I have some issues with the following Guardian Australia report. Not, I hasten to add, with the report per se, but rather with some of the positions taken by the organisations cited in it:
"Australian Islamic groups have condemned the Sydney Morning Herald for threatening the suspension of columnist Mike Carlton and accused Fairfax of losing its independence. In a letter to the Fairfax chief executive, Greg Hywood, and editor-in-chief, Darren Goodsir, the Australian National Imams Council of NSW and Muslim Legal Network NSW, among others, said they would boycott the SMH unless the outspoken columnist was reinstated... The letter to Fairfax said the Muslim groups would consider notifying community organisations and spokespersons to cease cooperating with Fairfax journalists for media interviews." (Islamic groups threaten SMH boycott over Mike Carlton's departure, Amanda Meade, 9/8/14)
Fair enough. I'm all for Muslim (or any other) community organisations condemning and boycotting the weak-kneed Herald over Mike Carlton's resignation. But why, I'd like to know, has the rabidly pro-Zionist and thoroughly Islamophobic Murdoch press never, as far as I'm aware, elicited a similar response by these organisations?
"'As representatives of the Muslim community we have always regarded Fairfax to be one of the more balanced media organisations in the country...', it said." (ibid)
Are they serious? While the Herald isn't quite the echo-chamber for Zionist propaganda and Islamophobia that the Murdoch press is, it can hardly be held up as a real counterweight to it. While the reports of its Middle East correspondent Ruth Pollard are generally sound (as are those of The Australian's ME correspondent John Lyons), when it comes to the Palestine/Israel conflict, its opinion pieces are invariably pro-Israel, its editorials are as weak as the proverbial piss (none so far on the latest genocidal pounding of Gaza BTW), and its ME-related cartoons by Moir woefully clueless. Then there's its ubiquitous and reliably Arabo- Islamophobic columnist, Paul Sheehan, who has never, to my knowledge, drawn a complaint from our Muslim bodies.
"The Muslim community groups also condemned the [Glen Le Lievre] cartoon that accompanied Carlton's column. 'It was indeed a racist cartoon that implicated the Jewish people in the actions of the Israeli state by using Jewish symbolism and stereotype,' the letter said." (ibid)
What rubbish! If the cartoon is anti-Semitic for using Jewish symbolism, so too is the Israeli state. I mean, haven't the authors of this letter ever seen an Israeli flag? And what is this expression "the Jewish people" doing in their letter? This is stock standard Zionist dogma FFS! If these organisations really want to finger a racist cartoon why aren't they gunning for the one by The Australian's cartoonist Bill Leak, showing a Hamas 'terrorist' telling his son "There! Now you go out to play and win the PR war for daddy"?
Truly, these organisations really need to get their act together before putting pen to paper.