Tuesday, April 15, 2008

CRIKEY: Islam and democracy: six speakers, four brains


Tonight, a coalition of various media, local government and not-for-profit groups (including the prestigious St James Ethics Centre) are hosting the first Australian Intelligence Squared debate. The formula is fairly straight forward - three speakers in favour of the proposition and three against. It's the winning format that has made the IQ2 such a huge success in the US and UK.

Tonight's sell-out debate topic is "Islam is incompatible with Democracy". A reasonable enough topic. I'm sure one could find numerous Muslims who would argue the affirmative, and at least as many non-Muslims who would argue the negative. However, it seems that at least two speakers have given the organisers reason to be extremely perturbed.

Former connoisseur of magic cancer cures Paul Sheehan wrote a column yesterday referring to ...
... Tongan morons ...
... and claiming Goulburn jail ...
... is dominated by Aborigines, Pacific Islanders and Lebanese Muslims.
Shakira Hussein mentions Sheehan’s past work includes the outlandish claim (made in 1995) that racially-motivated crime by African-Americans against whites had led to some 25 million white Americans victims over a 30 year period. And you thought the Nazis were nasty to the Jews. As if things couldn't get worse for the organisers and sponsors.

DD McNichol writes in The Oz today that St James Ethics Centre Executive Director Simon Longstaff became extremely perturbed to learn that the keynote international speaker, Daniel Pipes, had delivered a speech to the rather geriatric crowd at Quadrant. The Oz's opinion editor invited Pipes to submit the article for publication, and it also appears in today's Oz.

Read the piece and understand why Longstaff has good reason to be extremely concerned. Daniel Pipes combines just about every ugly stereotype about Muslim migrants you could imagine: They breed like rabbits; They refuse to integrate; They incite "indigenous European Christians" to violence and even genocide; They aren’t content to become European but would prefer to dominate, turning Europe into "Eurabia". If only this dude was around last November to tidy up that Lindsay pamphlet.

Pipes' claims only make sense if you presume Europeans and Muslims are mutually exclusive monolithic groups. Pipes ignores millions of indigenous European Muslims, including those making up the majority in Europe’s newest nation, Kosovo. (One wonders why Rebecca Weisser would want her page to be promoting the kind of rhetoric that hardly six-and-a-half decades ago justified some of her distant relatives to be sent to the gas chambers). Had Pipes talked in this manner about Jews, he may have been refused a visa for inciting hatred and violence toward a portion of the Australian community. And rightly so.

Among the stated goals of the IQ2 debates are ...
... rais[ing] the level of public discourse on our most challenging issues ...

... and ...
... transcend[ing] the toxically emotional and the reflexively ideological.
Saying Muslims incite European Christians to slaughter them is hardly the sort of stuff that raises the level of public discourse.

I hope for the sake of the organisers that these noble goals can be met notwithstanding utter contempt being showed for them by two out of six speakers.

Meanwhile, spare a thought for Mr Nooooo Bingo, my fellow White Ribbon Day Ambassador Tanveer Ahmed, who finds himself on the same side as Pipes! I hope Tanveer doesn't have any Bangladeshi relos in the UK...

First published (some 6 hours before the debate commenced) in the Crikey! daily alert for Tuesday 15 April 2008.

Words © 2008 Irfan Yusuf

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12 comments:

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Irfan Yusuf is guilty of inciting everyone who meets him to slaughter muslims.

RightStuff said...

Why do the likes of Wade mcInerney, Douglas Darby and Matt Murphy keep leaving anonymous messages here? The answer is simple - they are unemployable!

Anonymous said...

You do write a lot about nothing much, Irfan. Daniel Pipes is not the only one talking about 'Eurabia'.
As for the bit about not printing the article in The Australian, it might have been relevant for D.D. McNicholl to mention it, but it becomes petty when you repeat it. Especially when you go on to talk about what Longstaff 'might' have thought about the CONTENT of the piece. That is really drawing a long bow!

Bron said...

And after reading their bilge, it's no surprise they are unemployed and unemployable. Stupid fuckers.

SG said...

anon @ 5;21, the only other people talking about Eurabia are Pipes' fellow anti-Semitic nutcases like Robert Spencer and Bet Yeor.

and it's true that irf was wrong in suggesting Longstaff might have been concerned. it would be more accurate if he'd said that Longstaff would have been positively disgusted.

you, on the oher hand, are obviously more a connoisseur of Christian genocide than Paul Sheehan is of holy water!

Anonymous said...

"Ugly stereotypes" Yussuf?

They breed like rabbits; They refuse to integrate; They incite "indigenous European Christians" to violence and even genocide; They aren’t content to become European but would prefer to dominate, turning Europe into "Eurabia".

Stereotypes or ugly reality? I think the shoe fits and that's the reason why you're seething, is it not?

Irfan Yusuf said...

Anon @ 105, can you please learn to spell my surname correctly? I realise it is spelt in a manner more common in Israel, Turkey and Cyprus and hence may make you seethe.

Yes, these are ugly stereotypes. The onus is on you to prove them true. I doubt you can.

I'd be interested to know how you view the other ugly stereotype of Pipes - that European Christians have a predisposition toward massacring non-Christians. Is that a reasonable call?

Anonymous said...

Right Yussuf, like there is no proof that Muslims did 9/11 and 7/7 and Bali 1&2 and Beslan & Madrid and another 11.000 terrorist attacks since 9/11?

You put the onus on me to prove that days are bright and nights are dark?

Yeah, its a reasonable call to walk through Londonistan and watch the burka-clad breeders, and its a reasonable call to listen to the Mullah Krekar's and the other tenthousands of Islamic hate-preachers who tell us that they invaded to outbreed us (like mosquitoes in his own words btw, for which the politically correct wankers in Canuckistan are attacking Mark Steyn?)

Yeah, Yussuf:
The Armenian genocide never happened, the Hindukush massacres never happened, the 1400 years of Islam-terror never happened, the world-wide jihad is not happening, its only European Christians who have a 'predisposition toward massacring non-Christians'- and if beggars had horses they would ride them like a steel-buraq right on top of the temple-mount, which you call 'Al Aqsa' and spit right down on your blog, and you might think its the best soup you ever had. Is that a reasonable call?

SG said...

anon @ 628, are you Daniel Pipes? you sure sound like him ...

Mustafa Qadri said...

The debate was an entire show trial and the fact someone like Pipes was described as an "authoritative commentator on the Middle East" was itself an indication of the calibre of the project.

What was really under trial was the presumption that West = democracy and whether Muslims are capable of being more like the West. It was a shamefully racist exercise but full marks to the speakers against the proposition. No real sympathy for Tanveer, he ought to know better. But no doubt he may get some opportunities to become Australia's version of Ali or Manji.