Sunday, November 6, 2016

Robert Manne & Murdoch's Australian

How interesting that Robert Manne, who slammed Murdoch's Australian for its multitude of sins (but not its knee-jerk support for Israel) in his 2011 Quarterly Essay, Bad News: Murdoch's Australian & the Shaping of the Nation, is now having his new book, The Mind of the Islamic State promoted by... Murdoch's Australian.

The latest expression of this promotion is Paul Monk's largely favourable review of the book in The Weekend Australian. Monk being Monk, of course, doesn't think Manne has gone quite far enough because he doesn't trace IS's roots all the way back to the Prophet Muhammad and to Islam itself. As he puts it:

"In short, the one God of Islam is not the God of Abraham, of Micah, of Isaiah - or of Jesus. Mohammed's deity is a god of war and conquest and the Sunnah, the example of the prophet, is one of jihad and the killing of one's enemies and critics. Manne does not address this fundamental problem." (5/11/16)

Monk, of course, conveniently omits any reference to the God of Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua (presumably the same "the God of Abraham" etc), who urges his people to practice herem warfare, that is, total destruction/ extermination, something which has no parallel in the Qur'an. For example: "When the Lord your God brings you into the land you are entering to possess and drives out before you many nations... and when the Lord your God has delivered them over to you and you have defeated them, then you must destroy them totally. Make no treaty with them, and show them no mercy." (Deuteronomy 7:1-2).*

But my interest here is not in Monk or his madness, it's more in Manne and his newfound accommodation with that fountainhead of "bad news," as he called it in 2011, The Australian. Will we be seeing a letter from Manne, distancing himself from the mad Monk in tomorrow's Australian, for example? I, for one, won't be holding my breath.

[Required reading on this business: Philip Jenkins' 2011 book Laying Down the Sword: Why We Can't Ignore the Bible's Violent Verses.]

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