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Bolt and Hanson don’t make me feel safe

It was with genuine sadness that I read that Andrew Bolt, reportedly in response to death threats from a supporter of Islamic State, has felt it necessary to move his children out of the family home.  No-one has the right to threaten violence against another person, no matter how odious their views, and everyone in Australia has the right to feel safe in their own home.

The threat came the day after Bolt wrote a column for the Herald Sun condemning a letter written by the Grand Mufti of Australia following the Prime Minister’s Iftar dinner for Muslim leaders.

“Ibrahim Abu Mohammad has written an astonishing letter warning that to criticise even a gay-hating imam is to risk inciting terrorist attacks against us,” Bolt wrote.  “His inflammatory letter perfectly demonstrates why Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull was a fool to hold an Iftar dinner for the Mufti and other troubling Muslim leaders during the election campaign.”

“Again and again, whether the Mufti means this or not, the clear inference is that if we criticise Islam or his clerics, we risk death,” Bolt said in an interview with Pauline Hanson.  “What free society can tolerate such an implied threat or danger? How can the Mufti not see that the true responsibility for Islamist terrorism lies not with the victims but with the perpetrators – and with the faith which seems to ­licence them to mass murder?”

Bolt has, of course, completely misrepresented what the Grand Mufti actually wrote.

Dr Mohammed spoke of the significant community work done by the moderate Sheikh Shady and asked why he was being singled out for comments he made about homosexuality six years ago that only reflect the same beliefs held and expressed by other religious groups.  He also pointed out that Sheikh Shady has a good relationship with young Muslims and is one of the most active Imams in supporting co-operative work with various government agencies and departments.

Sheik Shady had responded to media criticism by stating, “As an Australian and a Muslim I unreservedly condemn the vilification and oppression of any group of people based on race, religion, gender, sexuality, or any other criteria for that matter.  Islam’s position on [homosexuality] is clear like many other major religions however Islam espouses there is no compulsion in religion and diversity is the norm.”

The Mufti warned that “targeted media attacks have had and will continue to have negative consequences on our wider society.  It might be those few statements reported in the media that a young person reads which could lead him to deluded beliefs regarding the plight of Muslims.  The youth might see media statements attacking Islamic leaders and interpret this as an attack on their religion, brethren and wider Muslim community.  This could lead such a young person to believe he is now living in danger in this country.  And this is exactly what ISIL and their counterparts seek to convince the youth of the world.”

This is very similar advice to that given by ASIO boss Duncan Lewis in December last year when he personally phoned some Coalition MPs asking them to temper their comments to avoid causing offence.  This view had also been advocated publicly by the previous head of ASIO, David Irvine.

When a few conservative politicians and commentators expressed outrage at the suppression of their freedom to vilify whoever they wanted, Julie Bishop said “If the director-general of ASIO has formed a view that the public debate might have the potential to put at risk the work that his organisation is undertaking in countering terrorism, then of course he should speak out.”

Andrew Bolt’s feverish protection of freedom of speech apparently does not extend to Muslims expressing their views about homosexuality.  I remember a recent resident of Kirribilli House who held similar reservations about same sex relationships.  Bolt also refuses to listen to the experts about what damage his intemperate comments could potentially cause, as did Abbott.

As Dr Mohammed asked, “Do such media outlets realise they are igniting fires, dividing our society, and spreading hatred?”

Ask yourself this – if you were a Muslim Australian, would you feel safe living in a country that elects Pauline Hanson, George Christensen, Cory Bernardi and Peter Dutton while giving Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Alan Jones a media platform?  Come to think of it, you don’t have to be Muslim to find that scary.

This is going to be a very testing time for all of us and I would call on the saner members of the community to pull together to quell the fires that ignorance and intolerance inevitably stoke.

82 comments

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  1. mark

    Temper your utterances so as not to cause offence? Boo hoo there is nothing wrong with causing offence lol, the only limit on free speech is inciting others to committ acts of violence, everything else is permitted under common law. Incidentally your common law rights are much more extensive than you are told by our rulers – they would prefer you to think a human rights charter is a more effective guarantee of your rights – it is not. If you don’t know what your common law rights are you can’t proclaim them as your shield and if you don’t proclaim them they don’t exist – that’s how it works!

  2. bobrafto

    Has Bolt ever railed against Reclaim Australia and others?

    Not only is Bolt exposing himself to harm from offending Muslims from his writing misinterpretations he also incites hatred and violence against Muslims to his audience, just by the tenor of his message.

    Mosques have been burnt down and I hate to think that the Muslim community would be in a degree of fear from folks like Reclaim Australia and the others and Muslims have been abused on public transport and in the streets.

    The chooks have come home to roost for Mr Bolt.

    Mr Bolt is pure Dutch arrogance and more dangerous than any radicalized Muslim. A radicalized Muslim doesn’t have a platform Mr. Bolt does continually railing against Muslims and that is racism.

  3. Angry Old Man

    Wise words, Kaye Lee. And thank you for your service to the rational community.

  4. Miriam English

    Thank you for looking under the surface of that idiot Bolt’s remarks and for passing it on to us here. I had no idea that Bolt said this, nor that he could be so gobsmackingly stupid. Looks like he wants a front position on Fox News (or as many have taken to calling it, “Faux News”). He even looks like he’s trying to incite some kind of attack. Surely he wouldn’t be that stupid, would he?

    The right-wing media have a very disturbing history, as the marvelous documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad” explains. Jen Senko and her team have now made it available on iTunes at:
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-brainwashing-of-my-dad/id1082947540
    for US$0.99 rental for a little more than a week (uh… it is available for a little more than a week; the rental isn’t for a little more than a week).

    As one of the film’s original Kickstarter backers I highly recommend it. (I’ve already seen it as a reward for donating.)

  5. Kaye Lee

    mark,

    If “there is nothing wrong with causing offence” then why was Bolt so upset with Sheikh Shady’s comments about homosexuality being a sin and the Grand Mufti’s letter in his defence? Or do only some of us have freedom of speech? We have seen that the doctors who work with refugees certainly don’t have freedom of speech. Even the Human Rights Commissioner doesn’t seem to have the right to fulfill her statutory duty to report on human rights abuses. And why did Joe Hockey sue when it was exposed that, as Treasurer, he gave access to people who donated to his fundraising body, the North Sydney Forum? Apparently he was “offended” by a headline.

    It seems to me that only some people are allowed to cause offence. Perhaps you can fill me in on just who is allowed to express an opinion/belief/fact and who isn’t.

  6. Angry Old Man

    Burn!

  7. Kaye Lee

    Speaking of taking offence, I just had a flashback to when my son, as a 14 year old, was playing 5th grade with the adults for his cricket club. After he got a few runs, the men from the other team decided to sledge the kid. I couldn’t hear what they were saying…just that there was talk and my kid was answering which we had always told him not to do. He told me later one of the guys had said something about fcking his mother to which he replied “I dare ya to say that in front of her..she’s the one over there making afternoon tea.” He makes me laugh, my son.

    The point of that seemingly indulgent personal waffle is it is much more satisfying to treat abuse with disdain than anger.

    PS Added moral – son scored a quickfire 50 not out. Succeed in spite of them 😉

  8. Angry Old Man

    @Kaye Lee

    Now that’s a heartwarming story.

  9. Miriam English

    I wonder if Mark, above, is Mark the climate change denier. If so it seems we have a right-winger perusing the website. I hope so. It would be good to have more such people exposed to reality.

  10. gee

    i don’t see a difference between saying inciteful things based upon a religion or an ideology, if you can even seperate the two.

  11. mark

    Its not me Miriam. Although i would defend anyones right to freedom of speech but it must cut both ways. You have a freedom to speak but others have a freedom to challenge what you say.

  12. Kaye Lee

    Of course mark, but challenges should be based on verifiable facts from credible sources. Too often, challengers completely ignore provided factual evidence in favour of what they heard Bolt or Pickering say. That is the truly frustrating part of these discussions.

  13. Freethinker

    And this situation have the support by senior members in the present government.

    ”People do have a right to be bigots, you know,” Senator Brandis said.
    Bolt back in the 28-9-2011 “Can I at least have my free speech now?”
    “It is particularly a restriction on the freedom of all Australians to discuss multiculturalism and how people identify themselves. I argued then and I argue now that we should not insist on the differences between us but focus instead on what unites us as human beings. Thank you.”

  14. totaram

    We must remember this odious person makes a living out of saying “controversial” things and remaining in the limelight. Given the number of times he has simply made up stuff (as proven in a court of law), I would cast doubt on the fact that he actually received death threats. Has he provided any evidence to the police? Have they verified these are genuine death threats? Are investigations ongoing?
    Simply taking this person at his word is fraught with peril. He will get my sympathy only when I know the threats are genuine.

    And of course, his double standards on everything, as pointed out in the article, are too obvious.

  15. Miriam English

    Free speech is an interesting thing. The old saying “Sticks and stones will break my bones, but words will never hurt me” has an element of truth. Unfortunately, when people do use sticks and stones to hurt others it is almost always because they have been incited to do so by someone’s words. Words can be really damaging and dangerous and should be used responsibly.

    We should have freedom of speech, but can be no freedom to lie, mislead, denigrate others and spread hate through sexism, racism, etc. Freedom must come with responsibilities otherwise it just degenerates to rule by the nastiest and loudest bully.

    Yesterday I mentioned Jen Senko’s wonderful documentary “The Brainwashing of My Dad” and I watched it again during breakfast this morning. It illustrates very well how words can hurt people.

    I urge anybody worried about the tactics of the right-wing propaganda machine and their control of Australian mainstream media to watch Jen’s documentary. You can rent it on iTunes for just 90 cents (USA $).
    https://itunes.apple.com/us/movie/the-brainwashing-of-my-dad/id1082947540
    It is now 7th most popular doco on iTunes! Yay!

    Also, next month she will have the DVD available. You can pre-order it through Amazon.

    (I don’t really like Amazon because of their crappy working conditions so wish she’d make it available elsewhere.)

    If you prefer BlueRay (I don’t) that will be available too.

  16. Kaye Lee

    The thing that strikes me as crazy is attributing to Australian Muslims the crimes committed by any Muslim anywhere in the world. How would Bolt like to be condemned as a white Christian male for the actions of the thousands of white Christian males who go to Asia every year to have sex with children?

    Is it any wonder that Australian Muslims are feeling threatened when some of our more foolish politicians have suddenly decided that Islam is not a religion. How must they feel when they hear calls for a halt to Muslim immigration with the obvious implication that all Muslims are bad and definitely not welcome here. How would you feel if you were told to assimilate or get out – give up all your beliefs, any right to freedom of choice about what you wear or what you eat or where you worship – even though you have done absolutely nothing wrong.

  17. paulwalter

    You don’t feel safe with these sorts of people? Allow me to commend you on your unerring intuition and common sense, imho.

    I think a lot of Australians will pay in same way in the future for their timidity this election.

  18. mark

    I agree with most of that Miriam but why would it only apply to the right wing . A lie is a lie no matter who delivers it.

  19. mark

    Totaram -the court verdict proved nothing of the sort. You need to check the ruling and find out exactly what the judge said. Also his house was searched by police so i assume they knew of the threat.

  20. Kaye Lee

    Murdoch is the source of many lies and his domination of our media is to the detriment of this country. There are countless examples of his headlines shamelessly distorting the facts in order to demonise certain groups. I agree no-one should lie, but Murdoch is the worst example of manipulating public opinion and not in a good way. He has dragged us into the gutter.

  21. Kaye Lee

    “The jury found that what Bolt wrote was untrue, unfair and inaccurate”….that sure sounds like just making stuff up to me.

  22. Susan

    Thank you Kaye Lee for your wonderful contribution.

  23. Miriam English

    Mark, when did I say only right wingers lie? Granted they seem to lie more often and more outrageously (racism, sexism, homophobia, trickle-down economics, and so on are the right-wing media’s bread and butter), but as you say, a lie is a lie. It doesn’t matter if someone is right or left. I’ve certainly met left-wing racists, sexists, and homophobes; I’m sure we all have. Lies and misleads should be called out and stopped regardless of who voices them.

  24. mark

    The court ruled that the articles were likely to offend all or some of the people. He questioned why people of mixed heritage can identify with one one part and ignore the other. He was found to be incorrect with one of the persons relatives and their background.

  25. Kaye Lee

    I was discussing the lies he wrote about magistrate Jelena Popovic. The court found Bolt’s conduct “at worst, dishonest and misleading and at best, grossly careless” – fairly typical of the rubbish he writes – he deliberately tries to write sensational bullshit because that’s what a certain type of audience thrives on. Writing crap makes him money – it doesn’t make him right.

  26. Freethinker

    Just to add a bit more fuel to the fire, Mr Katter said migration should, ideally, be confined to Sikhs, Jews and Middle Eastern Christians.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Yes Freethinker….which brings up the question, if the minority Muslim community in Australia are expected to assimilate into the majority Christian society here, why aren’t these minorities expected to do likewise in their countries? They want to come here because they are being oppressed in their own countries and here we offer freedom of worship – supposedly.

  28. Freethinker

    Kaye Lee, what we are living now is nothing new in human behavior, it happens in every single century and all the time related to religion, race was another issue.
    Are we going to change it? IMO not it is a very powerful tool for those at the top the divide the masses below.
    We have a said in Latin America “On troubled waters , the gain is for the Fisherman”

  29. mark

    Your quote from 10.50 last night Miriam questioning the right wing media. Sorry ,i was up early this morning.

  30. diannaart

    Excellent work.

    Next Bolt will be claiming, “Four legs bad, two legs good…”

  31. townsvilleblog

    The 50,000 boat people of a few years ago have already increased their number by a factor of 10 with now half a million Muslim former refugee expanding their population quickly. How does that bode with the 24 million Australians. We were told this would happen and it has. Australia needs a three children policy urgently before we find ourselves strangers in our own home. Refugees may have many good points, but this is not 1 of them.

  32. David

    I started to realize how much Australia has changed when Abbort started spruiking about Daesh “coming to get you!” While working as a volunteer in the South Pacific, I now get a chance to see Australia through a different lens!

  33. brett

    “let’s avoid criticising rapists and focus on women provoking them by walking alone at night”

    To mention that a Muslim upon reading criticism (or ‘vilify’ if you’re one particular Neanderthal participating on this article) will be helplessly forced to begin raping and butchering innocent humans is one of the most racist things if ever read or heard in my life.

  34. Kaye Lee

    I don’t see any radicalised Muslims preaching their hatred and intolerance in the MSM.

    From 1650, Muslim fisherman from South East Asia communicated and traded with Aborigines from Australia’s north. Some inter-marriage occurred. In the 1860s, some 3000 camel drivers – with camels – came from Afghanistan and the Indian sub-continent.

    This group contributed to the exploration of the Australian outback, working on both the railway line between Port Augusta and Alice Springs, and the Overland Telegraph Line from Adelaide to Darwin, which connected Australia to London via India.

    Since the late 1960s there have been a number of significant Muslim migrations into Australia, most notably from Turkey and Lebanon. In the 1990s, refugees and migrants from the Horn of Africa, Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Indonesia and Malaysia have all made their home in Australia.

    Just 2.2 per cent of Australians, or 476,300 people, identified as Muslim in the 2011 census.

    Many of these people have a far longer Australian heritage than Bolt or Abbott. Interestingly, Pauline Hanson left school at 15 and married Walter Zagorski, a Polish refugee, at 16, and had two children by the time she was about 21.

  35. Miriam English

    Brett, do you know what a strawman argument is? It is where you make up something that is ridiculous, falsely attribute it to the person you’re arguing against, then attack that. Where on Earth did you get the absurd quote, “let’s avoid criticising rapists and focus on women provoking them by walking alone at night”?

    I don’t think you’ll find anybody here criticising women for walking alone at night or wearing skimpy clothes and excusing their rapists. It is typically right-wing conservatives who blame women for being assaulted.

    Also, to link rapes with Muslims in particular is wrong. I think you’ll find that rape isn’t owned by any religious group. It is reprehensible no matter who indulges in it.

  36. Brett

    that’s fantastic Kaye Lee, is there a point to any of it though?

  37. na'wal

    “No-one has the right to threaten violence against another person, no matter how odious their views”

    OH piss off. If Bolt wants to spew hatred & bile, then whatever comes his way he deserves, and he gets no pity from me.

  38. Jan Dobson

    If I were fleeing for my life from power hungry people of any ideology, I hope the rest of the world would be kinder than modern Australia.

    Because I don’t understand the argument against a more charitable response to refugees, I’ve been speaking with (and by this I mean asking questions and listening to) those who hold opposing views. I’ve found that I am not always dealing with nasty people but those with an underlying fear of change, many of whom unquestioningly accept the anti asylum seeker rhetoric as fact. Perhaps the best response would be to ensure that commentators, politicians and protest organisers (on all sides) are required to supply fact checked evidence to support their public arguments.

    Perhaps because I am not confrontational, in fact I don’t attempt to change anyone’s mind, I’ve had some amazing conversations. No one though has offered evidence of the harm that being a multicultural nation will cause.

  39. Miriam English

    I know you’d like everything to be about you, Brett, but I think Kaye was answering someone else. She was pointing out that Muslim refugees are not exploding in number threatening to take over our society. I thought her point about Pauline Hanson was an amusing aside.

  40. Miriam English

    You’re a voice of sanity, Jan. More power to you.

  41. Blurb Richter

    To Kaye Lee regarding the early muslims in Australia; the first ‘islamist’ attack occurred in 1915 by just such early migrants ‘defending their faith’: On January 1, 1915 two Broken Hill men, both former camel drivers, one from Afghanistan, the other from what is now Pakistan, armed themselves with rifles, a homemade flag bearing Islamic insignia and a large supply of ammunition and launched a surprise attack on the Picnic Train about 3 kilometres outside Broken Hill. They left notes explaining that they had to become martyrs – DEFENDING THEIR FAITH and the caliphate (then Turkey’s). Also called ‘The Battle of Broken Hill’, they killed two 17 year olds and wounded seven on the train and shot dead a farmer during their escape. They were tracked down and killed in a gun battle with police.

  42. totaram

    Freethinker: “Just to add a bit more fuel to the fire, Mr Katter said migration should, ideally, be confined to Sikhs, Jews and Middle Eastern Christians.”

    No hope then for christians from Europe or the Americas (north and south), and none whatsoever for buddhists, hindus, animists etc. Presumably Mr. Katter has not heard of them.

  43. Kaye Lee

    I completely disagree na’wal. What Bolt deserves is to be sacked. He deserves to be ignored. He deserves to have his bullshit refuted at every turn. He deserves irrelevance. But I will never condone violence of any description towards anyone. Violence never solves anything at all and it gives some credence to the fear mongers.

    I want this country to be safe for all and I want silly people like Bolt to be exposed and ignored.

  44. na’wal

    How much more exposed can he possibly be FFS? He broadcasts his crap on until recently, free to air television? AND HE GETS PAID FOR IT! He needs to be ignored? ok, you pretend he isnt there, but the reality is, he is! and he is not the only one! right wing nut jobs are everywhere!

    He needs to be slapped sideways around the head with a hefty lump of 4X2 – strung up by his danglies and then sliced with razor blades while being sprinkled in salt.. and then he should consider himself lucky he caught me on a good day.

    A possible alternative, Thunderdome, two men enter, one man leaves.. something I’d pay to watch.. Id even pay to go up against Bolt myself..

    Violence is the only answer, bring back the Biff!

  45. Kaye Lee

    “ok, you pretend he isnt there,”

    What an odd thing to say when I have just written an article criticising the rubbish Bolt writes.

  46. Kaye Lee

    jim,

    The Q Society are nutters – they can best be described as “organised intolerance”. They are the ones that brought Geert Wilders out to add his particular brand of ignorance about all things Australian.

    “DEBBIE ROBINSON, Q SOCIETY DEPUTY PRESIDENT: When something encroaches on our society and we’re asked to change, we’re asked to not have Christmas trees, stop having pork, don’t drink alcohol, when we’re asked to change something, it encroaches on our way of life, and we have a good way of life, then we draw the line at that.”

    What a load of hysterical bullshit

  47. silkworm

    @ Miriam English

    “Looks like he wants a front position on Fox News (or as many have taken to calling it, “Faux News”).”

    That is exactly what he set out to do with his “Bolt Report.” He has modeled this on “The Bill O’Reilly Report.” Lachlan Murdoch, one of the owners of Channel 10, and whose father owns Faux News, was only too happy too oblige.

  48. Michael Taylor

    Blurb, I learned at school that those two blokes were Turks. We were at war with the Turks at the time, you may recall. Unless history has since distorted the events – which is always likely, mind you I’m going from books written 50 years ago – the attack was always considered to be inspired by nationalism, not religion.

  49. Gangey1959

    @KayeLee
    Re your son.
    You mean he succeeded TO spite them.
    Re blot. Fck him.
    No he shouldn’t have to shift his family around in order to keep them safe, but he’s the moron with the mouth.
    I reckon it’s going to be an ugly 6 months until the next election, and he is just the beginning.

  50. jim

    Ok Kaye got your point however IMO all religion should be banned and all churches mosques etc turned into homeless shelters or something else or demolished and you’d have to say islam hasn’t got a very good record.Like all islamic countries still carry out the death sentence funny that , Russia has abolished the death sentence but USA has not, and really how do they expect to stop people making jokes of Mohamad it’s just impossible.and IMO covering up your face with only your eyes showing is just wrong in every sense.

  51. totaram

    Jim: covering up your breasts, the nipples in particular, would be considered very strange in some societies, don’t you know?

    I’m all for taxing religious organisations, who can set up separate wings for charitable work, which will be tax-free like any other charity. But you can’t shut down places of worship. It doesn’t work.

  52. Jan Dobson

    Hi Kaye Lee, I know it may be what you were taught at school but the ‘last of the Aborigines’ doctrine has long been disproved. Tasmania has a thriving Aboriginal community. I do take your point though. We still talk about Australia being ‘discovered’ and forget the atrocities committed against our Indigenous peoples when we speak of Australia’s worst mass killings etc. Old habits really do die hard.

  53. wam

    There are cultural practices that are incorrectly linked to islam by the media.
    Many of these practices denote differences not accepted, even feared, by Australian society. Indeed some are illegal under law but are excused as part of a religion.
    It is impossible for me to listen to religious women and their men declare the belief that their god made women to breed and to ensure that role was dominant, HE set up a fail breedinf system that rendered women unclean and unsuitable for competing with men for any other role.
    I remember reading a pamphlet describing an incident in tasmania who hid up a tree but gave birth and she and the baby were shot for sport. Still when free settlers thought nothing of poisoning flour to eradicate Aborigines like vermin, what could you expect from the dregs of british society?
    Islam is a way of controlled life and, as such. a blight on Australian society. Worse than the christian pollies?
    Debatable but yes.
    Can we do anything? Not without christians risking their faith!!!
    Any chance of that????

  54. Rais

    Kaye, you will have heard about the fire bombing of a car parked outside a mosque in Perth recently. My wife and I were in the mosque at the time and heard the explosion. You might think we wouldn’t feel safe. In the week following the attack four non Muslim strangers said hello to me in the local shopping centre. One said, “G’day mate. All good?” I said, “All good.” He said, “Good on ya mate.” That’s all. But behind it was the wish to say to a Muslim, “We’re not like that.” The Bernardis and Hansons and their ilk are a nasty reality but perhaps it’s better to have them out in the public eye rather than spreading their hatred on the sly. And as I write this we’re still hoping Dr Anne Aly, a Muslim anti terrorism expert, will defeat one of WA’s worst bigots to capture the seat of Cowan.

  55. Rais

    By the way, Bolt is just an entertainer. He says what his audience will like because that’s what pays his salary.

  56. Kaye Lee

    That is encouraging to hear Rais – as was the i’ll ride with you campaign. The vast majority of Australians want to live together in peace regardless of personal beliefs which is why we can’t let people like Hanson and Bolt destroy the harmony and cohesion that we enjoy. I think Anne Aly would make an excellent MP. She’s ahead by 462 overnight.

  57. diannaart

    @Rais

    …as I write this we’re still hoping Dr Anne Aly, a Muslim anti terrorism expert, will defeat one of WA’s worst bigots to capture the seat of Cowan…

    I hope so as well, we cannot fight the hate-mongers with more hate, but we absolutely must have people of reason to counter these (inevitable) bigots.

  58. Carol Taylor

    Although Bolt now likes to portray himself as neutral on the issue of marriage equality, it wasn’t that many years ago that he wrote: “Weaken that glue and we all will pay”. That is, marriage equality was a ‘slippery slope’..as it “opens the door to endless redefinitions of marriage that will turn an important communal custom, freighted by tradition with responsibilities, into little more than highly individualistic arrangements with little moral power”. Bolt mentions as an example, polygamy and Islam and that should gay marriage be legalised then the Iman’s would use this to run a campaign in support of polygamy (why not Evangelical Christians?). This was written by Bolt in 2013.

    Therefore watch this space for Bolt to again use both issues in combination – that gay marriage would ‘weaken’ marriage because of Islam. A win, win for Bolt using racism/Islamophobia as a reason to deny marriage equality.

  59. Carol Taylor

    Kaye Lee, excellent news about Dr Aly. An amazing lady whose presence in Australia’s parliament would be extraordinarily beneficial to our nation.

  60. Harquebus

    “if you were a Muslim Australian, would you feel safe living in a country that elects Pauline Hanson, George Christensen, Cory Bernardi and Peter Dutton while giving Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine and Alan Jones a media platform?”

    I would feel unsafe if it didn’t. Better these people are out in the open where we can see them and argue with them rather than send them underground to whisper and fester in dark places.
    Intolerance is a sign of weakness. Kaye Lee? Tolerating the intolerant makes one stronger.

  61. MichaelW

    Andrew Bolt is a total racist, arrogant, extreme right wing effwit, this man should be banned from ever opening his mouth or touching a keyboard ever again. I know we live in a democracy (well we’ll see) but surely there are limitations to how much bullshit and bile media people (Murdoch) are allowed to spread. This piece of garbage and clowns like him are the cause of a lot of problems in Australia, yet this total nut job seems to thrive on spreading his racist bile, while his fawning fans love him.

  62. Miriam English

    Tolerating the intolerant makes one stronger.

    I wouldn’t be too sure about that. I’ve come to wonder if tolerating intolerance is big mistake. It allows those broken people to spread their illness to other people.

    We should definitely practice maximum tolerance. That’s certain. And you’re correct that intolerance is generally a symptom of a weakness and fragility in a person’s ability to deal with reality, but I’ve come to feel that intolerance of intolerance is a special case. Unlike other forms of intolerance it has a kind of paradox at its core which is like a safety valve and means it is very difficult for it to persist and create problems. Most forms of intolerance (such as racism, for example) have a tendency to become ingrained, last for long periods, and infect other people, but intolerance of intolerance kills itself off as soon as the need for it has gone. It is different. I think it may have potential to protect society against hateful nut jobs like Bolt and Hanson.

    In a disease outbreak we isolate those carrying a disease and cure them. We also inoculate others against that disease. I have come to think intolerance of intolerance does both those jobs. It gives people the ability to stop outbreaks of religious intolerance, racism, sexism, homophobia, and so on, by isolating those who pollute society with hate. And by alerting people to that intolerance it activates something like an immune response so they don’t risk infection themselves.

    Please note I’m not 100% convinced of this, but it seems correct to me. I’m wary of intolerance in any form, but I’ve searched for a long time for some strategy that would defeat those social ills. I’ve come to think intolerance of intolerance is the best way.

  63. diannaart

    We can be tolerant, however that does not mean becoming a doormat for bigotry.

    Calling out reprehensible behaviour is far more effective than silence. This thought bubble that standing up for ourselves in the face of hatred is somehow intolerant is nonsense – even giving it oxygen is giving it unwarranted attention.

    Wisdom is knowing the difference between sincerely meant speech (which may be incorrect) and deliberate conniving hatred.

  64. Miriam English

    Wisdom is knowing the difference between sincerely meant speech (which may be incorrect) and deliberate conniving hatred.

    Wow! Great statement. Goes straight into my quotes folder.

  65. diannaart

    LOL

    As long as you attribute my name, DOB and licence number and that I am ridiculously good looking.

    😉

  66. Kaye Lee

    diannaart,

    We are all ever more beautiful every day. Learning does that to ya 😉

  67. diannaart

    Hopefully we never stop learning.

    😀

  68. Miriam English

    Learning: the greatest fun in the world. And there’s always more. 😀

  69. Kaye Lee

    And you can do it anywhere, anytime – with friends or strangers or even alone.

  70. diannaart

    Sshhhsh Kaye Lee, Cory Bernardi might hear and you know how he is about that learnin’ ‘n all, if it ain’t from the Bible…

  71. Miriam English

    …and it’s like a magic pudding — the more you consume, the more it makes available to be consumed.

    Also, contrary to the economics of scarcity, the more you share it, the more valuable it becomes — a knowledgeable population can learn better and faster and is more capable than an ignorant population.

  72. diannaart

    a knowledgeable population can learn better and faster and is more capable than an ignorant population.

    …and terrifies control freaks…

  73. Kaye Lee

    Lawdy lawdy…..here we are talking about the joy of learning and look what I just read…

    “The sometimes controversial member for Dawson, George Christensen, would be a frontrunner to move from the back bench to parliamentary secretary.”

    Just goes to show where pig ignorance can get you.

  74. diannaart

    Why would Turnbull…. never mind, I have to go hibernate for a century or two.

  75. Rais

    Anne Aly, a Muslim anti terrorism expert, has just claimed victory in the seat of Cowan over anti Muslim bigot and anti halal crusader Luke Simpkins. He hasn’t conceded yet but it looks good for Anne Aly. It’s ironic that Simpkins and Bishop tried to smear her with being soft on terrorists. Apparently the smear increased her support.

  76. Angry Old Man

    @Rais

    Well, thanks for that, it’s good news. And the Schadenfreude keeps on coming.

  77. Angry Old Man

    Actually, I see no shame in delighting over the defeat of right wing tossers. So, there!

  78. Rais

    Ah, my old friend Schadenfreude. Always a welcome guest!

  79. Matters Not

    controversial member for Dawson, George Christensen, would be a frontrunner to move from the back bench to parliamentary secretary

    Yep! And contributors to AIMN will figure in the historical ‘explanation’ as to why George Christensen was re-elected. While Queenslanders are ‘different’, those further north than Brisbane pride themselves on that (pejorative) recognition. Anyone south of, say, Maryborough is a ‘Mexican’. The further north you travel, the ‘thicker’ the belief becomes.

    If you look at the history of Queensland politics, this pride on being ‘different’ stands out. The more the ‘Mexicans’ rail, the more defensive they become. And the stronger they resolve to defend. (Sure he’s an ‘idiot’ but he’s ‘one of us’ and therefore our idiot.)

    I assume that George Christensen was aware of that ‘mentality’ which thrives at both the State and Federal level of politics and was very pleased that the ‘Mexicans’ singled him out for ridicule. He’s now won. While the (more reasonable) Jones character to the North looks like losing.

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