Tuesday, August 29, 2006

COMMENT: Jill Singer exposes Steyn's lies

Well, it seems you don’t have to be a left wing Jew or a right wing Muslim to find the “hate speech” (his words, not mine) of Canadian-born racist Mark Steyn disturbing.

Writing in the Herald-Sun, Wakely-award-winning journalist Jill Singer expressed her dismay (if not disgust) with Steyn’s attempts to demonise anyone deemed Muslim. And that was even after Steyn’s diatribe was “modified for ABC audiences”.

Steyn used the podium of Australian right-wing think tanks to spread a simple message. Singer sumarised that message as follows:
… that Islam has nothing to offer the world but destruction … In Steyn's world, Muslims are the legitimate target of jokes and calls for obliteration.
Alleged conservatives are lapping up this message of extreme intolerance. The CIS continues to triumphantly boast of the “sell-out” session at the Conservatorium earlier this month.

Of course, no one from the CIS or the IPA has publicly distanced themselves from Steyn’s anti-Muslim diatribe. Steyn’s offensive descriptions of the cultures and religions of Muslim Aussies doesn’t seem to have perturbed these alleged conservatives.

Yet why should the now-geriatric members of Australia’s old “New Right” regard Muslim-bashing as unacceptable? As Singer notes:
Predictably enough, Steyn was given a warm welcome by the Right on his highly publicised tour of Australia, including the likes of our PM, Treasurer and Foreign Minister.

One can only assume its because they like what he has to say, but are not game to say it themselves.
Perhaps most interesting was Singer’s exposure of blatant lies told by Steyn in his quest to generate maximum hatred toward anyone deemed Muslim.
… the reefer-jacketed school drop-out is not impeded by small matters, such as factual accuracy, when labouring to slag off at Muslims whenever possible.

An example: during our interview, he repeated something he had written about the Swedish city of Malmo, to the effect it was on the path to ruination because 40 per cent of its population was now Muslim. A listener texted in to say this figure was exaggerated. With eyes flashing, Steyn stuck to his guns.

Curious about his twitchy reaction, I later contacted Sweden's official statistics department to check his alleged source, which was a furphy.

Steyn's writings on Malmo's social problems (which need no exaggeration) also state that ambulance drivers refuse to go into many areas of the city because of the danger posed by Muslims.

His source for this appears to be a two-year-old report on Fox News, except where Fox reported Malmo's Muslim population at being 25 per cent, Steyn inflated it to 40 per

And where Fox reported that ambulance drivers would not go into some areas of Malmo without a police escort, Steyn changed it to many areas.

Imagine CIS staff explaining this to the Australian CEO of the National Australia Bank. Or perhaps them using this in their next funding or sponsorship from Crazy Johns.

And to think this sort of nonsense was being promoted at a “Big Ideas Forum”.