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Aussie Islam & Howard’s cultural minstrels
We haven't heard from Irfan Yusuf for a while, and long-term Webdiarists will be pleased to see him back with his unique brand of controversy. Irfan's last post on Webdiary was Irreverent thoughts on clerical claptrap.
by Irfan Yusuf
Some years back, I found myself at my mate Dave’s place. I first met Dave in 1980 when I started at a new school. Those were the days when my folks were committed to my becoming a nasty Muslim extremist who refused to adopt Australian Judeo-Christian values. What better to achieve this result than sending your son to a school tailor-made for Islamic extremists?
Anyway, Dave and I have made it a habit to watch a video each Saturday night. One night we found this rather wacky comedy at the video store. It was called The Pope Must Die.
Our initial reaction on seeing the title was: “That bloody chaplain would love this!” Our old school chaplain wasn’t exactly fond of Catholics. He often told us about how reliable Biblical commentaries claim the Beast 666 of the Book of Revelation was in fact the Pope.
It now seems the chaplain isn’t the only person with a beef against the Pope. Once again, a small but loud group of infantile Muslims is finding yet another excuse to burn effigies, organise protests, gain sore throats and create huge holes in the spiritual ozone layer that’s meant to keep those Satanic rays out and save us from a Hellish form of global civilisational warming.
You’ve got to wonder where these Muslim buggers can find the time and money to carry on with this nonsense. Don’t they have mouths to feed? Or are they living off handouts from (often Christian-managed) NGO’s?
That grand force of theological irrelevance and political violence called al-Qaida are obviously getting desperate. Their pope Usama bin Ladin is probably still living it up (if you could call it that) in a cave. And thanks to Sheik Phillip bin Ruddock, Rev Usama can’t even receive those secret communiqués from his alleged Aussie understudy Jihad Jack anymore.
Even London’s respected thinktank Chatham House seemed to have figured out the fact that support for al-Qaida in the Muslim world isn’t exactly skyrocketting. It seems practitioners of traditional Islam find this terror business not exactly halal, let alone kosher. And why shouldn’t they? The goons of al-Qaida have always focussed on killing more Muslims than anyone else.
In Pakistan, resident political Islam fruitcakes from the Jama’at-i-Islami have managed to narrowly win the battle against changes to adultery laws. They could always count on support from Pakistan’s pro-Western strongman General Pervez Musharraf and his fans such as Irshad Manji.
(Manji recently praised Musharraf’s decision to allow some women jailed for adultery to be temporarily released on bail, but has been silent on Musharraf’s backing of the Jama’at-i-Islami position on the adultery laws.)
Sydney’s Daily Telegraph ran a story about a huge crowd of protestors gathering in Iraq’s 2nd largest city Basra to shout slogans and burn effigies. Basra has over 3 million people within its boundaries. It was so nice of the DT to tell us about the 150 or so people that made up this sell-out protest crowd.
But it isn’t just Muslim extremists verballing the Pope. Miranda Devine uses her column to claim the Pope’s speech was a warning to European Muslims. Even Cardinal Pell seemed to suggest the Pope was linking Islam to violence. Meanwhile, the Pope says he never meant anything like that.
So Usama’s days of stardom are fast coming to an end. However, to quote from the Chatham House report summary, “…there has been an increased radicalization of the Muslim street … The West faces a terrorist challenge that comes from within its borders and which impinges on community relations and civil liberties.”
Since the London bombing, the Howard government have been scratching their heads on how to face the possibility of 360,000 Muslims becoming human bombs. Now we all know that the chances of this happening are somewhere between buckleys and none, but that doesn’t stop Howard and his minstrel ministers from talking as if it could happen tomorrow.
And worse still, as far as they are concerned, a terrorist attack will always be a Muslim affair. Muslims are a security risk, and the only way they can prove otherwise is to behave like a private intelligence and law enforcement agency to catch people from their own.
Muslims have a double responsibility to everyone else. Like the rest of us, Muslims are expected to pay their taxes and rates. On top of that, they have to work to curb extremism which must necessarily only emerge from their ranks.
On top of that, Muslims have to behave in a culturally appropriate manner. It’s ok if the Exclusive Brethren stop their followers from voting or reading newspapers or using computers. They’re just harmless Christians who donate money, keep unions out of their workplaces and expose allegedly homosexual political spouses. But if Muslims behave like that, you can bet your bottom dollar they’ll be strapping bombs to themselves in no time.
John Howard and his fellow minstrels are busy singing songs about integration and learning English and Australian values. And Aussie Muslims are held up as an example of how not to integrate.
Now with all this nonsensical anti-papal protest going on, Howard has suddenly become an expert in theology and international relations. Here’s an excerpt of what he told Tony Jones on ABC’s Lateline on 19 September 2006:
I mean all religions, well let me put it this way: People have committed evil in the name of all of the world's great religions. At the moment, however, the problem is that a common thread in terrorism around the world gives the indication of Islam as a sanction, or a blessing, on acts of terrorism, and that is the common thread. I don't, at the moment, note terrorist groups killing people and invoking the authority of the Catholic Church, or indeed the Christian Church, of which the Catholic Church is clearly a dominant part, as some kind of authority. I mean that's the difference … But the problem we have at the moment is that the common thread of all of these terrorist attacks is that the terrorists claim the authority of Allah.
Try telling that to Catholics struggling to keep their faith and institutions alive in the world’s largest democracy. It isn’t Muslims burning their schools or attacking their churches. And try telling that to the families of Sri Lanka’s terror victims.
What becomes even more sickening is that Howard’s tone suggests Muslims must somehow distance themselves from overseas riff-raff. It’s as if there is some risk of Waleed Aly suddenly transforming into a beady-eyed fanatic.
Anyway, that’s all for now. More commentary in the near future. Over to you, readers.