August 23, 2005 | Graham

Religious vilification

Full marks to Dr Ameer Ali, president of the national Federation of Islamic Councils, when he says that Islamic extremists should not be banned.
“The best thing is to expose these people and marginalise them. As long as they are out in the open we know what they are thinking,” is one of the classic arguments in defence of free speech.
It is also a good argument against religious villification laws. Can we expect to see Muslim leaders campaigning for the repeal of such laws as a result of the war against terror?

Posted by Graham at 3:57 pm | Comments (10) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. more to the point – can we expect to see peter costello stop the “Deport Radical Clerics” and you must support Australian Values speaches?
    Can anyone define Australian Values? Does it involve a Stubbie of XXXX (or VB depending on your state).
    If a terrorist drinks VB, has a hillshoist clothes line and a kingswood in their driveway are they any less of a terrorist?
    Surely intelligent people can see that any potential terrorists in our country would keep a low profile by shaving their beard and dressing and acting “normal”. What does costello hope to acheive except for fueling further hatred?

    Comment by alphacoward — August 23, 2005 @ 6:51 pm

  2. ” … and you must support Australian Values speaches?”
    What values would you have Muslims support? The values of the countries they willingly left in order to live in Australia? Should they support Sharia law, which includes stoning for ‘adultery’, lopping off limbs for stealing and executing ‘apostates’? Values like female genital mutilation, ‘honour killings’, and the subjugation of women? Values like the following? (taken from the koran):
    Koran 48:29: “Muhammad is the apostle of Allah. Those who follow him are merciful to one another, but ruthless to unbelievers”
    Koran 8:7 “Allah wished to confirm the truth by His words: ‘Wipe the infidels out to the last.’”
    Koran 8:12 “Your Lord inspired the angels with the message: ‘I am with you. Give firmness to the Believers. I will terrorize the unbelievers. Therefore smite them on their necks and every joint and incapacitate them. Strike off their heads and cut off each of their fingers and toes.”
    Koran 8:39 “So, fight them till all opposition ends and the only religion is Islam.”
    “As long as they are out in the open we know what they are thinking,”
    They are already ‘out in the open’, we already know what they think – why add weight to their insulting and bizarre comments by taking them seriously? One only needs to consult the hate literature produced by elements of the Muslim community to know what they think. Marginalising them from civilised people lets them know what *we* think of *them*.

    Comment by dee — August 23, 2005 @ 7:04 pm

  3. Despite his apparent embrace of freedom, Ameer Ali is actually a serious campaigner for anti-vilification legislation.
    See,7034,16100846%255E2761,00.html for example.
    MUSLIM and ethnic community leaders want the State Government to pass religious vilification laws to help stop the rise of terrorism in WA.
    Australian Federation of Islamic Councils president Ameer Ali said such laws would mean neither Muslim clerics nor preachers from Christian and other religions would be able to openly advocate hatred.
    Dr Ali and Islamic Council of WA chairman Rahim Ghauri said the move would lead to fewer disaffected people who could be enlisted to support terrorist groups.

    Comment by AU — August 23, 2005 @ 7:20 pm

  4. Dee:
    I needn’t point out all the absurdities in debating who’s book about an invisible friend is more important

    Comment by alphacoward — August 23, 2005 @ 9:00 pm

  5. It’s a pity that Graham doesn’t apply his noble support for freedom of speech on his own site, where he routinely suppresses commentators who argue against religious vilification, while positively encouraging rabid expression of anti-Muslim sentiments.
    Despite his pronouncements, it’s becoming hard to distinguish OLO from an Internet version of populist talkback radio. Such a pity… perhaps it would be better if he was more honest about the way he manipulates what passes for ‘debate’ in his forum.

    Comment by giaman — August 25, 2005 @ 10:04 am

  6. Oh dear,
    Another of Benno’s terrorists. Well, actually, not another, but the same one. Giaman below also masquerades as “Ern Malley” as well as posting under the name Garra Green. He has problems with the facts that people have a right to express a contrary view to his, and that he should abide by forum rules.
    When disciplined he resorts to this sort of defamation, providing a pretty good insight into why he had to be dealt with in the first place.
    Does this mean that we can expect an avalanche of posts from false identities? Perhaps. It does demonstrate that there is a need for more tolerance and openness in Australia today.

    Comment by Graham Young — August 25, 2005 @ 1:01 pm

  7. Giaman, what are you implying. Did graham edit / censor your post? He left Dees post unedited i presume

    Comment by alphacoward — August 25, 2005 @ 1:02 pm

  8. Alpha, Graham’s manipulation of debates in the OLO forum is apparent if you check out the comments in threads pertaining to issues such as racial and religious vilification, feminism, abortion, homsexuality etc. Look at the supposedly offensive comments posted by me (and my colleague “garra”) and compare them with the divisive and ignorant, but apparently acceptable, comments posted by those who wish to vilify Muslims and gays or subjugate women, and draw your own conclusions.
    With respect to “garra”, Graham knows that he is a different person to me – albeit a friend and colleague of mine who has also dared to suggest that OLO is biased towards a hard ‘right wing’ perspective.
    It seems to me that Graham may have spent so long as a Liberal Party apparatchik that even he no longer knows when he’s being untruthful. Which is of course why his site will lack credibility outside neoconservative circles while he remains its ‘master and commander’.

    Comment by giaman — August 26, 2005 @ 9:06 am

  9. Giaman,
    I haven’t experienced any problems with my posts being edited and I’ve said some fairly left wing things and certainly haven’t held back against the liberal party.
    Keep it clean and i don’t think graham has a problem. Can you send me a link to some of the posts he edited?

    Comment by alphacoward — August 26, 2005 @ 10:03 am

  10. This being written on 29 August, it has the benefit of hindsight.
    We have just seen some appalling vilification of Muslims by federal Education Minister, Brendan Nelson, telling Muslims to “clear off”. No doubt Brendan has a lot to teach young Australians about values (should that be market values?). He leads the way by example in the cultural sensitivity stakes. Really?
    The ‘dog-whistle’ was blown for the benefit of Sophie (bloody her again) Panoupolis and that awful Bronwyn Bishop woman to declare that young Muslim girls should not be allowed to wear their traditional headscarves at school – which, as we all know, is “an act of defiance” at all drunken barbeques.
    These two are so out of touch with the job at hand that they forgot that the states run the state schools – not the Commonwealth. Perhaps they let the cat out of the bag in their racially superior excitement. Brendan wants to run our schools. I wouldn’t let that man anywhere near my children.
    Finally, there emerged a Liberal who voiced what we know they all think, most Liberals that is, that all non-Anglos are not quite good enough to be Australian. (Poor Sophie is all confused about this). John Brogden, Liberal leader in NSW, called Bob Carr’s Malaysian-born wife “a mail-order bride”. Pretty incendiary stuff, I reckon!
    John was probably a bit swilled and inadvertently let us know the truth of his innermost thoughts. But this was a man who had read some quaint stuff about the Westminster system – he actually resigned, which was the right thing to do. There is a Liberal who knows how to resign when he’s done something disgraceful. Where are the rest of them? We should make a list and see how many we could invite around to meet the Indonesian Ambassador for tea. Not many, they are likely to say some racially vilifying remark or other.

    Comment by Willy Bach — August 29, 2005 @ 4:09 pm

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