sense did the video show traces of being specifically the work of Lebanese Muslims?

I had a chance to watch the video in full before it was taken down. Here’s what I saw and heard:

# Rap music in the background.
# Images of stereotypical young Lebanese boys with bad haircuts and hotted-up cars.
# Prominent and repeated images of the green and red cedar symbol of the Lebanese flag.

The credits section at the end of the video showed the names Amer, Adel and Aleh. Thanks were also given to Lebanese from the following suburbs: Lakemba, Punchbowl, Greenacre, Bankstown, Auburn, Arncliffe, Belmore and Fairfield.

Now let’s consider some cultural facts. Amer, Adel and Aleh are not peculiarly Muslim names in Lebanon or other parts of the Arab world. I know plenty of Maronite, Coptic and Greek Orthodox people of Arab background with these names.

The suburbs mentioned aren’t peculiarly Lebanese Muslim. Punchbowl is home to St Charbels Maronite Cathedral, and Greenacre is home to a Malekite and Syrian Orthodox Churches.

All the suburbs mentioned do have substantial Arabic-speaking Christian communities. In fact, the majority of Australians from Arabic-speaking backgrounds are in fact Christian. Furthermore, Auburn has a large Turkish and Afghan community. Iraqis of all denominations can be found in big numbers in Fairfield.

The cedar tree of the Lebanese flag is known to be a distinctly Christian symbol in Lebanon. The symbol is used more prominently by Christian organisations than by Muslim ones (such as the predominantly Shia al-Zahra Muslim Association in Arncliffe or the predominantly Sunni Lebanese Moslems Association in Lakemba).

And I never knew that Lebanese Muslims had a monopoly on rap music. Either that, or Eminem must have changed both his ethnicity and his religion.

Further, in what sense do images of hotted-up cars and pop music show hostility to Australian values and lifestyle? Growing up in the heart of Howard’s electorate, I remember plenty of young Anglo thugs driving down Kellaway Street East Ryde during the 1970’s in hotted-up Monaros and panel vans. Many of them had bad disco music (you know, like the Bee Gees) blurting out from their cassette players.

But that doesn’t stop the PM from turning this into a religious issue. Yet again, John Howard has shown how quick he is to attack non-Christians allegedly responsible for spreading hatred, whilst supporting fringe Christian and/or White Pride groups who do the same. One wonders how the PM must have known it was in fact people of Muslim heritage who produced and uploaded the offending material onto the YouTube website.

Perhaps the most reasoned response was provided by a current student of Granville Boys High School who said:


I went to 'Cronulla riots' on YouTube and there's all these videos of Anglos
saying 'We are proud of what we did'. So there's already other race hate videos
out there. Why are they only targeting one [community]?


Perhaps that question should be asked of Daily Telegraph editor David Penberthy. And of the PM who found some way of linking the video to Lebanese Muslims without any conclusive evidence before him.

They say that patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel. Sadly, the antics of a few school boys and the selective anti-racism of a tabloid journalist ensure that once again scoundrels are drowning out the voices of reason.

© Irfan Yusuf 2007

10 comments:

wali said...

Perhaps the most reasoned response was provided by a current student of Granville Boys High School

The one good thing to come out of this is that our education system can't be that bad when a high school student makes a more intelligent comment than a teritary educated Prime Minister.

Anonymous said...

Of course the Prime Minister of Australia supports Christians and White Pride groups. Australia is a White Christian country. If you object to any of this, you do not belong here.

Stop pretending to be this black "liberal intellectual" who represents the voice of reason, or represents anyone at all. The simple fact of the matter is that you have no influence over the violent thugs and haters that must be removed from this country.

Anonymous said...

We know that Howard is a racist scumbag. However, he's a SMART racist scumbag - I seriously doubt that he has ever supported any overtly 'white pride' groups.

The video IS a sign that there is something seriously wrong in the Lebanese community (and probably the Muslim Lebanese community because of the glorification of the rapist).

It's possible that the attitude of Howard and his ilk have contributed to this festering nastiness but nonetheless, the nastines MUST be stopped.

Irfan said...

I agree. And I hope Anon @ 337 would call for non-Lebanese and/or non-Muslim Australians to stop the nasty videos put out by supporters of the Cronulla rioters. Or do nasty videos only reflect poorly on one group but not another?

Anonymous said...

337 here - yep, I'd love to see Stormfront et al closed down. And I hope that Australia First gets smashed in the state elections.

There is an asymmetry going on, though. While some true-blues supported Cronulla most didn't. Yet it's very hard to get Muslims (on forum boards, anyway) to condemn the 'revenge attacks'. The middle-eastern sociological-cultural assumption that young men are stupid, hot-headed and violent and thus individually not really responsible is a very dangerous one.

Anonymous said...

There is nothing wrong with White Pride. THERE IS NOTHING wrong with WHITE PRIDE, just as there is nothing wrong with the Australian Flag.

Do you mean to say that any other racial group can have legitimate pride in themselves? And yet pride amongst white people is illegitimate? The hypocrisy is astounding, yet not breathtaking. People opposing "White Pride" are just stupid racists, plain and simple.

This is a bit like the so called "anti-racists" in Australia. They themselves can express hatred towards white people, calling them racially offensive terms such as "rednecks" and "white trash", yet get quite upset when racial terms referring to their group are used, they get VERY upset.

"anti-racist" has proven to mean "Anti-White" amongst the left-wing drivel that is quickly and surely dying out in Australia.

"White Pride" is not white supremacy. "White Pride" is not racial superiority. White Pride is simply pride in the centuries and milleniums of White Heritage (with or without White Christian heritage).

Australia is a White Nation. We will resist any attempts of any other race to denigrate our lifestyle. We will resist such things as the "Lebanese" "youtube" violence and hatred towards Australians.

If you question the attempts of the Australian Nation to regulate the immigration policies of our country, then compare these to those of such nations as Japan and Israel. The zionists are the more racist creatures on the planet.

People on this planet get on best with each other when they are amongst people they can instinctively and naturally trust, often simply by looking at them.
Australians get on best with white people.

If you do not like this, go and invade a country of less intelligent (yet not racially inferior) people such as those that were found in Fiji. Then you can enjoy the continuous racial disharmony amongst Native Fijians and the intruders.

Anonymous said...

Irfan, please do not post your picture next to your posts, because you only further the stereotype that fat black people are stupid.

There were no "cronulla rioters", only "Austalians" and "True-Blue Aussies" and "Australians uprising against ethnic and racial violence".

Do you think that the violence and intimidation towards surf lifesavers and white women in swimsuits was acceptable?

You posts and arguments are becoming as thin as the carbon copy of your airline ticket out of this country.

wali said...

White Pride is simply pride in the centuries and milleniums of White Heritage ...Australia is a White Nation.

To quote the very white philosopher A.C. Grayling:

"The idea of nationalism turns on that of a "nation". The word is a joke: we British are one of the most mongrel of "nations", a mixture of so many immigrations in the last two millenia that the idea of a British ethnicity is comical, except for the Celtic fringes, whose boast has to be either that they remained so remote and disengaged, or so conquered, for the greater part of history, that they succeeded in keeping their gene pool "pure" (a cynic might unkindly say "inbred")."

Anonymous said...

it is typical of a muslim to live in denial. the general attitude is "a muslim could not have done this" or "we were justified". it seems as though the author of this blog is pushing the opinion that the hate video was actually made by aussies to discredit muslims. then again according to the muslims 911 was done by americans and the tsunami was a result of nuclear testing by india & the us. hmmmmm seems like some of these people are on good drugs. aussies have had enough of being told what to do in our country and we are bad or wrong because we are not muslim. if the truth be known all religions christian, muslim & jew are a joke and should not exist. more people have died in the name of religion than any other cause. i deplore the crusades, i deplore jihad and i deplore jewish nationalism. i ask all these groups to prove the existance of any god and not hide behind the concept of faith or something someone said hundreds of years ago, something scientific would be good. i am against any person whose religion encourages them to be non tolerant or even think badly of anyone just because they don't believe in their religion or their religion is the only religion, this includes all the groups mentioned above. i do not not dislike anybody based on their race, country or bloodlines just their attitude.extremist christians are just as bad they think all the muslims and athiests are going to hell

Anonymous said...

australia is the greatest nation