In analysing the ramifications of last week’s fundamentalist Muslim madness on the streets of Sydney, the more glass-half full observers have noted that there were about 100 ratbags behind the violence in a country which is home to 400,000 Muslims.
It’s a reassuring thought, but probably only somewhat reassuring. We are kidding ourselves if we think that the number of fundamentalists who endorse violence is limited to that sizeable handful of yobs in Sydney’s CBD. There would have been plenty of other radical Muslims within this country cheering them on.
That fact was confirmed by some of the more absurd commentary from a minority of Australia’s rattier Muslim organisations, with their caveat-laden drivel that while violence is never ideal, people really needed to understand that all bets are off if you start insulting the Prophet. Their idea of proportionality would be funny if it weren’t so warped, in suggesting that throwing bottles at Australian cops is an equitable reaction to the release on YouTube of a poorly-made 15-minute American art flick mocking their deity of choice.
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I had a most entertaining chat with Allah* last week. He emailed me from California, signing off: ‘God Allah, Author, Holy Qur’an / Bible, Lord of the Worlds’.
He wrote: “Help! I am Allah, God of The Religions, am now here on Earth, and asking the Press to help Me locate an organization, community or nation to receive Me.” We had a discussion about what he’s doing here, and he said partly he was helping Jesus Christ with the Resurrection.
He hoped the Last Day would be “kind to all beings”, which seemed a little naïve, and he asked me to send a message to the band AC/DC : “They are quite the sound and also to the all the great actors and actresses. AU has talent. Love, Allah.”
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“We were not raised on hate.”
Speaking about his family and community, that’s what one Sydney Muslim, Ozan Amir, told The Punch late Friday afternoon.
We contacted Ozan to interview him about the violent protests gripping the Arab World, fuelled by a crude, hateful video. Sadly, at the weekend, the same violence arrived here in Australia. And that violence seemed to be perpetuated by those raised on hate.
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Remember when you were a kid and the bogeyman kept you awake at night?
No matter how many times mum said he didn’t exist, you’d still expect him to come out of the wardrobe and eat you up.
Australia has a bogeyman. His face changes every few decades: once he was Russian, then he was Asian.
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