Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Islamophobia Goes Mainstream

While Australian politicians flock to sign an Israeli government-sponsored declaration committing them to fight criticism of Israel under the pretext that they are fighting anti-Semitism, a marginal form of racism at best in this country, Islamophobia is thriving in the mainstream media. The following instances have occurred within the past two weeks:

Paul Sheehan, Sydney Morning Herald columnist, 27/5

"Here is a sample of the more than 100 verses in the Koran that call Muslims to violence against the Unbelievers [Sheehan lists a handful of unnumbered, contextless quotes]... Most Muslims are peaceful, like most non-Muslims, but the Koran groans under the weight of its own contradictions, with entreaties to kindness co-existing with exhortations to merciless war." (Twisting Islam to justify pure evil)

In attempting to directly link the Qur'an with acts of violence today, Sheehan cites the anti-Islam hate site thereligionofpeace.com, which interestingly links, through a reference to rampaging, murderous 'Muslims' vs 'Jews' working on their "159th Nobel Prize," to Zionist propaganda site, unitedwithisrael.com. (For the full story on thereligionofpeace.com, I refer you to the 10/7/12 post TheReligionOfPeace.com: Working to Streamline the American Empire's 'War on Terror, at loonwatch.com.)

No doubt too busy trawling Islamophobic websites to do his homework, Sheehan's ignorance of the Qur'an was made abundantly clear by the following letter from Yusuf Mansuri of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which I quote in part:

"Paul Sheehan plays a double game (Twisting Islam to justify cruelty, May 27). He starts, rightfully, calling the murderers responsible for the vile and hateful crime committed in Woolwich last week psychopaths and thugs.* But he then jumps to how the Koran is hateful and full of contradictions. He cherry-picks verses to provide evidence. As a responsible journalist, he should be aware that a verse is part of a chapter; and the chapter provides the context. For example, 'And slay them wherever ye find them...', from the Koran, chapter 9, verse 5, is not about killing unbelievers wherever you find them, as Sheehan would have readers think. If he were to read a few verses before and after he would understand the verse is quoted during a battle and is about the breaking of a peace treaty with the Muslims by the polytheists of Makkah. The verse immediately after says: 'And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection (amnesty) so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. That is because they are a people who do not know.' Every verse he has quoted is misleading and is out of context. The only other people who quote these verses out of context are the extremists." (28/5/13)** 

Q&A - 27/5

CHARLES NORTHCOTE: Panel, good evening. In light of recent events in the UK, namely the horrific terrorist murder of the British soldier Lee Rigby, we have terrorism coming from within. Let me quote the words of Ayatollah Khomeini. 'Islam makes it incumbent upon all males to prepare themselves for the conquest of countries so that the writ of Islam, Sharia, is obeyed by every country in the world. Those who know nothing about Islam pretend it counsels against war. Those are witless. Islam says kill all unbelievers just as they would kill you.' How do you propose to make a stand against such radical behaviour and belief systems?

[According to wikiquote.org, this quote, from Amir Taheri's Holy Terror: Inside the World of Islamic Terrorism, is disputed. For Taheri's record as a fabricator, click on the tag below.]

FRED NILE: Well, I'm very concerned about Islam and I have spoken on this before and what is being quoted is correct, it is in the Quran So we have to say the Islamic...

TONY JONES: I don't think it was a quote from the Quran. That was a quote from Ayatollah Khomeini.  

FRED NILE: Yes, but he's quoting the Quran. There are verses in the Quran that say cut off the hands of your enemies, their legs, crucify them and so on...

Suddenly, Nile's an expert on the Qur'an! No one in the audience asked him to substantiate his assertions, chapter and verse. And no one raised the fact that he heads a party which calls for a moratorium on Muslim migration. (See my 7/10/11 post Witches Brew 5.)

Q&A - 3/6

KAIA THORPE: Thank you for the opportunity to ask Senator Cory Bernardi my question. I have a problem with a school textbook, entitled [sic] Learning From One Another: Bringing Muslim Perspectives into Australian Schools 2011. Why is Islam part of the syllabus for our primary and secondary school children? Muslims comprise only 2.25% of our population. Buddhists are more at 2.5%, while Christians at 64% are the majority, yet Christianity is not part of the school curriculum. Why are we giving Islam preferential treatment? Why are we promoting to our children a cruel culture which has nothing but contempt for our democracy?

To begin with, the aforementioned is not a textbook, it's a teaching resource. And heaven forbid that our kids should learn about something the old biddy who asked the question knows nothing about!

As for Bernardi's response, the bloke who'd earlier in the show been telling us, apropos racists mouthing off on buses, that "If you hear racist words or slogans being... directed at individuals, you've got to stand up and say, 'That's wrong. Don't do it. It offends me'," started on about "the Judeo-Christian tradition that informs our values," and began dog-whistling that "if we don't have people in public life that are prepared to stand up for those values, then they will be replaced by other values that are not as consistent with our democratic ideals."

No one, of course, raised the issue of Bernardi's Islamophobia, or his promotion of Dutch Islamophobe Geert Wilders.

Greg Sheridan, foreign editor of Murdoch's Australian, 8/6

"This boatpeople phenomenon is essentially determined Muslim immigration. It is important to confront the sensitivities of this situation head on. The overwhelming majority of Muslims in Australia are law-abiding and productive citizens. They should not be made to feel unwelcome or uncomfortable because of the necessary debate about this huge, unregulated Islamic inflow. But to dodge the debate because of that sensitivity is a recipe for continued, disastrous policy failure." (Policy failure creating a monstrous problem)

The first sentence says it all really.

[*See my 29/5/13 post In the Name of Afghanistan;** See also my 27/4/13 post Facts & Context: There's Just No Getting Around Them.]


Anonymous said...

What about the recent public execution in Syria of Muhammad al-Qatta, a teenager from Aleppo by the "rebels" for insulting the prophet. To say nothing of the beheadings of Christians?

MERC said...

What about them?

Anonymous said...

Well, these are not inventions of the "Islamophobes".

MERC said...

Who said they were?

Anonymous said...

Love your work MERC.

Short & sweet.