Wednesday, August 05, 2009

COMMENT: On Howard, Hollingworth & Hilaly ...

Last night, President of the Islamic Friendship Society Keysar Trad addressed a group of students at Melbourne University on the subject of the role of media in Australian politics. Or maybe it was former Prime Minister John Howard. I guess it could have been either of them.

Howard decided to defend former Governor General Dr Peter Hollingworth for using the kinds of words Howard condemned Sheik Hilaly for using. And using the kinds of words Trad defended Hilaly with.

Howard claimed that ...

... by and large that the Australian media treated Peter Hollingworth disgracefully ... the relentless pursuit and character assassination of a very, very decent man - I thought that was appalling, and it went largely right across the media.

Hollingworth resigned in May 2003 after outrage when his handling of child abuse allegations during his period as Brisbane Anglican Archbishop was revealed. He was accused of showing minimal if any compassion for sexual assault victims in much the same way as Hilaly’s comments about uncovered meat and the allegedly disproportionate sentences handed out to the Skaf brothers also showed gross insensitivity to sexual assault victims.

Hilaly’s remarks were revealed some months after Howard appointed him to a hand-picked Muslim Community Reference Group set up in the wake of the July 2005 London bombings. The Group consisted largely of middle-aged men of Mr Howard’s generation, most of whom had poor English skills and little ability to deal with scrutiny from and interaction with media and politicians. Having given Hilaly a privileged position, Howard dumped on him from a great height as soon as the uncovered meat comments were revealed.

Hilaly deserved to be condemned for his comments. Apart from his family members and a small number of die-hard supporters such as his interpreter Keysar Trad, Hilaly almost overnight lost what little support he had left among various congregations.

Hollingworth also had little support from across the broader community. But he did have his own Keysar Trad figure in the person of John Howard. And like Trad, Howard continues to defend the indefensible.

MEDIA/BLOGS: Introducing Usama bin Ladin's new recruit ...

Usama bin Ladin has being trying desperately to convince young Muslims living in Western countries of certain things ...

a. That his terrorist agenda is perfectly consistent with Islam.

b. That Muslims living in countries like Australia will always be marginalised and never accepted as full citizens.

c. That Muslims have an obligation to join his struggle against ... um ... he's not quite sure. Possibly the West, possibly Muslim rulers, possibly Shia Muslims, possibly Muslims who don't support his agenda.

Anyway, bin Ladin's popularity in nominally Muslim countries has been waning. But in Australia, bin Ladin has found an important ally. Here's a photo of Usama bin Ladin's most important Australian propagandist.

Only someone with bin Ladin's mentality, jaundice and ignorance could pen words like this:

The rise of yet another Islamist terror group suggests there is something in Muslim or Arabic culture peculiarly susceptible to the call to violence ... While false, there is yet a grain of truth in the maxim that while not every Muslim is a terrorist, every terrorist is a Muslim.

I always thought Arabic was the name of a language, not a culture. And what on earth is "Muslim" culture? Do Muslims all share a single culture that is distinct from every other culture? What are the features of this culture? Where do I find it? On which planet? In which galaxy?

And Andrew bin Bolt's monocultural jihadists are ever-ready to assist:

Charles replied to Andrew
Wed 05 Aug 09 (11:08am)

I don’t really buy this idea that extremism is a ‘perversion’ of Islam. One strong characteristic of Bin laden and the others is that they are very thorough in justifying their own actions in terms of the principles of Islam, and the Quran, far more so than most ‘moderates’. Their actions are consistent with those of Mohammad himself and his successors.

cohenite replied to mick maggs
Wed 05 Aug 09 (11:54am)

... Islam has a declared intention of dominating the world; so we have the most oppressive type of social structure the world has seen stating their war against the rest; not even communism did this and the nazis were not as brazen.

Al Qaeda, al Schmaeda, Al Shabaab, al schlabbab: what’s the difference?
Certainly not skin color. All follow the Koran and the hadith, the sayings and tradition of their profit Muhammad.
Looking for differences among these groups is an unnecessary detraction.
A single Muslim who takes his religion seriously can be afflicted by “Sudden Jihad Syndrome”, how many examples do you want?
Red Baron of Sydney (Reply)
Wed 05 Aug 09 (10:41am)

“...something in Muslim or Arabic culture peculiarly susceptible to the call to violence.”
Yes, it’s called “the Koran”, with its insistence that The Believer either: 1) calls on the infidel to convert; 2) that the infidel accepts an inferior status (dhimmitude), or; 3) the infidel is killed.
Alex of Belconnen (Reply)
Wed 05 Aug 09 (10:48am)

Shaykh bin Bolt must be mighty pleased that he has assisted bin Ladin. And the Herald Sun, Australia's biggest selling newspaper, must be happy that it has provided a platform for bin-Ladinesque sentiment.

UPDATE I: Another priceless Bolt blogpost from yesteryear.

UPDATE II: Actually, there's another sense in which Bolt is doing bin Ladin's work. I spoke about this some years back during an interview with Terry Lane on Radio National's The National Interest. Here is an excerpt from that interview during which I discuss how Liberal backbenchers calling for hijab to be banned from state schools were assisting bin Ladin.

... I think what we're seeing is a Talibanisation in Australia of our culture. Bronwyn Bishop, Sophie Panopoulos, these represent the Talibanisation of Australia. We're seeing al-Qae'da in an Australian form coming out, demonising people, demonising Muslims. This is what al-Qae'da wants. I mean Bronwyn Bishop and Sophie Panopoulos are doing Osama bin Laden's work. Osama bin Laden doesn't have to lift a finger, because he's got Liberal backbenchers doing the work for him. He wants Muslims to feel marginalised in this country, a community that's been at the heart of this country of mainstream Australia for over 150 years. He wants them to feel marginalised. He doesn't have to do anything because he's got Bronnie and Sophie doing it for him. So Osama will be sitting in a cave, clapping his hands when he reads some of the - I mean he's probably got his laptop with him, he's clicking on to the ABC website, and there he is in his cave saying oh, very good Bronwyn, thank you, thank you.

Bronwyn was, naturally, somewhat disturbed by my remarks and immediately hit the airwaves with her response. You can read it all here.

UPDATE III: It looks like the only support Bolt can muster on the blohosphere is from one of tabloid moron Tim Blair's mates who calls him/her/itself Margo's Maid. This poor imbecile has decided that the ultimate sources for defending Bolt's lunacy consist of:

1. a Wikipedia entry;

2. a WikiAnswers entry; and

3. a single wacko internet discussion forum run by a bunch of kids!

Seriously, with scholarly expertise like that, who needs to consult with the works of people like this chap, this bloke and this lady?

Words © 2009 Irfan Yusuf

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