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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

stirring the pot « Previous | |Next »
September 17, 2012

The right wing commentators reaction to the Islamic riots in Sydney about the fundamentalist Christian anti-Islam video that depicted the prophet Muhammad as a murderous paedophile is that these riots are the unacceptable face of multiculturalism in Australia.


The Australian's editorial says that the riots were the work:

of an international movement devoted not to changing Western society but to its downfall. They want to abolish modernity and the principles on which Australia's free and democratic society is founded. Instead, they want to pursue their peculiar dystopia, a caliphate of medieval unreason.

The Australian refers to the black flag of evil jihad (ie., al-Q'aida), but it makes no mention of the Islamophobia of the Christian right 's rhetoric about Islam's intolerance and the imposition of sharia law; or that the film was a provocation aimed at inciting violence in order to show the world what a violent religion Islam is. It was designed to enflame Muslims through its contempt for Islam.

Presumably, this kind of Islamophobia is an acceptable face of Australia for outraged conservatives. They quickly appeal to free speech and then infer that (backward and unenlightened) Muslims do not accept that Western liberal democracies like Australia permit freedom of expression.

Here's something to consider. The right wing commentators are appealing to those on the right who support a combination of populist, anti-immigrant and increasingly anti-Muslim policies. The core of the conservative movement want a halt all further nonwhite immigration, a reduction in the the number of Muslims or the presence of Islam in society, and to prioritise native Australian values over those of other cultures. The inference is that Muslims will never truly be Australians.

The appeal of the conservative commentators is to the core conservative base---those older, angrier, Anglo-Saxon Australians who desire a party that adopts a tough, populist stance toward elites, immigration, Muslims and British values. They are outraged by the Sydney riots and their deepseated hostility to Islam surfaces in their comments.

There is no mention that the protests in the Muslim world are not just about a film. They are also about a US foreign policy in the Middle East that supported tyranny and dictatorship that ensured that the citizens' views, so contrary to US policy, would be suppressed and rendered irrelevant. Or, as the SBS's documentary The Secret War on Terror showed, the US programme of drone strikes in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen that kill civilians.

This event is another example of what Anne Summers said recently, namely:

we are experiencing an era in politics where there is very little civility. The overall temperature of discussion and debate is torrid and people use language towards and about each other that even a few years ago would have been considered totally out of line. This, sadly, is the new norm.

In her speech Summers was referring to, and spelling out, the misogyny towards Julia Gillard--where the prime minister is attacked, vilified or demeaned in ways that do specifically relate to her sex. Islamophobia is another example.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 11:13 AM | | Comments (14)


"the fundamentalist Christian anti-Islam video that depicted the prophet Muhammad as a murderous paedophile"

The Innocence of Muslims was produced and directed by an Egyptian-American Coptic Christian, Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, 55, who lives outside Los Angeles under the pseudonym Sam Bacile.

On the same day... about 500 drunken yobs throw bottles and bricks at police and smash cars... including an ambulance tending to a stab victim.

Is that the unacceptable face of "something else" in Australia????!?

The hypocricy/prejudice is astounding...

Surely the rioting reinforces the view of those that dont want the muslims here.
God and Jesus are depicted badly from time to time (watch Southpark) and there is no rioting.
It seems to me that these rioters are just dumb people looking for reasons to destroy stuff. The flock of all religions are a bit light in the IQ department.

"Protect our borders" for the Right means start deporting the Islamic scum back to their Islamic countries of choice. They are not wanted in Australia.

The assumption is that sectarian brutality that burns flags, hurls vile abuse and riot in the streets is unique to Islamic fundamentalists--nay to Islam.

"The inference is that Muslims will never truly be Australians."

The right wing are saying that each and every violent person from this affair who is not Australian by birth have all residency or citizenship revoked, and they should be removed from Australia and not allowed to return.

In contrast Right wing white thugs defending Cronulla Beach from the Lebanese bullies are deemed to be patriots defending Australia.

" is unique to Islamic fundamentalists--nay to Islam."

The Right's Islamophobia says that the core of Islam is a mixture of eighth century ignorance, indoctrination, intolerance and cowardly, sickening violence.

These values are not wanted in Australia's modern, free, tolerant and peaceful democracy. So give up Islam or go somewhere else.

"The inference is that Muslims will never truly be Australians."

The Right sees things in terms of a clash of civilisations. That means we are not the same as them because it is 2 different cultures.

The inference is that diversity does not work. Diversity weakens the nation state, whereas unity creates strength.

So multiculturalism needs to be dumped.

Conservatism relies on fear to justify social hierarchies, which in turn govern in the authoritarian fashion which appears necessary to protect society from what it fears. Fear works best when it is inspired by non-specific external threats with a human but anonymous face: Jews, communists, Masons, terrorists, and now of course Muslims. The fear of physical harm from terrorist attack having receded since the early 2000s, conservatives now have to work harder to keep people scared, relying more and more on a revival of the evil world domination scenario that had such a long and successful run during the Cold War.

Somehow it's not working very well, despite the best efforts to generate hysteria, especially in the USA. Possibly the spectre of a global caliphate imposed on us by a bunch of Arabs who haven't organised themselves to do anything by way of empire building for about a thousand years is less plausible than a communist world backed by Red China and the USSR. That's why the right wing maniacs seize on any shred of evidence that can be misrepresented to boost the alleged dangers we all face.

Interestingly, however, the right in the USA seems to have backed itself into a corner. Its response to the Arab spring, and the increasing power of anti-Western parties in the Middle East, is to demand America stop having anything to do with those countries. That, of course, is exactly what the Taliban and Muslim Brotherhood et al also want. So it seems Al Qaeda is achieving its strategic objectives regardless, even though conservatives are too lacking in self-awareness to see it.

Heh 'The Australian' editorialises that 'some commentators see a parallel between the challenge Mr Obama faces in the current crisis and the one that confronted president Jimmy Carter over the Iran hostages'. Needless to say, the commentators in question all happen to be partisan hacks who have been busy telling lies for months in an effort to make sure that black Muslim-lover in the White House does not get re-elected. Funny how 'The Australian' neglected to mention that.

It's not just the tories who lack self-awareness. Even with bin Laden gone, WE continue to move his plans along...

Quote from 2004: ""All that we have to do is to send two mujahedin to the furthest point East to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al-Qaeda, in order to make the generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic, and political losses without their achieving for it anything of note other than some benefits for their private companies."

So far, so good.

Gerard Henderson says in the SMH that the violence of the Sydney demonstration provides yet more evidence that multiculturalism - after a promising start - has failed.

Failed? Multiculturalism is a fact of life in Sydney--with its 40 or so different nationalities.

For two days now... concentrated media outrage, Muslim community apologies and public dismay... Now our Hendo predictably pronounces that it's a failure of multiculturalism.


Why, oh why... has there been barely a whisper about the 500 yobs who rioted in Perth the same day. What are their "community leaders" doing about that event?

The hypocrisy is doubly breath-taking when one remembers the outrage from christians over "Life of Brian", which wasn't all that long ago. I recall all kinds of unpleasantness from the Festival of Light in Adelaide back in the day, and not just about that film. (No actual violence, I have to concede.)

The title/heading for the letters to the editor section in todays (Wednesday) Australian is: Evil Must Be Eradicated Or It Will Destroy Our Society.

enuf sed!