Let’s get some facts as context around what Pauline Hanson has said.
- Firstly, there are terrorists, intended terrorists, terrorist financers and recruiters of terrorists in Australia.
- Secondly, they are Muslims.
- Thirdly, people have died in Australia because of these Muslim extremists.
- Fourthly, the recruiting of Jihadists has happened in Australia in Muslim institutions and mosques.
- Lastly, most of those Muslims came to Australia within the last generation fleeing trouble created by other Muslims.
These are facts and they point to a need to deal with this growing problem.
We do have measures trying to deal with it. We do have intelligence services monitoring individuals and groups and police arresting and prosecuting individuals who attempt to get involved in terrorist activities. And we do have policies to counter radicalisation. In spite of such elaborate measures there are still deaths each year and attacks, planned attacks and thwarted attacks.
In light of these facts, Pauline Hanson has advocated a halt to Muslim migration, monitoring of Mosques and a ban on new Mosques. She wants to have a Royal Commission.
These policies seem like very targeted responses to counter the causes of this rising problem afflicting the whole world. They have been widely derided by most people and provoked a chorus of hateful vindictiveness by some.
Suppose it weren’t terrorism we were talking about. Suppose we were talking about an infectious disease. Public health authorities would suggest restricting movement of people from the source countries of the infection, monitoring those who have already arrived and quarantining and treating any outbreaks. Sound familiar?
Support for Muslims
So why do people dismiss out of hand someone voicing what, based on facts, might seem legitimate concerns?
Most of us have Muslim neighbours, workmates, friends or associates. We like these people and we don’t like them to be picked on. Most of us also know that Ms Hanson’s comments have the potential to stir up hatred and that bad things can happen when hatred is given licence to be vented. Her opponents want to suppress the voice of the people who voted for her; they want to deny those people a voice because they don’t like what they say.
However, there is an irony in the response. The irony is that the Muslim apologists always point out that it is a small minority of Muslims who get involved in terrorist activities so we should pay no attention to them. Why can’t the rest of Australia respond by saying, well it’s just a small minority who support Hanson; don’t pay any attention to them. Another irony is that many people see the very basis of Islam (the Koran) is what gives Muslims licence to use violence. Here is the third irony, the reason we (including those atheist left socialists) revolt against Ms Hanson’s statements, is Christianity. The atheist left socialists who defend Islam are expressing the key principles of Christianity (based on love, sacrifice, forgiveness and reconciliation) instilled in our society for two millennia and yet they despise Christianity. The other irony is that the right-wing conservatives who often attach Christian principles to their policies are acting more like the Pharisees.
Ms Hanson is labelled an Islamophobic racist. For many, that is the end of the story. But does racism apply to disliking a belief system? Is Islamophobia (unreasonable fear of Islam) a correct label when there are daily examples in Australia and around the world where the fear is justified and not unreasonable. Terror is a synonym of fear so we should be careful to put cause and effect in the right order. Fear of terror is not unreasonable. While the vast majority of Australian Muslims are peace-loving is there still not a big question over whether to expand the size of that minority? Most of the Muslims in Australia fled conflict in their Muslim homelands. Doesn’t that say something? Why does the ‘religion of peace’ perpetually breed conflict? Aren’t the small minority of radicals actually justifying their actions on the basis of what is written in the Koran? Have those who defend Muslims ever read the Koran?
The Pope’s call to war
To digress, consider this scenario. The Pope has just issued a new encyclical to be followed by all Catholics under pain of death.
- In it he addresses Catholic men (referring to women only in the third person) and states that Catholics should not associate with non-Catholics. God does not love non-Catholics. The father Abraham was a Catholic.
- All Catholic women are to be the possessions of their Catholic husbands who can have many wives and can beat them if they try to leave.
- The Pope exhorts Catholics to fight. Catholics fight for God while everyone else fights for the Devil. Catholics shouldn’t fight other Catholics but if they kill another then they must release one of their slaves.
- Thieves are to have their hands cut off. Non-Catholics can have their heads and fingertips cut off. They will be allowed a few months to convert to being Catholics but after that they are fair game.
- The Pope particularly picks on Muslims, quoting (with some minor changes) parts of the Koran to justify the fact that God is particularly disgusted by Muslims. He retells the story of Mohammed but changes the facts so that Mohammed appears quite a trivial, inconsequential person and besides, he was actually a Catholic anyway.
- In addition, all Catholic women must wear leotards or jumpsuits and have their hair teased, something the Pope saw on Italian TV and admired.
- The rest of the encyclical is some poetry the Pope has composed that has to be read in Latin to be truly appreciated.
- All Catholics schools must teach the encyclical and Catholics must recite it over and over.
Oops, … it’s actually the Koran!
Looks like the Pope picked up the wrong book! Such an absurd encyclical will never happen, but the Koran and Muslim law say all these types of things! Some will retort, “What about the Crusades? What about the Inquisition?”
But this is today. Just consider the furore, the uproar, around the world by all non-Catholics if the Pope released such a hateful doctrine.
We often hear people claiming that, just because the vast majority of Muslims are lovely, wonderful people, that any criticism of Islam is just Islamophobia, but while ever the Koran exists as the basis of Islam there will be those who will take it (not twisting it in any way) and use it to radicalise the young. And there will always be trouble as a result. The first violent spread of Islam in the 7th Century AD is testament to what can happen when religious zeal and militarism combine. The second spread of violent Islam is just beginning and it doesn’t deserve to be assisted by well meaning do-gooders.