While the ears of the good folk of Sydney are currently ringing with the squawkings and screechings of shock-jock Alan (The Parrot) Jones, the even more outrageous squealings and gruntings of another denizen of the meeja zoo pass under the radar.
The week before last, rambammed Sydney Morning Herald calumnist Paul Sheehan was telling us that he could point to "hundreds of pages of examples of bastardry by Muslims living in this country," that Muslims are nowhere oppressed, save by other Muslims (even in the Palestinian territories and Kashmir!), and that he's had it up to here with those who "whine" about Islamophobia. (Victimology airbrushes oppression against own, 20/9/12)
And this week, he was hurling accusations of "cowardice" at the government for daring to take its time in issuing the incredibly coiffed Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders with a visa.
"Wilders," he snorted, "is an elected member of parliament, has never been convicted of a crime and is an outspoken defender of pluralism, democracy, feminism and freedom of speech. He believes these bedrock liberal values are being eroded by a steady, incremental challenge from Muslims in Holland. He now lives under constant police protection. Four prominent critics of Islam in Holland have been assassinated or threatened with death in recent years." (Visa insult a betrayal of liberalism, 1/10/12)
But, I thought, harking back to the Sheehan of September 20, weren't Muslims simply too busy carving one another up to bother with defenders of pluralism, democracy, feminism & freedom of speech such as Wilders? Apparently not. Four (4) such have been vilely cut down by Muslim fanatics!
But wait! I've just fallen victim to the calumnist's sleight of hand here. Scan his statement again - four prominent critics of Islam in Holland have been assassinated or threatened with death in recent years - and you're left with the impression that the lives of 4 valiant Dutch defenders of Christendom have been abruptly terminated, hardly noticing the inclusion of the words "or threatened."
OK, if it's less than four good guys who have been terminated by bad (Muslim) guys in Holland, just how many then have paid the ultimate price? (It's this kind of deliberate vagueness, which lumps together assassinations, threats, dirty looks and God knows what else, that's the key to Sheehan's prestidigitation.)
Upon examination, it appears that one (1) Dutch gg only, Theo Van Gogh, was murdered by a Muslim fanatic, Mohammed Bouyeri. Another Dutch gg, Pim Fortuyn, was murdered in 2002, not by a Muslim, but by an animal rights/environmental campaigner, Volkert van der Graaf. And, as far as I can make out, that's it, folks.
But it's Sheehan's reference to Wilder's alleged feminism, as in "an outspoken defender of blah, blah, feminism, and blah," that particularly interests me. Presumably, labelling Islam (but never its Abrahamic cousins, Judaism and Christianity) 'misogynistic' is enough to make one a defender of feminism these days. And there is no doubt, of course, that Sheehan numbers himself among the "defenders of blah, blah, feminism, and blah." However, is this the same Sheehan, the same defender of feminism, who could write so breezily in a 2010 travel piece about Cambodia's "flesh-pot options" and bar girls at $US25 a pop?*
[*Fortress of solitude, SMH, 20/11/10. See my 7/5/11 post Killer Letter.]