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Recent Muslim Protests - Differing Aussie perspectives


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Initial post: 17 Sep 2012 14:27:41 BDT
RAB says:
Wondered what peoples' thoughts on the recent protests/riots were. I've got quite a few friends from Aus and these two pieces have appeared on my Facebook newsfeed quite a bit over the last couple of days, interesting reads both.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 14:30:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 14:36:56 BDT
RAB says:
First up we've got "An Open Letter to the Islamic Protesters" from Sydney Morning Herald columnist Peter Fitzsimons:

"HAVE we Sydney-siders got this straight?

Because on the other side of the Pacific, somewhere in California, some loser has thrown together some kind of amateur internet video insulting your particular god, you think it justifiable to:

-Take over the Sydney CBD.
-Cause willful damage to property.
-Throw rocks at police officers who are doing nothing more than their duty.
-Hold up such ludicrous signs as "Behead all those who insult the prophet."

We have to ask: Do you have the first clue as to the ramifications of your actions? Do you not understand that the net result of such irresponsible, appalling action is to give ample fuel to every racist in the country to reinforce every bad stereotype they have ever had of you, and that will affect badly the hundreds of thousands of other peaceful and law-abiding Islamic Australians?

In short, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?!

Advertisement Get this straight, and quickly: some of you may be from countries where this kind of thing is acceptable. But it is NOT acceptable in this country.

In this country you are free to worship whatever god you damn well please. Others are free to worship their gods.

And I am free to say it is all nonsense over imaginary friends.

But you are not free to create the mayhem you did yesterday, simply because you don't like a freaking video!

Racists have said for years, "If you don't like the way we do things here, go back to where you came from." The net result of your actions yesterday is that - for those people specifically disgracing themselves in the CBD yesterday, not the vast bulk of Islamic Australians - much of the country now feels the same.

Nice work."

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/an-open-letter-20120915-25ziq.html#ixzz26jXkEPYa

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 14:36:37 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 14:38:33 BDT
RAB says:
Second, another opinion piece in The Age by Waleed Aly, "The Incredible Muslim Hulk proves to be no friend of Islam either":

"WHERE do I start? Perhaps with the viral image that will come to define this episode: a child who'd be three or four hoisting a sign triumphantly above his head blaring ''Behead all those who insult the Prophet'' while a woman, presumably his mother, thinks this is cute enough to capture on her smartphone. Alternatively, I could begin with the observation that the trailer for the anti-Islamic film that ostensibly started this all, Innocence of Muslims, is now a blockbuster, with YouTube hits in the millions thanks largely to the protesters around the world who think nobody should see it.

No. Let's start with the fact that so few of the protesters who descended on Sydney's CBD this weekend seem actually to have seen the film that so gravely offends them. When asked by journalists, they bluntly admit this, one even adding that she refuses to watch something so offensive. It's almost impressive how cyclical this stupidity is. But it's also instructive. In fact, this is the key to making sense of something so gobsmackingly senseless. The protesters - at least the ones quoted in news reports - know nothing except how offended they are.

That, you see, is all that matters. This isn't about a film. It's about an excuse. We know because we've seen it all before, like when Pakistani protesters vandalised American fast food outlets and burnt effigies of President George W. Bush in response to the Danish cartoons.

We know because so much of the weekend's ranting was nakedly gratuitous: ''Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell''. Pardon? Which dead? Weren't we talking about a movie?

This is the behaviour of a drunkenly humiliated people: swinging wildly with the hope of landing a blow, any blow, somewhere, anywhere. There's nothing strategic or calculated about this. It doesn't matter that they are the film's most effective publicists. It doesn't matter that they protest using offensive slogans and signs, while protesting against people's right to offend. It doesn't matter that they object to insulting people on the basis of their religion, while declaring that Christians have no morals. This is baffling only until you realise these protesters are not truly protesting to make a point. The protest is the point.

It feels good. It feels powerful. This is why people yell pointlessly or punch walls when frustrated. It's not instrumental. It doesn't achieve anything directly. But it is catharsis. Outrage and aggression is an intoxicating prospect for the powerless.

Accordingly, it is not an option to leave an insult unanswered because that is a sign of weakness, rather than transcendence.

The irony is that it grants an extraordinary level of power to those doing the offending. It puts them constantly at the centre of your world. That's why, when Gallup polled 35 Muslim majority countries, it found that of all the gripes the Muslim world has against the West, among the most pervasive is the West's ''disrespect for Islam''.

That, you see, is all that matters. This isn't about a film. It's about an excuse. We know because we've seen it all before, like when Pakistani protesters vandalised American fast food outlets and burnt effigies of President George W. Bush in response to the Danish cartoons.

We know because so much of the weekend's ranting was nakedly gratuitous: ''Our dead are in paradise, your dead are in hell''. Pardon? Which dead? Weren't we talking about a movie?

This is the behaviour of a drunkenly humiliated people: swinging wildly with the hope of landing a blow, any blow, somewhere, anywhere. There's nothing strategic or calculated about this. It doesn't matter that they are the film's most effective publicists. It doesn't matter that they protest using offensive slogans and signs, while protesting against people's right to offend. It doesn't matter that they object to insulting people on the basis of their religion, while declaring that Christians have no morals. This is baffling only until you realise these protesters are not truly protesting to make a point. The protest is the point.

It feels good. It feels powerful. This is why people yell pointlessly or punch walls when frustrated. It's not instrumental. It doesn't achieve anything directly. But it is catharsis. Outrage and aggression is an intoxicating prospect for the powerless.

Accordingly, it is not an option to leave an insult unanswered because that is a sign of weakness, rather than transcendence.

The irony is that it grants an extraordinary level of power to those doing the offending. It puts them constantly at the centre of your world. That's why, when Gallup polled 35 Muslim majority countries, it found that of all the gripes the Muslim world has against the West, among the most pervasive is the West's ''disrespect for Islam''.

And it is this disrespect that is the overarching grievance that subsumes others. Everything, global and local, can be thrown into this vortex: Swiss minaret bans, French niqab bans, military invasions, drone strikes, racist stereotyping, anti-immigrant politics, and yes, even films so ridiculously bad that, left to their own devices, they would simply lampoon themselves.

This is what gives Innocence of Muslims meaning: not its content, but its context. It's a symbol of contempt, which is why protests against it so quickly turn into an orgy of anti-Americanism. So, ''Obama, Obama, we love Osama'' they scream, mainly because it's the most offensive rhyme they can muster. Osama, too, is a symbol; the most repugnant one in their arsenal. How better to prove you exist than to say something outrageous?

That the Obama administration immediately condemned the film in the strongest terms doesn't register. Nor that the White House took the extraordinary (and ultimately unsuccessful) step of asking Google to pull the video. This is invisible to an audience of humiliated souls waiting desperately to be offended and conflate every grievance. Indeed, they need the offence. It gives them the chance to assert themselves so they can feel whole, righteous even. It's a shortcut to self-worth.

The trouble is that in our digital world, there is always something to oblige. Anyone can Google their prejudices, and there is always enraging news to share with others. Entire online communities gather around the sharing of offensive material and subsequent communal venting. Soon you have a subculture: a sub-community whose very cohesion is based almost exclusively on shared grievance. Then you have an identity that has nothing to say about itself; an identity that holds an entirely impoverished position: that to be defiantly angry is to be.

Frankly, Muslims should find that prospect nothing short of catastrophic. It renders Islamic identity entirely hollow. All pride, all opposition, no substance. ''Like the Incredible Hulk,'' observes Abdal Hakim Murad, a prominent British Islamic scholar, ''ineffectual until provoked.''

Sometimes you need a scandal to demonstrate an underlying disease. And that's the good news here. The vast bulk of Saturday's protesters were peaceful, and Muslim community organisations are lining up to condemn the outbreak of violence. But now a more serious conversation is necessary. One that's not about how we should be speaking out to defend our prophet and ourselves. One that's more about whether we can speak about anything else."

http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/politics/the-incredible-muslim-hulk-proves-to-be-no-friend-of-islam-either-20120916-260e8.html#ixzz26jZDojpf

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 14:38:21 BDT
RAB says:
Gah, copying and pasting from newspaper sites is a ballache.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 15:26:13 BDT
RAB says:
Take it the lack of response is down to people being stunned by balanced opinion on Amazon?

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 15:33:53 BDT
David Rudd says:
Perhaps the protesters ought to take note that some Muslim-majority countries actively persecute - or turn a blind eye to the persecution of - non-Muslim religious minorities, whilst western democracies do not persecute Muslims.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 15:43:12 BDT
C. A. Small says:
RAB, our tolerance of this odious religion is something we will live to regret, faith schools even more so.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 15:49:35 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 15:49:48 BDT
RAB says:
I actually think it's attitudes like that that are regrettable, to be honest CA.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 16:00:07 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Really, ask your wife if she would like to be forced to walk a pace behind you, dress like a dalek, and if she would support her children being educated by being beaten in a faith school.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 16:01:53 BDT
RAB says:
Don't have one to ask, and I of course would object to two of the three, but that doesn't mean I'm right.

I do think there's a strong case for the cane being brought back to Western schools though.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 16:05:28 BDT
Rhodes Boyson supported "cane"....he told Ali G...

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 16:11:47 BDT
C. A. Small says:
So do you think womens rights as equal citizens are correct, or should they be limited due to a sky fairy belief system established in the bronze age from stone age myths by a 52 year old man with a penchant for a 9 year old girls as a sexual partner, and also a slave trader.?

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 17:24:53 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 17:25:05 BDT
These riots just prove people's 'racist' views of Islam as right. Religion of peace and tolerance my ass.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 17:28:26 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Hi Kodokushi, interesting my historically accurate post has been voted down!

Islam is a religion of peace and love and if you don't respect it muslims will threaten and possibly kill you! No contradictions there then!

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 17:36:55 BDT
easytiger says:
Should never have given the bastards electricity or tv.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 17:40:21 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 17:49:13 BDT
Maybe that's where things are going wrong, they need a hobby; ship over a load of X-Box's then they'll have something to do rather than parading the streets with their ludicrous slogans, burning and killing wherever they tread after any minimal slight. I find it funny that the vast majority don't even know what they're so offended about, just that they are.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 18:19:47 BDT
RAB says:
Yes, I think equal rights for women are correct, but I don't speak with any authority on the matter.

I also haven't researched Islam enough to know the extent to which the issues you discuss are prevalent, or any justification for them, so I don't like to comment.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 19:17:52 BDT
Pendragon says:
RAB

Good articles, well spotted. What is a CBD?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 19:24:57 BDT
C. A. Small says:
RAb try reading "a god who hates" by Wafa Sultan, or read up on how women are stoned in Saudi Arabia, in a different way to men, or the young christian girl (with special needs) arrested in Pakistan for heresy, lovely religion.

You might be able to watch again on Iplayer a programme about the history of Islam, possibly Horizon? About 10 days ago I think. Sorry to be vague but meningitis has scrambled my memory!

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 19:33:57 BDT
RAB says:
Central Business District. Basically the city centre of Sydney. I used to protest around there myself occasionally.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 20:18:44 BDT
Pendragon says:
Clive

I think the programme you have in mind is "Islam: The Untold Story", shown at 9 pm on 29 August 2012 on 4seven. It may be available to watch on 4OD. It was excellent.

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 20:19:11 BDT
Pendragon says:
Cheers RAB. What were you protesting?

In reply to an earlier post on 17 Sep 2012 20:34:18 BDT
Last edited by the author on 17 Sep 2012 20:36:47 BDT
RAB says:
Against the "Church" of Scientology. Basically the way they are allowed to extort and excommunicate under the guise of a religion at the same time as persecuting the group known as the "Freezone" who basically provided the same teachings for free. We didn't get anywhere but it was a good laugh.

Before anyone accuses me of double standards by the way. The protests were against the organisation, not the followers.

Posted on 17 Sep 2012 23:47:09 BDT
Dissident says:
A selection of Muslim Middle Eastern TV clips...

Egyptian Cleric: "It's our duty to hate the Jews as part of our faith"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sEdXT_ckYmg&feature=related

Muslim Mickey Mouse Teaches Children to Kill Jews
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RdWV02Szb5k&feature=fvwrel

Islam: The Jews Are the Eternal Enemies of Muslims Regardless of the Occupation of Palestine
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_X8dhrzQCHY&feature=related

Syrian Official: "Jews are apes and pigs"
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQERHieZHcg&feature=related

Muslim Cleric Teaches Children to Hate Jews
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpGRBu7mzrg&feature=related

Arabs brainwashed little girls to hate Jews
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZL0C2QvqIlo&feature=related

In reply to an earlier post on 18 Sep 2012 07:59:44 BDT
Last edited by the author on 18 Sep 2012 08:00:37 BDT
C. A. Small says:
Pendragon- as always - thanks for the correction. Of all the things i've lost, it is my mind I miss the most!
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Discussion in:  politics discussion forum
Participants:  12
Total posts:  66
Initial post:  17 Sep 2012
Latest post:  21 Sep 2012

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