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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.


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On motes, beams and Angela

“So Ian and Mike, when you find fault, you would lead the charge better if first our own mote/log is removed and those of our allies.

“We cannot criticise the human rights in Iran without also those in our ally's homes, such as torture and arrest without trial and the use of torture evidence (UK, US, Australia) and women/girls forced to marry/subjugate/excluded from education (as seen here in Exclusive Brethren, the Liberal party sponsors and gay haters, apparently), paedophile activity supported and/or covered up (South Australia, NSW, DFAT, Congress US-Franklin affair, and present Hastert et al, Catholic Church and Anglican, Hillsong, and almost any religion you can name....try it.”

OK, Angela. I’ll try it. Or rather, I’ll try something.

First, paedophilia is against the law. I support the law against paedophiles.

Second: I support the liberal cause in every nook, cranny, congregation, population and crowd in the world, whether out in the open or inside a house, office, factory, shed, humpy, mosque, temple, cathedral or any other building. I think that just about covers it.

Third: As for motes and beams, that is a prescription for never saying anything critical about the words or actions of anybody at any time, if you think about it. Nobody can criticize another unless having first criticized themself, down to the tiniest detail. A formula for universal silence on everything. The originator of the precept was himself trapped by it.

more on Gold Coast honour killing

Today's Gold Coast Bulletin has some interesting testimony concerning Islam, in relation to the recent honour killing:

"A Muslim source told The Gold Coast Bulletin last night that Dr Hussain arrived a month ago to take up a position as a GP and prepare for his family to join him.

"From what we understand the daughter decided to tell her father of her radical plan to convert to Christianity which, in the eyes of most Muslims, is totally unacceptable and to be honest, sadly, many would react as he has done,” said the source.

"It is the Islamic way that if a son or daughter does or plans to do something that is unacceptable or wrong for a Muslim then it is the mother who is automatically at fault and will bear the brunt of the blame."

In this case, the mother was murdered.

You are a bit obsessive

Mike:   You are a bit obsessive on this one. Can I take it that because you see this sad incident as 'reflective' of Islam you also saw Baruch Goldstein's massacre of countless praying Muslims as 'reflective' of Judaism? And was the staunch Christian who gunned down all those Amish schoolgirls 'reflective' of Christianity?

Time for perspective on your part.

Perhaps it takes one to know one, Roslyn.

You are obsessive in your relentless demonisation of Jews and Israel. I comment on Australian Muslim controversies such as this one to keep the topic and discussion going. If I didn't, this interesting topic would've died off awhile ago.

Did the Amish gunman kill the children on the basis of his religion, Roslyn? There is no evidence of that. And this is the crucial issue under discussion.

So telling the truth is demonisation?

Mike:   Clearly you describe telling the truth as 'demonisation.' Interesting. Do you apply that to all circumstances or just to Israel? The only comments I have made in regard to Israel is to criticise it for an illegal, immoral and barbaric occupation of Palestine; for colonising Palestine and dispossessing yet more Palestinians; for being guilty of war crimes and human rights abuses in Palestine and now Lebanon (documented by the way by numerous human rights groups including Israeli ones) and for acting in ways which are uncivilized, undemocratic, unjust and which contravene international law, UN Resolutions and the Geneva Convention. All of which is documented, not by me, but by international human rights groups, including Israeli ones.

Any criticism of Jews has only been in regard to their support for their support of war crimes, human rights abuses, flouting of international law, the Geneva Convention and UN resolutions. By the way, I make the same criticisms of the US and its allies for the same reasons. I also made the same criticisms of Nazi Germany, for the same reasons. Russia can be criticised  in the same way for current actions because it is a semi-democracy, although not quite as much for its Stalinist past. The same goes for China ..... where people are not free to elect or remove governments which are guilty of war crimes and human rights abuses then they must, by necessity, be given a little leeway. In essence, they are not responsible for the atrocities committed by their government in the same way that Israelis, Americans, Australians and the British are for instance.

Your comments on Muslim controversies are not relevant, in the Gold Coast incident, and part of an ongoing attempt to create an Islamic 'threat' which does not exist.

As to the Christian gunmen who killed the Amish. Who knows why he did it. We do know that in his note he said he hated himself and he hated God so clearly there was a whiff of religious motivation in there somewhere. Perhaps he hated the Amish because they were everything he was not in a religious sense.


The Amish: we will decide...

Perhaps, Imam Lvyers, your esteemed organ The Gold Coast Bulletin, will now run one of its long term, hang-the-expenses, in-depth investigations.

When they discover the gunman’s Islamofascist provenance, or a little-known Amish link to Mecca, or Teheran or Bangladesh or Lakemba, you can cop us a link. But they'd better not let the grass grow under their feet.

The Liberal Party’s good ol' PP FitzChildmolester and his Maoist-hunting Quadruped Comix™ are always prepared to drop everything to nail an Islamofascist for Kirribilli.

Or Aboriginal drunkard paedophile rapists. Or any whiff of Bolshevik feminist post-modernist curriculum deconstruction. Trade Unionists, too, are for liquidation. And any other proscribed group, race, religion, colour or creed. Round ’em up. And pile up their shoes, clothes, luggage, watches, wedding rings, other valuables, etcetera in neat heaps for tallying.

If the blacks have any land or anything with resources, don’t forget to have the lawyers look over the paperwork.

(psssst! - but not Jews anymore, as in the good old days when the Yasser Arafat look-alike Wandering Jew was every Christian's foe and a feature of The Bulletin. We are ALL Israelis now. And we make a quid out of the bunker busters and bomblets. Don’t mean you have to let your daughter marry one. I mean, half of them look like Arabs or, worse, French! Or Italian! Mediterranean, any way. They all are. No respect for the Australian Union Jack. We can thank Bolshevik Arthur Calwell and Al Grassby for that. And Whitlam. The soft left just want to flood our genes with coloured folk. Not to mention encourage the blacks out of their camps and missions with all kinds of costly palaver and free schools and doctors. Thank God for Mr Howard and his old fashioned values, I say. We will decide who gets anything like that and who don’t.)

Oh really Mike Lyvers?

Sadly Nazi Germany was nothing like Nazi Germany at beginning either. You should  read some of the well researched histories of how  a civilised people liked the Germans slowly slipped into a fascist regime over a 10 year period .The circumstances then and now are remarkably similar as is the involvement of the Bush family in the promotion and funding of Nazi ideals. Indeed without the active involvement of the Bushes, the Nazis would have never happened.

Whether by design or purpose is the real question and is very frightening. If you had asked middle class Germans or intellectuals if it were possible for 1939 to 1945 to have happened they would laughed you out of the room.

Some of the most telling reports are those of the reporter Markus Wolf at the Nuremburg Trials who was shocked when he expected to see supermen and instead found a gaggle of ordinary  little lacklustre men who looked like a bunch of railway clerks. Reminds me of  a few people I can think of now who seem totally oblivious to the fact they began a war based upon lies and if we believe the latest reports are responsible for the deaths of up to 600, 000 civilians in Iraq. I don't what your idea of evil is. I know what mine is.

Overstated, Perhaps?

Mr. de Angelos, I agree with every sentiment that you have expressed. I am also familiar with the Bush family's ties to Nazi Germany. However, I intuitively baulk at accepting the statement that the Nazis would never have existed without the involvement of the Bushes. I believe that kind of hyperbole gives too much importance to the Bush family and too little to the conditions in Germany during the early 1940's.

Having said that, it is very important that the general public are aware of the Nazi sentiments of previous generations of the Bush family. Just as they should be aware that Prime Minister Howard is now playing cordial host to Hun Sen, a one time deputy Regional Commander of the Khmer Rouge and now authoritarian ruler of Cambodia. At least he's not a Muslim, heh?

The Pope & Muhammad's Sword

Interesting piece on religon and the state by an Israeli peace activist.

Jay:   Thanks for the

Jay: Thanks for the link. It was an interesting piece. I have also been curious as to what the Pope was up to given that he is no fool and has survived a world which revolves around disciplined diplomacy.

Interesting but erroneous

"In this sense, the quote serves exactly the requirements of the present Emperor, George Bush II. He, too, wants to unite the Christian world against the mainly Muslim "Axis of Evil". Moreover, the Turks are again knocking on the doors of Europe, this time peacefully. It is well known that the Pope supports the forces that object to the entry of Turkey into the European Union."

It is also well-known that Bush strongly supports the entry of Turkey into the EU, completely contradicting the implication of the statement above (from the article linked to by Jay). Bush to his credit has repeatedly stated that the West is NOT at war with Islam, in any sense, and Muslim leaders in the US have often praised his stance which has arguably kept the lid on violence among the substantial number of Muslim-Americans, in stark contrast to the situation in Europe (especially France). Indeed, Bush repeatedly characterises Islam as a "religion of peace", however ridiculous that may seem to some in today's world.

Pitt St with eggs, pollies first

Mike, I agree with you. Islam for Bush is not the target. In fact he is in cahoots with one of the vilest Islamic regimes as far as human rights and the treatment of women go, the Saudis.

Ian makes good points in that there are foul deeds done in the name of religion to the more vulnerable of the community, whether women or gays or minority groups.

However, it does not have anything to do with invading that country, nor justify it, nor, when such is done, have any of these foul acts been tempered.

Examples of this are seen in both Afghanistan and Iraq:

"....As for the human rights of the long-suffering population, the new government will, like the Taliban, impose Sharia Islamic law on its people. Judge Ahamat Ullha Zarif says that public executions and amputations will continue, but there will be one variation: "For example, the Taliban used to hang the victim's body in public for four days. We will only hang the body for a short time, say 15 minutes."

Judge Zarif made clear that the ultimate penalty would remain in force for adulterers, both male and female. They would still be stoned to death, "but we will use only small stones".

This is the regime whose leaders have a bodyguard of British soldiers. And still the Americans bomb - while famine sweeps the north and west of Afghanistan in the wake of the American attacks.

The same for the women of Iraq, now covered up and put away, at risk of being taken and raped and if raped and returned then killed for the shame.

So let us not be fooled into marching with the war camp of the military/oil/hegemony/ industry under the misapprehension that any such action brings improvement. Let us instead publicise such events and push through dialogue for change. Let us not discriminate in our charges but target for rebuke those who are our "allies" for their war crimes, human rights abuses and treatment of women, thus showing our hand is not raised in propaganda but for justice without discrimination.

So Ian and Mike, when you find fault, you would lead the charge better if first our own mote/log is removed and those of our allies.

We cannot criticise the human rights in Iran without also those in our ally's homes, such as torture and arrest without trial and the use of torture evidence (UK, US, Australia) and women/girls forced to marry/subjugate/excluded from education (as seen here in Exclusive Brethren, the Liberal party sponsors and gay haters, apparently), paedophile activity supported and/or covered up (South Australia, NSW, DFAT, Congress US-Franklin affair, and present Hastert et al, Catholic Church and Anglican, Hillsong, and almost any religion you can name....try it.

Trying to vilify nations or religions or individuals on moral grounds is a well-known tool. To Christians it reminds us of "throwing the first stone" parable and the old "glass houses" saying. Both of these admonish us to sort out and examine ourselves as well and without favour.

Yes, we should seek redress for such cruel laws and deeds both here and abroad. Certainly, if it would do any good, one should sign petitions. Can anyone tell me when such have done any good unless addressed to those supporting the regime in question, and they being vulnerable to such popular opinion?

As an aside, is there not a difference in cultural perspective here from the mediteranean/NearEast view of women and the modern western view? Infidelity is not here considered enough provocation to justify murder of one’s partner - as seen in a recent court case and in the non-blame divorce laws where adultery has no criminal placing. However, in other cultural groups adultery is indeed a heavy crime, and justifies or excuses murder. Remember the Khoori book, where she tells of her Christian father's warning that she too would be killed if she went off with a man and that her friend's family did the right thing. How much is truth we no longer know about this book but it is more a cultural perspective than a religious one, the ownership and preservation of women's chastity. It is the same in Sicily amongst many, and other such groups, although I know this runs the risk of generalisation.

These are issues we should engage in and try to understand more, rather than railroading our views about such.

Personally, if the gender bias was addressed, I think they are on the right track about respecting the sanctity of marriage and criminalising adultery - a pair - setting in the sand would be fine by me after seeing the terrible sadness such people bring to families, especially the children. Just can't stomach the stone bit. Maybe pillory with eggs in Pitt Street. Rotten eggs.

Cheers, Ayatollah Angela

Angela, let me assure you

Angela writes "So Ian and Mike, when you find fault, you would lead the charge better if first our own mote/log is removed and those of our allies."

Angela, I can assure you that I have never raped, tortured, murdered or oppressed anybody. Nor do I support Christian crazies any more than Muslim ones.

"These are issues we should engage in and try to understand more, rather than railroading our views about such." Sorry, I think we should ridicule their beliefs and railroad our views. If a religious fanatic tells me gays should be hung from cranes, abortion doctors should be shot, or that teenage rape victims should be buried up to the neck and stoned to death, you can bet my response will be full-on ridiculing and railroading. Ridicule is an especially effective tool for putting idiots in their place, which is why there should be more Danish cartoons and more Monty Python movies and songs ('every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great....').

Honour killing on the Gold Coast

From today's Gold Coast Bulletin:

"A PLANNED conversion to Christianity from Islam is understood to have triggered a frenzied domestic dispute that led to the death of a Muslim mother on Monday night.

Bangladeshi-born Dr Muh-ammad Hussain, 49, remains under police guard in a critical condition in the Gold Coast Hospital as police piece together the circumstances leading to the death of his 41-year-old wife, Yasmine."

Renouncing Islam automatically merits the death penalty according to sharia. I wonder if Roslyn can find a single instance of a Hindu immigrant to Oz killing a family member for renouncing Hinduism. I doubt it.

Errata etcetera

Ian, I owe you an answer from your previous tour-de-force in another forum. I trust you can wait, music calls.

An die Musik

Roger, I sympathise. Music is by far the sweeter siren.

It is all about context

Ian: More than happy to sign it. It is a good cause as I said. I also said such petitions are worthwhile.

Mike: See above in regard to the Iranian petition.

You said: funny how I asked you a simple question - will you send a letter to Iran protesting the stoning to death of women for "adultery" and the hanging of gays from cranes?

That is because if the posts are taken in context there is a clear bias toward Islam and while I believe it is right to condemn the atrocities I also believe it is important to bear in mind that the problem is not particular to Islam or to religion but emanates from patriarchy and tribalism.

You said: But Islam is clearly by far the worst offender today, with barbaric religious laws enshrined in some Muslim countries, laws that oppress women, gays, and infidels and that do not allow freedom of speech or religion.

Is it really? There are numerous non-Islamic cultures which indulge in exactly the same sorts of oppression.

You have to compare apples with apples. The reality is that there are no democratic Islamic States..... that means none of the freedoms which we have to influence law and bring about change. Part of the reason for this is that the international community, the US being a major offender, props up tyrannical and non-democratic Islamic states to serve its own purposes.

Yes, orthodox Islam is backward. (You of course ignore moderate Islam and the Islam practised in Indonesia, is, by comparison, moderate and Indonesia is the largest Muslim nation.) But orthodox Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism are also backward.

Orthodox Islam may well have barbaric practices enshrined in law in some nations .... again, you ignore the fact that not all Muslim nations impose Sharia law .... but it is impossible to change laws in tyrannies. Let's also remember that in a democracy like India, which has for instance outlawed many of its old barbarisms like suttee and dowry (thanks to the Brits actually) you still find that the society and the culture practise these atrocities anyway.

What is worse? That a non-free people like the Iranians are subject to stonings, hangings and appalling discrimination or that a free people like the Indians are subject to the burning of women, the killing of little girls, the punishing of women who are raped an appalling discrimination based on sex and caste?

You said: Islam today also inspires horrific acts of mass murder.

Radical Islam does at times but so does radical Christianity. Let's not forget that the fundamentalist Christians in the US are pushing for more war in the Middle East so that they can have their Armageddon.

Again, by all means condemn those who call for or carry out horrific acts of mass murder. But you have to include the Americans in that and us, their allies. We have been responsible for the slaughter of far more people than the Moslems. In fact, the Christian West has to date carried out far more horrific acts of mass murder than Islam.

If you want to tot up the death and destruction carried out by Moslems and that carried out by America and its allies, then the Americans are way ahead of the game.

This is the difference. I condemn any atrocity no matter who commits it and I have done so countless times on countless threads. You seem unable to read or comprehend those statements and to be fixated only the atrocities committed by Moslems.

I look at things in context. When America, a free nation, a supposedly civilized democracy, invades and occupies a sovereign nation for no just cause and inflicts appalling death, destruction and suffering on those people then that is to be judged far more harshly than when people use violent methods to fight for their freedom. One does not condone any of the violence but there are mitigating factors in the violence used by those to fight occupation and none in the violence used by those to maintain or establish it.

al Qaeda are harmless except to their individual victims

Jay White: "Al Qaeda not a threat? No statement you [Roslyn] ever make should be taken seriously again."

I dunno, Jay. Believe it or not, I'm kind of inclined to agree with Roslyn on this one.

I'm not saying that al Qaeda don't intend to be a threat to the lives of innocent people. They're malignant butchers of the very first order.

But they don't have the resources or wherewithal to pose any serious, long term strategic threat to the developed world.

It's worth remembering that until September 11, al Qaeda managed to kill, what, 20 Americans? No Australians that I am aware of? And only a few other unfortunates from the West who happened to wander into their cross hairs in the Middle East?

Mostly al Qaeda kills poor people in the Middle East, East Asia and Africa. That's been its chief activity for years.

You know. Killing Kenyan street vendors and Egyptian prostitutes. That sort of thing.

Politically, they have only ever been a threat to failed regimes like that under the Taliban in Afghanistan or basket case regimes like that in Sudan.

I stress again, they are malignant mass murderers of the very worst sort.

This is their chief appeal to their apologists amongst the psuedo-intelligentsia in the West.

They're dumb, apocalyptic and like to kill innocent people. Like Timoth McVeigh, but with better dress sense.

But the fact is, killing three thousand office workers, bus boys and sandwich hands on a weekday in New York doesn't constitute a crucial threat to the security of the free world.

It was pointless mass murder - and worthy of being avenged, no question.

But a doofus like Usama Bin Laden is more of a liability to his friends than his enemies.

That's why he's rotting away with arteriosclerosis in a cave in Pakistan while his minions are murdering school-girls and restaurant workers in Iraq. Or blowing up bars in Bali.

That's about their best work right there.

This person must live in a void

Roslyn Ross: “The sane people of the world, and I am hoping that is most of them, know that Islam, Al Qaeda, or whatever Moslem are not a threat to the world, not a threat to our 'way of life' and not a threat to civilization".

Al Qaeda not a threat? No statement you ever make should be taken seriously again.

thanks Mike Lyvers, but:

When did he actually say that? And when did he actually say he wanted to enslave the entire West? Surely you don't really think one man – if he still exists – is going to take over the entire world from a cave in Pakistan?

From Washington with the military might of the USA, maybe. Some of those things sound more like the Taliban's policies who are now controlling areas of Afghanistan again and beefing up their heroin production despite the might of the US and UK military. That must demonstrate how difficult it is for the West to control the world with its superior weaponry.

Undoubtedly they are a threat to ordinary civilians going about their lives on buses in London or nightclubs in Bali. But these are just awful criminal acts and small conspiracies. Bush, Howard and Blair weave all this together to make a vast global conspiracy to bring us the daddy of all conspiracies: world domination by some Islamic jihadists, and use it curtail our freedoms.

Howard – an ideologue of the most pedestrian kind – uses it in the most insidious manner to slowly creep forward his agenda to mould Australia in his own image. Black armband history and the decimation of Aboriginal reconciliation, the total wind back of 100 years of worker's rights, schools supposedly dominated by Maoists (give me a break!), a bargain sell-off of state assets, demonisation of immigrants, refugees, the unemployed and social security recipients at the lowest end (but not the corporate sector), and the consolidation of the media into fewer hands. It's all so reminiscent of Germany in the early ‘30s. Howard, the ultimate elitist.


Michael de Angelos, you remark about the Howard government: "It's all so reminiscent of Germany in the early ‘30s." And you claim I am the one over-reacting! I don't like any laws that restrict our freedoms either, but Australia today is not even remotely like Nazi Germany.

Roslyn, funny how I asked you a simple question - will you send a letter to Iran protesting the stoning to death of women for "adultery" and the hanging of gays from cranes? - and you respond by asking me if I condemn repression by religions other than Islam. Yes I do, and of course you know this if you have read my posts over the years, so your question appears rhetorical. But Islam is clearly by far the worst offender today, with barbaric religious laws enshrined in some Muslim countries, laws that oppress women, gays, and infidels and that do not allow freedom of speech or religion. Islam today also inspires horrific acts of mass murder (and no, I did not support the Iraq war so don't bother going there). You seem highly reluctant to condemn such atrocities; the most you do is obliquely defend Islamic oppression and terrorism by claiming "all religions do it." Now why is that, Roslyn? Why are you so reluctant to condemn atrocities and oppression committed in the name of Islam without adding the bland and nonsensical qualifier "all religions today do the same things" - which is clearly not true in any case?

I think I know the answer. An old Arab saying: "the enemy of my enemy is my friend." And we all know who your main enemy is.

Good post

Michael,  good post. The 'fear-mongerers' can't afford to hear you however, nor to let reason, logic and facts get in the way of their need for an enemy. I've said much the same things a number of times..... not that it can ever be said too much ..... but it drops into a mindless void.

The sane people of the world, and I am hoping that is most of them, know that Islam, Al Qaeda, or whatever Moslem are not a threat to the world, not a threat to our 'way of life' and not a threat to civilization.

The capacity of the human mind to accept the irrational, unbelievable, unlikely or impossible is what makes most religions work. Just as some people can believe  without question that a guy living in a cave in Afghanistan (believe me, I know how satellite phones don't work) planned and co-ordinated the most flawlessly executed attack on American soil by a bunch of failed pilots armed with boxcutters ..... so there will be people out there who believe that Islam, from its poverty stricken, economically disadvantaged, tyrannically governed depths can rise up to overthrow the rest of the world.

It's crazy I know but people will believe crazy things to defend the indefensible. It is also incredibly useful if you believe in Howard's Way .... the way of the ideological fascist.


One fears de Cameron may be just another ten day wonder, Trebbuh, blundering around in the UK dark and getting a shag or a dream where he might.

But isn’t politics made of dreams?  It’d better be in Bush’s very own Little Olde Englande on Thames.

But ya gotta love the Dino de Laurentis “naturalistic” blog touch with the upper class tot giving daddy a serve off camera.

So de Cameron may have given 21st English politics, post-Weapon of Mass Blare-Pilgrim’s Progress spin just the Chaucerian touch it warrants.

And a prize moment for Bush watchers is coming up as Dubya,  gazumped by de Cameron over WMD/Green Zone/Vasra etc, perfects yet another insane shocked-sincere and mentally retarded face, mouth agape, furrowed, deeply puzzled brow and dead unfocused eyes.

But cunning Bushi-Bushis may yet recruit de Cameron and his tot as Congress “pageboys” for the GOP’s swishest aristos.

Like the three Howard boys, both may end up young White e-Slaves, forever in the Fundamentalist thrall of Satan’s Own Republican Party.

Dossed down, dosed up and disguised as “Fulbright Scholars,” “New Guards” or “Young Leaders,” the whole thing has an unhealthy scent about it.  A dark reek like the urine-soaked bedding of some prairie family’s throwback, kept chained up for years in a corner of the cellar. They say Kirribilli House has the same tang this past decade.

Boccaccio would love it.

But you won’t get a sniff in Quadruped, the dotty old mag for the hands that signed the grants documents (preferred reading of Sir Johannes Bjelke in his cryogenic tomb, New Guard Publishers Rozelle Hospital, NSW, subs £134/10/6d per annum - includes GST and free Cronulla Union Jack, a copy of the Communist Party Dissolution Bill autographed in Spandau Prison by Eric Butler, BA Santamaria and Ted Serong plus Iraq, WorkChumps™, SIEV-X, T3, Sleep Deprivation™,  Guantanamo, Baxter, Nauru and Manus with full Western democratic values, Englisch gesprochen,NO DARKIES!  NO SOFT LEFT MAOISTS!).

Culture taught in 5 days

Under the upcoming Howard-Downer-Bishop correctional regime, business opportunities will be created. The Liberals' ABC for kindies will be complemented by the XYZ privatisation scheme for primary and secondary schooling.

Here's a glimpse of the template, under which your investment will be protected from nosey-parkers and the ATO.

From Religion Trumps Regulation as Legal Exemptions Grow:

As a result of these special breaks, religious organizations of all faiths stand in a position that American businesses — and the thousands of nonprofit groups without that “religious” label — can only envy. And the new breaks come at a time when many religious organizations are expanding into activities — from day care centers to funeral homes, from ice cream parlors to fitness clubs, from bookstores to broadcasters — that compete with these same businesses and nonprofit organizations.

"I'm a leading business champion, blue-ribbon, but I'm a faithless b*gger", you say, "how can I benefit from Tory social engineering?" No problem! Make up your own religion: plenty of others have done exactly that. Have a look at the current list, and you'll soon get the idea. The denomination of Hairy Gnomes is a distinct possibility, and would be looked on with favour. Strap on the beard, drape a teatowel across the shoulders, and that's about it.

John Howard is pleased to open any faith-based facility, and doesn't particularly care if the group may want exemptions from a few insignificant tasks, like voting and paying tax. Using 'gardening' to cover a certain range of hydroponic culture may not be approved, however. There are limits, although a military cadet unit would just about make up for a cannabis plot.

Next, a shake-up of firefighters. The Minister has been advised that too many of the volunteers are no-hopers, overweight and have been known to get on the piss at the end of a 72-hour stretch. This won't do. Australia's image is at stake, so Hillsong will be invited to smarten up the image of the CFA.

Plight of seven women

Roslyn Ross: “Islam is such a Clayton's enemy. It astonishes me that people can keep a straight face (maybe they don't) and rabbit on about how much of a threat Islam is.”

Well, not as perceived by you perhaps. But while this debate is going on here on Webdiary, seven Iranian women are facing death by stoning to death for "adultery", a “crime” which can include any sort of intimacy between unmarried men and women. The law is applied very unequally, with women being punished far more severely than men for the same "crime". More below.

The sort of world the Islamic fascists want is as follows: start with what they have in Iran, where Sharia law rules, then make it more so. Work towards a revived caliphate.

The details of this appalling but typical case are on this site. I strongly urge Webdiarists to visit it.

I have already followed its instructions, and suggest that all Webdiarists to do likewise. Specifically, I would urge Irfan to do so, if he has not done it already. This is important, because the silence of the Muslim world on the barbarous application of Sharia law in modern Iran is deafening. And of course, the mullahs’  victims are invariably Muslim women.

Action each of us as individuals can take to help each of these seven unfortunate women avoid an agonising death at the hands of the mullahs is on this other site. According to the last site, “the Quran extols “God is the Forgiving, the Loving. (85:14)”, and “the punishment for stoning to death does not exist in the Quran and is part of the Shariah via a hadith cited on the authority of Omar, the second Caliph.” Which is analogous to the late mediaeval Catholic Church’s sale of indulgences to shorten the time a soul must spend in purgatory: all coming from an idea conceived in the mind of a pope 1,400 years removed from the time of Christ, and with no justification in the gospels.

(And while we’re on the subject, Christians burnt witches in the Middle Ages, but left no record to my knowledge of stoning women to death for anything, perhaps because of John, chapter 8.)

A plea by the father (Abolfazl Rahmanpour) of one of the young women (Kobra Rahmanpour) is here. A plea by the father of Malak Ghorbany, another of the condemned women, is here. From the latter this quote:

“On the day of her punishment, the Ms. Ghorbany’s hands will be tied behind her back as she becomes covered from head to toe in winding sheets and is placed seated in a pit. The pit is then filled up to her chest with dirt and the dirt is tamped down. At that point, members of the community are invited to murder her by hurling rocks at her. To ensure that the person condemned to stoning receives the absolute maximum amount of pain and torture, the Iranian government has even mandated the size of the stones that are to be used in this barbaric act of public execution. By law, no stone should be thrown that would kill Ms. Ghorbany with the first or second blow, or so small as a pebble to do no injury to her body.

”Stoning is a unique form of punishment in that there is no single executioner. The simplistic act of gathering the victim’s peers around her creates killers out of everyone. Those who participate in the mass murder of another by throwing stones at her view the practice as a social event that is more akin to a form of sport than a true act of moral self-righteousness. An actual video of a stoning can be viewed at http://www.iran-e-azad.org/stoning/. The footage taken in Iran illustrates a party like atmosphere of those carrying out the execution.”

Similarly in Pakistan, women who are raped are jailed as the ones at fault, unless they can provide four male witnesses to the rape. And attempts to reform that law are currently being resisted.

Roslyn, as long as the world remains other than as the Islamic fascists would like it to be, western women like yourself are in no danger of suffering this sort of fate. However do, not assume that no Muslim country will ever again conquer part of the post-enlightenment western world. In our time we probably have nothing to fear. Future generations well might.

It's all about patriarchy

Ian: It is admirable that you should take up the cause for women's rights but let's not be selective in order to talk up an Islamic threat.

Islam, like most religions, is misogynistic. In orthodox form it is singularly misogynistic but so too are fundamentalist Christians, Jews and Hindus.

Islam's laws in regard to adultery are barbaric. No-one disputes that. But so too is genital mutilation which is practised by non-Muslims as well. So too is the barbarism of the Indian misogyny .... women die by the day in India, set alight by their husband's family, in order to clear the way for another lot of dowry .... most of these murderers are never charged. If a woman is raped in India she is considered to be the one responsible and her family is shamed. If a woman's husband dies in India it is believed that she has evil forces at work within her and culture dictates that she is ostracised. Female babies are aborted or murdered in both India and China....

These are extremes, just as you cite extremes of Islamic misogyny. Hatred of women and mistreatment of women is endemic throughout the world and most prevalent and most barbaric in undeveloped societies. Our Western history is rife with the same sorts of atrocities.

Misogyny is not an Islamic thing but an outcome of patriarchal, tribalistic societies. It may well become entrenched in religions as it was in Christianity and still is in fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Judaism, and is still in Islam and Hinduism and to a lesser degree, Buddhism, but let’s point the finger of blame where it belongs ..... patriarchy.

You said: The sort of world the Islamic fascists want is as follows: start with what they have in Iran, where Sharia law rules, then make it more so.

So what? They can't have it. They won't even be able to keep it in their own cultures let alone export it elsewhere. The world moves on. Just as women are still discriminated against in Australia, but less so than thirty years ago, so progress will continue.

Even India is changing. Now that they have killed so many little girls to have created a major problem attitudes are beginning to change. I have to say, when I lived in India the only positive I could see in the fact that millions of little girls were being killed before or after birth was that ultimately they would have such a shortfall it would force them to break down the caste system. A nasty system at the best of times.

By all means speak out against Sharia law, but don't pretend that this sort of injustice is particular to Islam.

You said: (And while we’re on the subject, Christians burnt witches in the Middle Ages, but left no record to my knowledge of stoning women to death for anything, perhaps because of John, chapter 8.)

So it's okay to burn women but not to stone them. Interesting! Well, stoning was common in ancient times – is mentioned anyway in the Bible. Dead is dead in my book and burning someone to death is probably more horrific than stoning them. It's all horrible.

You said: Similarly in Pakistan, women who are raped are jailed as the ones at fault, unless they can provide four male witnesses to the rape. And attempts to reform that law are currently being resisted.

As I said above, it is exactly the same in India and they are Hindu. You will also find similar attitudes in African cultures and that includes the Christian ones. Just as women in the West (and to some degree still are by some) were once held to be to blame if they were raped .... they asked for it! There was a case in the US a couple of years ago where a woman was raped in a bar and part of the defence of her rapists was that she 'asked for it.'

As I said, this is not Islamic, it is patriarchal ..... it is sexist men seeking to control women. It has existed before any religion and will no doubt exist to some degree beyond any religion. Sadly.

You said: do not assume that no Muslim country will ever again conquer part of the post-enlightenment western world. In our time we probably have nothing to fear. Future generations well might.

What utter rot and fear mongering. For a start, there is no cohesive Islamic military force or might. They are all undeveloped and having a hard enough time running their own states without occupying others. And, given the utter and criminal failure of the Americans, with all their whizz-bang arms and all their money, to maintain any sort of control under occupation, how on earth do you think the Moslems could do it?

You simply cannot win a war of occupation in the modern world. It is impossible. That is the lesson of Palestine, Chechnya, Iraq and Afghanistan.

There is no Moslem threat to the world at large and there is unlikely to ever be a Moslem threat to the world at large. There is, however, a clear and present danger from the hegemonic irrationality of the Americans which is far, far more dangerous for us all.

But back to women's rights. Keep up the good work. Just remember it is not about Islam...... it is about patriarchy, always was and always will be.

The Pope, as representative of the Catholic church, still considers women to be inferior and won't allow women priests; priests remain celibate because the underlying belief is that women 'pollute'; Hindus believe that forces for good pass through men and forces for evil pass through women; Buddhist priests are polluted by the presence of a woman and Hindu and Buddhist temples and Parsi temples are polluted by the presence of menstruating women (just as Christian churches once were): fundamentalist Christians believe women are secondary to men and should obey men ..... so do fundamentalist Jews.

In Africa women are sold into marriage as children and men believe they have a right to have sex with as many women as they want .... hence the prevalence of AIDS. Indian men also believe they have a right to sex outside marriage in a way their wives do not .... in fact, a cure for AIDS is believed to be sex with a child.... the Africans believe the same thing; the Hindu religion also teaches them that they have a right to beat their wives too and culture dictates that little boys get overfed and little girls get underfed ....... there's a world of injustice out there perpetrated against women. And as I said, it's all about patriarchy.

Forlorn hope in your case, Roslyn?

Roslyn Ross: I put a post on this thread hoping to rally some support for the specific case of seven Iranian women facing death by stoning for "adultery", however defined. The mullahs doing the defining, and presiding over this barbarity can be communicated with directly and electronically via the links given. I have reason to believe that, like all control freaks, they take silence as consent and are sensitive to critical publicity, particularly if it is widespread.

I am trying to help make it widespread, as are the fathers of two of the condemned women. It would seem they have nothing to lose by trying to rally support for their daughters the way they are doing.

I read through your response to my post looking for some indication from you that you might have actually put your electronic signature on at least one of those electronic petitions. All I could find was a lengthy harangue about patriarchy and a suggestion that I condone the burning of witches. It would seem that you regard the generation of such electronic bumf as the best use of your time.

Why should a fireman try to save one burning house, with seven women inside it, when the whole town is on fire? Particularly when the real problem is not the fire but the ready availability of matches?

Ah well. You can't win 'em all.

Reason and logic, goodbye; lost in a sea of generalisation. And re the rest of your comment, all I want to say is this: Noted.

Keep up the good work

Ian,   as I said, keep up the good work, but take some time to think about the underlying causes of it all. I sign numerous petitions, but they are across the board. Let's hope you do the same.

I agree with you the real problem is the availability of 'matches'..... it's just that you want the 'match' to be Islam, when the evidence shows it is patriarchy.

And don't feel bad, not all my reason and logic was lost in your sea of generalisation.

So you'll keep silent then?

Roslyn: "I sign numerous petitions, but they are across the board."

I also sign a fair number of petitions, but not "across the board". I only sign those I agree with.

So can I take it that you won't be signing this particular one for the seven Iranian women? Yes or no?

more inaccuracies from Roslyn - when will it end??

"Similarly in Pakistan, women who are raped are jailed as the ones at fault, unless they can provide four male witnesses to the rape. And attempts to reform that law are currently being resisted. As I said above, it is exactly the same in India and they are Hindu."

No, Roslyn, Hindus in India do NOT follow Islamic law, or sharia. It is Islamic law that stipulates a rape can only be proven if four honest Muslim male witnesses testify that they saw the rape occur.

"the Hindu religion also teaches them that they have a right to beat their wives too"

Does it, Roslyn? Can you find me a passage in any Hindu scripture that says this? If not, you might try looking in the Koran.

"You simply cannot win a war of occupation in the modern world. It is impossible." So what happened in Germany and Japan then?

Yes the Pope doesn't allow women priests. Wow. Does he have them stoned to death for having premarital sex?

Roslyn you said you wrote a letter to the U.S. protesting against the use of the death penalty in some states for murder with special circumstances (such as rape or torture). I wonder if you plan to write a letter to Iran to protest against the stoning to death of women for having premarital sex, or the hanging of gays from cranes for being gay. Somehow I doubt it.

Misquoting as usual

Mike: I never said Hindus follow Sharia law or Islamic law, I said they do the same thing.

I also said it is not about religion: it is about patriarchy. Hindus may not have their misogyny enshrined in law as Moslems do but the end result is the same. A raped women in india is held responsible and is likely to end up mouldering in gaol while her attacker goes free. Men who burn their wives to death with the help of family members are rarely charged. The general attitude is that a woman who is maltreated has asked for it. Patriarchal 'law' if you like. Official or unofficial the end result is the same.

Much of the misogyny is cultural, although the foundation for it can always be found in the religious texts. You can still find it in the Christian and Jewish religious texts and the Hindu and Buddhist of course, so it is hardly surprising it is in the Islamic which has yet to undergo any kind of reformation.

I protest about many injustices, Mike. Do you ever protest about anything but Islam?

I condemn the misogyny and cruelty entrenched in Islam but I also condemn it in Christianity, Judaism, Hinduism and Buddhism ..... while you, it seems, condemn it only in Islam.

Or are you prepared to state that you condemn it in all religions?

Joining in late

Can you point me to where Osama has said he wants to enslave me, Mike Lvvers?. I know many like G.Bush & J. Howard say he wants to bring about the end of civilization as we know it, but I just got the idea that he generally (if he hasn't been dead for the past few years) just wants us westerners to piss off out of the Middle East. I haven't personally seen Al Qaeda's manifesto, just a few grainy videos and some dodgy captioning which are certainly not translated by SBS, the only people I trust. Even then I'm not too sure the bearded gent is even who he’s claimed to be or of this century!

Hi Michael

Bin Laden said that democracy is an unacceptable form of government because it elevates "man's laws" above "God's law," or sharia. In Bin Laden's version of sharia, you would be put to death for blasphemy, for apostasy, for being gay, for "adultery" (if you are a woman), for being a Hindu or pagan ("idolaters"), for atheism or agnosticism. You will be whipped and imprisoned if you listen to or perform music, enjoy or create paintings, drawings or cinema, drink alcohol, eat food or drink water between sunrise and sunset during Ramadan, etc. You might be allowed to live as a Christian or Jew, but only as a second-class citizen. It all sounds like slavery to me.

There is no such thing as moral equivalent

Angela Ryan: "People who harp on about the violent message in the Koran, a 7th century book (that was never meant to even be written down, interestingly) are either sadly ignorant of their own religious history, imperviously hypocritical, or chose to be so as warmongers to dehumanise and vilify Islam as the common enemy/threat to these groups".

What does the history of other religions have to do with the argument? Are we not talking about things going on today?

Most people rightly look down upon those with Stone Age practices. Public beheadings, stonings, hanging people from cranes etc, are the act of the ignorant barbarian. The philistine always resorts to violence under questioning. Take note of the reactions to any criticism of an element of the religion.

Angela Ryan: "All religions need to move up to the civilised world of compromise and compassion and power sharing with security guaranteed by a working international law system, rather than a selective mafia-like perversion of such that the US/Neocon agenda has created".

Respect should never just be given. Respect must be earned.

Those who behave like barbarians must be treated as such. Those who wish to live by the sword are also entitled to feel its wrath. The 9/11 plotters attempted this course of action and punishment without mercy is what they should receive.

The rod should be spared when applicable; it should, however, be used when the need arises.

The defender of the barbarian has no more moral legitimacy than the barbarian himself. In fact, defending such acts disgraces the defender.

Pretending these things are not happening, or attempting to find moral equivalent for them, is the act of the moral charlatan.

Still wondering Mike Lyvers

"Mike as you have read the Koran, I was wondering, does it say anything about women and education, i.e. are women supposed to be stay at home mums or are they allowed to seek an education so they too can read the Koran?  That is of course if the Koran addresses these issues."

Just in case you missed it Mike, it would be appreciated if you could share your knowledge re the above.

Sorry, Phil,

Sorry Phil, but unlike many fanatical Muslims I have not memorized the entire Koran. I don't recall what it says about women's education. However I suspect that this was not a major theme - otherwise I'd probably remember something about it.

Ignorance breeds the very worst bigotry: ignorance of ourselves

I wonder how many Christian women (or men for that matter) were educated in 600AD? Perhaps education was not a significant cultural issue at that time for women. But there were other issues of great importance that are repeatedly discussed in the Koran. Behaviour, respect, chastity were important issues for women. Inheritance is actually laid down, unlike the previous situation where the more powerful male could take all. One must consider the situation at the time.

That is the failing of the written texts as a basis for religion. They are products of their time, whether one believes in Divine inspiration. The writer still would not write about cars or taking the pill in 100AD or 600AD.

Thanks to Mike, I took down the Koran on our shelve (what all good multicultural Aussies should have, along with the three Talmud, The Torah, the Bagwhatiss, Monkey, Rama, and Kama Sutra. And Richard Burton's One Thousand and One Nights, for those not afraid of a bit of raunchiness).

It reads an awful lot like St Paul's idea of women. And there are such similar bits to the New Testament. Try this: ”God forgives those who commit evil in ignorance and then quickly turn to him in repentance. God will pardon them. God is all knowing and all wise."...I like the next bit, I always felt Christianity was a bit soft here: "But he will not forgive those who do evil and, when death comes to them, say: ”Now we repent!” Nor to those who die unbelievers: for them we have prepared a woeful scourge."

Really pretty much along the club lines of most religions, ours is right, everyone else burns. That said, most of what was there seemed pretty fair for the times, perhaps better than many Christian women had at that time. Horses for courses.

Of course this is not what Ratzinger as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in earlier times known as the Grand Inquisitor, would agree to in 1981, and JP2, a fellow back peddler, did say there was "nothing in common with Islam”. As Pope Bene his first deed, allegedly, was to remove the Interfaith Dialogue Commission.

He displays all the traits of one who meant to say what he said, and few Christian ones:

"The freedom of the act of faith cannot justify a right to dissent. This freedom does not indicate freedom with regard to the truth, but signifies the free determination of the person in the conformity with his moral obligations to accept the truth." (TheTimes, 27 June, 1990.

Rather medieval, that. Maybe he would go quite well in Iran. It seems some missed out on the age of Enlightenment and skipped straight to illuminating. Pathetic. Perhaps some should remember infallibility was a 1800s invention. There is hate drivel on all sides, it is important that it is not fed and then it may just starve away.

I think what Irfun is saying is what Lennon said, just "give peace a chance".....and aussi mossies want the same freedom and happiness as everyone else here.

"Blessed are the peace makers, for they shall inherit the earth", or what’s left of it after the warmongering Neocon et al cabal are finished and their hate helpers in the Vatican, pulpits and the radical mosques and the temples. We see others' radicals but fail to see our own logs.

It is a pity we do not look for the commonality in each other's Books rather than nitpicking, ignorant of the times and perspective. I bet there are plenty of Talmudic phrases people could whip out to sow hate there too, eh Mike, without understanding the background.

Still, people will go where they wish and push the lines they wish.


Big difference, Angela.

"I bet there are plenty of Talmudic phrases people could whip out to sow hate there too, eh Mike, without understanding the background."

The difference is, fans of the Talmud don't whip such phrases out to sow hate. At least not these days.

Understand the background? How many Jewish settlements did Mohammad and his armies annihilate in the name of Islam? According to the introduction of my Penguin Classics version of the Koran, at least 3. If anyone understood the background of the Koran, it was Mohammad, n'est ce pas? I'm not saying there is nothing positive in the Koran, but reading it is overall a scary experience.

Manipulate fear: ignorant minds sadly have the loudest voices

Well, Mike, when one has a better understanding of one's own religion perhaps you may like to comment upon the "In G-d's name”, ethnic cleansing of Canaan, probably Phoenician, but other pre-classical scholars would have the exact group that was wiped out – man, woman and child – by the marauding armies of Joshua/Jesu. It’s all there in the "Old Testament"/Torah for people to enjoy. Just as all religions justify their deeds/atrocities, in the name of their god.

Yep, can’t think of any religion that did not convert or grab land in the name of their god and wipe out if possible all in their way. How do you think the Buddhists got down to Bali, all the way through India, and the Hindus who followed and wiped that lot out and the Moslems next?

The problem with some is they are so bigoted they cannot see the mote in their eye that is larger than any log. Selective history is the perversion of the propagandists. Examining history is the tool of the truth seeker.

When religious/political passions are used as a justification for a power base, violence and oppression follows. Every religion does it, and uses their god to excuse it. It is a shame we have traveled so little down the road of civility, that people still today call upon their gods to justify atrocities – from the Bush/neocon warmongers to the fundamentalist Hindus, to the fundamentalist Moslems to the fundamentalist Zionists/Christian and Jews. Yep, y-h-w-h justifies all, up to paradise all go, leaving behind the Hell on earth they made with their perverted passions.

People who harp on about the violent message in the Koran, a 7th century book (that was never meant to even be written down, interestingly) are either sadly ignorant of their own religious history, imperviously hypocritical, or chose to be so as warmongers to dehumanise and vilify Islam as the common enemy/threat to these groups. Ironically, when one considers the allies against Islam, they are a greater threat to each other, in the cold light of day.

All religions need to move up to the civilised world of compromise and compassion and power sharing with security guaranteed by a working international law system, rather than a selective mafia-like perversion of such that the US/Neocon agenda has created.

We hear all the time about the limited resources and global warming, yet how much waste and warring has been produced in the last decade by wars for imperialists’ aims? Imagine if that money had been put to use to find alternative fuels and ecological solutions to the universal disaster awaiting us because of the loud voices of stupid people who are ignorant or stooges due to their fear being manipulated. Think about the good you could do, Mike, instead.


Something the Chicken Littles ignore

Angela: Well said as usual. I think what I find bizarre is the talking up of the threat of Islam to the world at large.

It isn't a threat. It can't be a threat. It does not have the power to be a threat. In world threat terms it is a mosquito even if every Muslim in the world believed that everyone else should be Muslim..... just as Christians in times past believed everyone should be Christian and worked toward that end, with the full might of European empires behind them..... and they failed.

Islam is such a Clayton's enemy. It astonishes me that people can keep a straight face (maybe they don't) and rabbit on about how much of a threat Islam is.

Fact One: They are not a cohesive group and most Muslims are not fanatical just as most Jews, Christians and Hindus are not fanatical.

Fact Two: They have no military power.

Fact Three: You can't impose your will on other nations and cultures in this day and age. See the failure of the Russians in Chechnya, the Israelis in Palestine and Lebanon and the Americans and their allies in Iraq and Afghanistan. If the full might of the Americans cannot impose their 'way' upon the Iraqis, how on God's Earth, can radical Moslems impose their 'way' upon the world? They can't. End of story.

Which brings one to question why there is this need for a Moslem enemy? Why are people choosing to 'talk up the enemy' instead of looking at the circumstances which breed radicalism?

Look at the history of fundamentalist groups..... there is always dissatisfaction with something in their life. Groups like Bader Meinhof and the like have less of an excuse because they were citizens of democratic countries, but look at the violence perpetrated by Islamic groups today:

Aceh .... they want independence or at least a lack of persecution. It is the same in Thailand and the Philippines. (Sri Lanka too but they are not Moslem). And then we have Chechnya, Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan ..... they want freedom from occupation whether it is a literal military occupation or the occupation of a stooge government.

The Saudi radicals want the US out of their lives and their tyrannical government brought down. The Pakistani radicals want the same.

There's a theme here which the 'Chicken Littles' ignore...... injustice. There is not one radical group, Moslem or otherwise, that is not fighting for justice, freedom or both.

It does not take a great deal of logic, let alone reason, to reach the conclusion that radicalism comes out of a particular environment. A reasonable, rational person would look to change that environment rather than talking up the enemy. Unless, of course, the endgame was creating an enemy which doesn't exist; and that's been done plenty of times before in our history.

So much time and so little learned.

(sigh) more absurdity from Roslyn Ross

"There is not one radical group, Moslem or otherwise, that is not fighting for justice, freedom or both."

Once again, freedom and justice are the very, very, VERY last things groups like Al Qaeda are fighting for. They seek slavery and injustice for one and all, by their own admission - and they are proud of it.

WEDGE POL - al Quaeda tears down Berlin Wall SHOCK!!!

BUT...weren't they the fine-tuned watchmaker's sledge hammer which, on lush payola, finally drove the Gorbachev wedge into the Soviet Union/Warsaw Pact/Berlin Wall?

Bringing freedom, corruption, money, mail order brides, oil, gas and Putin into Chechnya?

Maybe Ronald Reagan REALLY dodderingly snarled: "Mr bin Laden (and Mr Walesa) TEAR DOWN THIS WALL!" And they did.

Go on - you KNOW you disagree. Roar out loud as you scamper, m'rhesi.

The problem with those violent passages

The problem with those violent passages in the Koran, Angela dear, is that they are inspiring violence and oppression in the name of Islam all over the world today – from Indonesia to Nigeria and yes, the UK, Europe and the USA. So this global jihad is a current world problem.

I am no fan of any of the Middle Eastern monotheisms and none of them is a part of my own religious background or upbringing, so you are barking up the wrong tree there.

Finally, I would suggest to you that the people who are dehumanising and vilifying Islam by their actions and rhetoric are the murderous Islamofascist terrorists and their followers. Few non-Muslims would care about Islam one way or another in the absence of such Koran-inspired atrocities.

Argument Lost

For chrissake, anybody who has to compare modern Islamist violent intolerant savagery to Christianity in the Dark Ages eight hundred years ago or Mosaic Judaism three thousand years ago to make out their "equivalence" arguments has already lost the debate. Well and truly.

Angela, there is a reason why AQ, Hamas, Hezbollah, the ruling clique of Iran and many other extremist Islamic clerics of the flat-earth, sword, blood and dead infidel variety are regarded as medieval primitive savages. Guess what it is?

To compare them to the ignorant, superstitious, murderous ratbags of the Crusades is probably pretty appropriate. Can't see how that helps your case, though.


Or even if we run them up against the ignorant, superstitious, murderous ratbags of the Bushades, languid Grand Mufti m'Geo.

The people who put Shiite death squads in charge of Baghdad, and ran Semite ethnic cleansing up to the Litani border.

And "don't know" where Osama bin Laden is.

It's all pretty well total barbarian savagery, no matter how you treble bottom line justify it with Jews are better than Arabs are better than Euros ate better than Persians etc.

Let's just hike in Naomi Botox with the 7goanna on her shoulder and fawn SturmAbteilung togs to make it all look nice før KFC and Hyundai.

Food And Foolishness

Euros ate better than Persians? With respect, Congressman, that's something I've never claimed.

Fiona: Amended as requested, Geoff. Cheers. It's egg on my face, by the way - I didn't pick up the typo in the original. On the other hand, it is seldom that I'd be game to correct anything that the Congressman produces....

Bushtuckerwallaby 8 better than Sumerians AND bandicoots, too

Not only Euros, but also many other marsupials enjoy a rich and varied diet, incomparably better than Persians, Medes, Assyrians, Macedonians and even Hittites.

I don't mention halal of the children of Jakov etc, for fear of goading ghastly howls from the CondeNazi concert pianola-hammering, bunker-busting, page-abusing, death-swamp.

That's the kind of considerate, respectful guy I am, m'Geo-Geo.

Loop back

Irfan had a part in Young Muslims speak out to counter misconceptions (7.30 Report, Sep 3rd). There was a brief screen view of his blogger spot at Webdiary.

A bit more on use of new media. The Murdoch-anointed David Cameron, leader of UK Conservative Party, is running a pretty hot blog, Webcameron. Some pinko-memic islamist posted Let's see .., where the bright-eyed may note the embedded link to a cartoon goes to a Steve Bell, not the Martin Rowson as promised. Have we got a team of CCCP clones, to keep those earnest Tories busy at their keyboards? They can borrow my log-in.

The cull

Three points I suppose:

1.  This thread is so much easier to read if one just ignores phil kendall and Roslyn Ross' posts.

2.   The last time Irfan, your lot got to the gates of Vienna.

3.   On reflexion, I have decided I am in favour of suicide bombing.   Every successful attack takes another bomber out of the game and, frequently, they blow one another up in preparation.  Much easier than genocide. 

Point 1 Revisted

Your point 3 is just daft!  Here we have a lawyer advocating the grenade in the living room as a solution to a serious issue.

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