Eeeuw! I've just biopsied Paul Sheehan's latest growth, Hard decisions at the heart of the crisis (SMH, 7/15), and, frankly, the expression 'seething mass' doesn't begin to do it justice.
Just take a gander at these little wrigglers:
"... the atavistic bloodletting carried out in the schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims..."
Yeah? Funny how they're not slugging it out in Mecca on the hajj then.
"Where once Australians used to travel overland to Europe via Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon, that is now too dangerous."
The bugger's repeating himself here. For all the dirt on Sheehan's atavistic yearning for the Kombi van and the 60s/70s Hippy Trail, see my 15/1/15 post From Hippie Hordes to Mohammedan Hordes.
"Syria is finished."
All self harm, of course. Nothing to do with Western intervention.(See my 26/5/15 post Frankenstein Monster Mark III.)
"Iraq is now three states..."
Self harm again. Nothing to do with Western intervention. (ditto)
"... the Muslim world is exporting its instability to Europe via a mass exodus of people."
Spontaneous instability, of course. Nothing whatever to do with Western interventions. (ditto)
"What can or should Australia do? There is nothing we can do about the ancient Sunni-Shia schism, but we can protect those who have become collateral damage: Christians."
A Christians-only refugee policy? What's next? A Christian Australia policy? Christian State in the South Pacific (CSSP)?
Excuse me while I wash my hands.
Ah, that's better!
Of all the many indicators of the Sydney Morning Herald's precipitous decline as a reliable news source, the retention on staff of the odious Paul Sheehan (while heavying and discarding Mike Carlton under pressure from the Israel lobby) has to be the most telling.
The following letter in yesterday's edition was a neat riposte to Sheehan:
"I write in response to Paul Sheehan's opinion piece (Hard decisions at the heart of the crisis, Sept 7).
"It is hurtful to suggest that providing asylum is 'to import the Sunni-Shia schism via a large influx of Muslims'. The relationship between Sunni and Shia Muslims in Australia is overwhelmingly one of peace and harmony. If anything, the only wave of religiously motivated conflict in Australia that has lead to criminal behaviour, violent outbreaks and social disharmony has been attacks on Australian Muslims.
"Australian Muslims don't think it is critical to ascertain the religion of the perpetrators but focus on trying to increase community harmony. Mosques have been shot at and firebombed, and women in Islamic scarves have been physically assaulted in public. I think it is safe to assume that they are not Sunni or Shia. With regard to refugees, I would like to remind Sheehan that until the current conflict, Syria was a harmonious, multi-faith society.
"After all, Syria became home to the refugees who fled the armies of Ibrahim Pasha in 1839; Circassian refugees in 1860; Armenian refugees in 1915; Palestinian refugees in 1948 and again in 1967; refugees from Kuwait in 1990; from Lebanon in 1996; from Iraq in 2003, and Syria again became home to refugees from Lebanon in 2006.
"Syria never closed its borders to those seeking safety. Until recent times, the same will be recorded in the history books for Australia. At a time of unprecedented suffering in Syria, with millions of people displaced, to debate on whether we should ask a drowning man what their religion is before we save them is a sad indictment on our humanity." Ahmed Kilani, Lugarno