Tuesday, May 17, 2011

It's that time of year again

Every couple of months (or every other year). Australian politicians and media turn their full attention towards the muslim community in Australia.

The issues they tackle aren't usually related to relevant or even a real issue. It just coincides conveniently with another  local or international issue such as a terrorist act somewhere or a media issue somewhere in Europe or the US that makes its way to Australian politics, or a criminal act in Australia.

Most of the initial issue of course are condemned by the majority of Muslims and Muslim leaders in Australia. However due to (manufactured or natural) xenophobia in Australia from Muslims and other brown skinned people. It's very easy for politicians and gather support by fighting the good fight over something trivial or for media sources such as newspapers, television shows etc... to jump on that band wagon and cover fringe elements, practices and "scholars" and present to the unassuming Australian television watchers as representative of all Muslims.

The 60 minutes report a few months ago discussed the failure of multiculturalism and again tried to scare us with the muslim boogie man. Even though most muslims on the grape vine were frustrated at this misrepresentation of muslims (and even though there are organizations such as JMA trying to stem this tide by holding people accountable for bad journalism) the damage is still done. Looking at comments at newspaper websites, facebook groups, people calling in on 2UE and 2GB radio stations all take those lies and obfuscations to be completely true. The general population is scared, angry and increasingly aggressive.
I remember a few years ago hearing about the EDL , I (and many others in Australia) thought this could never happen in Australia. Now though it has traveled down here under the manifestation of ADL (brilliant branding btw).

So... Osama is finally allegedly killed (there is a lot of controversy about whether he really was killed or not but I'm not going into that now). Suddenly this seems to have picked up a lot of steam media and politicians needed for fresh votes in upcoming elections and on readership and television numbers.

There was a brilliant Q&A program that discussed the killing of Bin Laden, brilliant because it had a variety of voices, including thankfully the Muslim voice, in Nazeem Hussien, Melbourne based, lawyer, comedian and muslim activist, who presented in my opinion a very good image of muslims as well as a more balanced view of the bin ladin assassination.

Since then things have started hearing up. Over the past week there has been this article by Chris Kenny that fiercely attacked a responsible logical opinion of Nazeem's by blasting them

"disturbing and dangerous"

and goes on in classic zionist character assassination style to reduce Nazeem's views to extremist, terrorist sympathizing and radical. going all crazy with "In what amounted to an apologia for terrorism" and throwing out numbers of australians, britishers, americans and pakistanis killed by terrorism and trying to convince the reader that Nazeem was pro that because he didn't acknowledge the black and white cowboy world that Mr Kenny wants us to believe in.
The fact us, nothing in this world happens in a vacuum, everything is connected to everything else, and to deny the effects of western imperialism in all its forms in the middle east and the general third world is to bury your head in the sand, you can do that mr Kenny, but you can't attack others for looking up and seeing what the $@#% is going on.

I would also like to mention that I commented on that article, without being rude or saying anything that can be seen as insulting, my comment has not been posted.

Since yesterday more opinion pieces and coverage has been given to the issue of shariah that basically vilify anything muslims say in some reactionary fear of this creeping sharia business. There is very little logic and a lot of empty scared rhetoric about democracy vs sharia, an attempt to change Australia's way of life, and the ever present "if you don't like it, leave the country" gibe that seems to be a favorite with bigots.

A news piece has actually gone the extra step to speak to Siddique Conlon, better known from the 60 minutes piece. This time though he was shown as an authority on islamic matters.

The fact is and continues to be that Mr Conlon's views are fringe views, he and his group have virtually no support in the Muslim community in south eastern sydney, let alone Australia. And yet because he says inflammatory things, he's going to be the new hilali, or the new abu ayman. A man who looks different, speaks hate, and revels in his bad man image.

What's next ? the closer the elections loom, the more controversy seems to find its way to our television screens, the more hate, panic and aggression takes place online and the on the streets.

I wish I could end of a positive note...


Fyfee said...



Fyfee said...

nb: Comments, not so much

Nasser Kat said...

erm, thank you for your link.

Fyfee said...

No probs, I thought it was a brilliant (read, accurate) article.
It's breathtaking how the commenters below can literally ignore the words in front of their eyes.

Nasser Kat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nasser Kat said...

Unfortunately there is a lot of fear and anger in the community, and the prevalence of what I can only call ignorance in the guise of awareness...