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The Catholic influence on our politicians has been to the great detriment of our education system

In light of the findings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sex Abuse, the worst offender, the Catholic Church, has immediately hunkered down, absolutely refusing to even consider the recommendations that they reconsider some of their canon laws as they have been a contributing factor to the ongoing abuse of children.

They refuse to report child sex abuse revealed to them in the confessional and they will not consider making celibacy optional.

If this institution, which has failed its children so badly, refuses to change, then the government should not be facilitating their hold over our kids’ education.

Historically, public funding of denominational schools had ceased by 1880 after the colonies set up public primary school systems without the involvement of churches.

They decided not to include religious education in public schools because it was too difficult to try and respect everybody’s consciences.

The Protestant churches largely accepted the arrival of state-run public education but the Catholics resisted saying it was impossible to teach common Christianity, that it must be grounded in the Catholic faith, and damning the secular schools as godless.

The Federal government played no role in education funding until Robert Menzies, facing a close election in 1961, suddenly did a backflip.

Dr Helen Proctor, a specialist in educational history, sociology and philosophy at the University of Sydney explains on Radio National.

‘There was a baby boom so there was a huge influx of students and also a hugely increased demand for secondary schooling. Menzies introduced funding for science blocks very suddenly. Having been absolutely opposed to any sort of federal intervention in state schools, suddenly with a close election hanging in the balance, [he] decided that he’d kill a number of birds with one stone.

‘One is that it’s good for the Catholic vote. Another one is that there was a lot of anxiety about the arms race, about science in the post-Sputnik era, about Australia catching up with science, so he did give money to all secondary schools: public, Catholic, independent, for science labs and then funding for libraries.’

Following the report of the Interim Schools Commission headed by Peter Karmel, Gough Whitlam ramped up federal funding to both government and non-government schools in order to remedy the terrible state of Australian education.

With funding based on need, most of it went to government schools, but a lot also went to poor Catholic schools. In the process, and throughout the following Fraser years, a system evolved whereby federal governments had a responsibility for non-government schools, and state governments for government schools.

In 1986, the Hawke government brought in the New Schools Policy to stop new private schools setting up in places where there wasn’t a demonstrated demographic need. When this policy was overturned by the Howard government in 1996, it allowed for the creation of many more small private schools.

‘Once the New Schools Policy was removed, that made it possible to have a proliferation of private schools in a district without paying too much attention to what educational resources were already available in a local area,’ explains Professor Maddox. ‘That opened the way for the situation that we have now, with a lot of what you might call boutique religious schools catering to different, quite specific religious groups with specific enrolment requirements about having to belong to or subscribe to a particular theological position, and also requiring teachers to sign up to lifestyle agreements and adhere to particular theological positions.’

‘When the funding arrangements are readjusted, what we’ve seen is that in every recalibration of school funding there is this impression that it’s too politically dangerous to even talk about reducing the amount of federal money that goes to private schools, however wealthy they may be in terms of assets that they’ve amassed over the years, or however well-funded they might already be through fees or investments. At the same time, allocations to public schools—even very underfunded public schools—haven’t increased at a comparable rate.’

During the post-war period, religious instruction, in the form of scripture lessons given by volunteers with denominational affiliations, began to be offered in public schools. All the states except Queensland, after conducting inquiries, concluded that denominational religious instruction should be either replaced with or, in the case of NSW, supplemented by general religious education, meaning education about religions taught as an academic subject by the classroom teacher but this was resisted by conservative Christian groups

In 2006, Howard introduced funding for the school chaplains program allowing any school, public or private, primary or secondary, to offer up to $20,000 a year for a chaplain, who would be employed to offer ‘spiritual comfort’ to staff and students.  They had to be endorsed by a religious organisation of some sort.

In 2012, the Gillard government expanded the national school chaplaincy program both in terms of funding and numbers of chaplains, but also in scope, allowing schools to employ secular welfare workers not affiliated with religious organisations.

In 2014, the Abbott government changed the rules back, making it once again only available to religious personnel.

Abbott gave two men a few months to review the National Curriculum which had been devised over several years from tens of thousands of submissions from experts and stakeholders.  The reviewers decided we needed more emphasis on our Judeo-Christian heritage.

Cardinal Pell told him to get rid of the national charity regulator, something Abbott tried unsuccessfully to do, because the Catholic Church didn’t want anyone looking into their finances.

The churches are now fighting for their right to reject marriage equality and any mention of it in their schools despite it being the law of the land.

Our country is becoming increasingly non-religious, as shown by last year’s census, yet religion’s hold over education is expanding.  Religious schools demand more federal funding at the expense of public schools who serve the vast majority of disadvantaged students.

Trainee teachers spend four years at university, part funded by the federal government and part by racking up a sizable personal debt.  The churches then have access to these trained staff, further depleting the public system.

Australia has one of the largest non-government school sectors in the OECD with below average spending on public schooling.  Our most disadvantaged children get the least well-funded education.

The idea that some Catholic schools are poor is ridiculous.  Perhaps they exist where there is no need for another school.  Besides which, the church has plenty of money to keep them open if required.

It was revealed to the royal commission in 2014 that the Sydney Catholic archdiocese alone had property and cash worth $1.24 billion that were ultimately controlled by the archbishop.  Surpluses (from $7.7 million to $44 million between 2004 and 2007) are exempt from income and capital gains tax and are reinvested to allow the church to do “good works”.   Assets such as schools and nursing homes are not included in the archdiocese accounts.

Sydney Archdiocese business manager Danny Casey said the archdiocese had grown its assets by 86 per cent in the 13 years since 2001, which is when Cardinal George Pell became archbishop.

Considering their track record of abuse and cover-up, their aversion to oversight, their intransigence to change, and their enormous wealth, I can see no reason to continue public funding for Catholic, or any other, religious schools.

Our ancestors recognised how inappropriate religious instruction in state schools was and how financial resources should be devoted to an education system available to all.  If the church wants to provide an exclusive alternative, then they can fund it themselves charging whatever they feel appropriate.

My father, a public school teacher, always said “We build a public transport system.  If you would rather use a car, buy it yourself.”


95 comments

  1. Richard Knowles

    Importantly, if the churches – and other institutions – fail to get their own houses in order, the Australian governments should legislate accordingly: e.g., imposing duties and obligations on church staff to report suspected child abuse, despite confessional rules. We do have a constitution separating the church from the State, with the State in overall charge, when it comes to protecting the vulnerable.

  2. Shutterbug

    Any person who knowingly keeps quiet about child abuse is complicit in that abuse and MUST face the law regarding same. It’s time to get heavy with the catholic church and their abhorrent treatment of children, and to that end I totally reject ANY tax payer money going to their foetid cabal of secrecy.
    ANY politician who caves in under this foul attitude is also complicit and must also face the full force of the law.

  3. Wam

    How can anyone contemplate a god who will not only watch child abuse without interferring but will forgive the abusers.
    We drive darwin to yarrawonga two or three times a year. When gillard gave the stimulus the catholics built 3 or 4 schools in darwin and hundreds of schools Australia wide. Many in the small towns of victoria and south Australia.
    As for the micks in cabinet pig iron bob had none but now all the top boys bar the sonofasmallcar are private catholic school graduates(shorten, the rabbott and the pynenut jesuit trained boys)

    Religious freedom cannot be
    When faith is set on mother’s knee
    Religious freedom is but a lie
    To make our thoughts just pass by
    Religious freedom we hear them implore on
    But shit it’s just an oxymoron.

  4. Al Ol observer

    Nice work, Wam. Where is the non-sophism, and impartiality, as required?

  5. etnorb

    Of course ALL “private” schools etc should not get ANY Government funding. If these schools want to exist then they should be funded out of their respective (wealthy) churches. As for the Catholic Church, if it will not allow priests to have any “normal” sexual relations, then they should just shut up & face ALL the consequences that they they deserve for ALL the children they have sexually molested etc over the last 100 years or so. ALL the cover ups etc that this bloody mob try to do to “silence” any criticism etc re child sexual abuse should be exposed for all to see, & all those priests etc responsible MUST be brought before a court of law & face the consequences! I also think their is absolutely no “need” for ANY religious “instruction” or whatever in ANY Public school. If you want your kids to be indoctrinated etc then send them to a church based school.

  6. peter mccarthy

    Excellent coverage of the history, Kaye Lee.

    The only good news I can see at the moment is the Catholic Church is completely undoing their push for discrimination in their favor. The noise stirred up by their immoral behavior should make it impossible for them to bend the rules. BUT. It’s going to be important to keep an eye on our pollies who still seem to be living in the past.

  7. Jillian

    In 1998 Senator Bill Heffernan gave a speech (excerpt below). Apparently, apart from a brief mention on a radio station, the speech has not been reported in the media.
    “Recently I made a speech in which I highlighted the code of silence which protects worldwide child sex networks including people in the judiciary, parliament, clergy and the public service.”
    http://www.theyfly.com/articles/gaia/vic.qldopp29.7.03.htm

    After reading some victim statements on the weekend I found the following – google Dr Reina Michaelson (Child Sexual Abuse Prevention Program), Gerald Oanasis and Network X, then ask the question – How many media celebrities today knew what was happening and are still saying nothing? I doubt if they will ever investigate themselves. The same goes for the politicians.

    As far as funding church schools goes – Stop doing it.

  8. Ross

    We need laws protecting the public from religion not laws protecting religion from the public.

  9. PeteP

    I would be inclined to give ALL religious denominations just one simple choice – they either start paying tax or get their school funding but they cannot have both. With them paying no taxes their school funding is already paid for, by the taxpayer, so why on earth should we be paying twice. There is probably also a case to say why DO they pay no taxes, and why do we even fund their schools???

  10. townsvilleblog

    Richard Knowles, you can bet your boots that they will have close allies in the legal profession who will try every trick in the book to keep Pell out of prison, as as for the more than 2,500 people referred to police, I hope they rot in gaol, and if the argument is raised where will all the money come from to keep them behind bars, the easy answer is to make the multibillion dollar multinational corporations pay a fair share of their income in income tax, inmstead of the current, not a red cent in tax.

  11. Kaye Lee

    Religions are not required to lodge any financial records.

    Church schools, together with their private hospitals, aged care facilities, and a raft of commercial businesses from wineries to insurance companies and to turf-laying firms earn significant profit for the churches.

    In 2004, the Rationalist Society of Australia commissioned the Victoria University Graduate School of Business to investigate religious tax privileges.

    It found the Catholic Church in Australia (alone) owned an estimated $100 billion in property and assess, and based on conservative figures, it escaped annual taxes of around $2.6 billion — and that was 13 years ago.

    In 2008, the Secular Party of Australia made a submission to the federal government’s Review of Australia’s Future Tax System, in October of that year. They found that more than $20 billion in taxes remained uncollected from the nation’s religious organisations by state and federal governments.

    Even the Parliamentary Budget Office, prior to the 2016 budget, found savings of $500 million annually — simply by scrapping fringe benefits tax for religious employees, and dumping the Chaplaincy Program.

    https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/rendezview/its-time-for-the-churches-to-start-paying-tax/news-story/2a96bc23043ffbbbb0327b64f8350802

  12. eefteeuu

    How is it that Australians, in general oppose sharia law over-riding australian law, ( rightly so I might add ), yet canon law dictated from Rome does, with little comment from anyone ?

  13. babyjewels10

    etnorb, I think you’ll find whether or not absence of “normal” sexual relations exists, wouldn’t make any difference, because it’s children they want, not women. They are pedophiles and criminals, and don’t want “normal” sexual relations.

  14. Robert REYNOLDS

    A nicely researched and well argued piece, Kaye. I agree with your final conclusions emphatically. I think your dad had the situation summed up well too.

  15. Robert REYNOLDS

    eefteeuu, in response to your short post I would simply say that from my anecdotal experience many, perhaps most people in this country would be opposed to both sharia law and canon law dictated from Rome. Both of these nefarious influences should be resisted strenuously.

  16. Harquebus

    Targeting only certain aspects of religions, this article targeting one of one, is not enough. Religion must be denounced and practitioners ridiculed and shamed into apostasy. It is the brainwashing of children, another form of child abuse, that perpetuates the deity myth and that must be stopped.

  17. Ricardo29

    How many Catholics are in Australia’s governments (federal and state) and how many advisors have staunch religious affiliations. Don’t expect any serious change to funding of religious or private schools while these influences persist as widely as they do. One could also ask whether allegiance to a religion is as dangerous as the effects of Section 44 on so many of our pollies?

  18. DrakeN

    Richardo29 says:

    “One could also ask whether allegiance to a religion is as dangerous as the effects of Section 44 on so many of our pollies?”

    I am of the opinion that it is far more dangerous to the wellbeing of a nation.

    The primary problem is that of “faith” in the dogmas inculcated into young minds before they have reached the degree of maturity neccessary to analyse the (mis)information presented.

    “Give me the child for the first seven years of his life, and I will give you the man.”

    That which embedded into the psyche in early life is rarely questioned and considered in the light of later knowledge.

    A few of us escape the clutches of our early indoctrination, but we are indeed few.

    The history of religions is replete with the evil doings, power play, violence and greed for which most ‘churches’ were founded.
    On deep analysis there is little which can be said to have been of benefit to the ordinary person as opposed to the gains enjoyed by those within such establishments.

    “Love thy neighbour as thyself” is generally an abhorrence to those in authority.

  19. Kaye Lee

    It is also the connections they form through church. I know plenty of real estate agents and solicitors who go to Mass purely to cultivate future clients, not to mention the old school tie network.

    Meanwhile, in the last census, 39% of those aged 18 to 34 reported no religious affiliation – 30% of the population overall did likewise. Catholics were only 23%. Remember how we are supposed to listen to and respect the 38% of Australians who chose to vote against marriage equality? Should the elderly impose their beliefs on coming generations?

  20. Jack Russell

    Religion has had millenia to prove its worth for the common good. It hasn’t. Clearly it’s been quite the opposite. It’s time to force it out of public life … beginning with our kids, then progressively, from everywhere. At the very least, find a way to make it a silent, unshared, privately-held, embrarrassing delusion for the weak-minded … ?

  21. Glenn Barry

    It’s curious that the debate has already been corralled into whether or not canon law should be subordinate to the law of the nation.

    I would tender that given the decades of atrocious criminal behaviour by these religious institutions the debate should be turning towards their pending criminal and financial punishment prior to their complete abolition and prohibition.

    Funding them as educational institutions should not even be a consideration

  22. Andrew J. Smith

    It’s also odd how many Australian LNP Catholics echo or directly promote the same white nativist conservative Christian cultural issues or obsessions that have taken over the GOP, NRA, Fox et al., Tea Party and alt right; mostly protestant paranoic and prosperity evangelism (eg. like Hillsong or Falwell et al.).

    Former NYT journo and theologian Chris Hedges describes it as absolutely ‘unethical’, purposely divisive and influenced directly by cough, cough… 1930s Christianity as practised in Nazi Germany. The same god botherers deemed Bill Clinton et al. as lacking ethics for office of president, according to clear majority of them to be of utmost importance, but with Trump not an issue; ‘whatever it takes’?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_Fascists:_The_Christian_Right_and_the_War_on_America

  23. Kaye Lee

    One thing that still flabbergasts me…..

    In October 2010, the Senate’s Environment and Communications Legislation Committee agreed to table a letter from Cardinal Pell which quoted heavily from Ian Plimer’s book Heaven and Earth to claim there were “good reasons for doubting that carbon dioxide causes warmer temperatures”.

    Director of Australia’s Bureau of Meteorology Dr Greg Ayers said “At one stage [Cardinal Pell] lists greenhouse gases. Included in the list is the gas nitrogen. That is not a greenhouse gas; it is 78 per cent of the atmosphere. You cannot have people out there telling the public that nitrogen is a greenhouse gas, because it is not.”

    Why on earth is Pell, who has studied nothing other than theology, giving advice to our government, and giving lectures on the speaking tour, about climate change?

  24. Matters Not

    I understand that a significant section of the populace want their offspring to have a religious education (loosely defined). Likewise, some parents want their kids to be great soccer players, others desire that some be great ballerinas, gymnasts, circus clowns or whatever. Parents have that right – up to a point.

    Nevertheless, I don’t believe that such activities should be part of the common school curriculum. Such activities, if desired, should be undertaken in out-of-school hours.

    We need to define the purpose of schooling in a secular democracy.

  25. Matters Not

    Re:

    Religions are not required to lodge any financial records

    Go further. Private schools (including religious schools) are not subject to Freedom of Information (FOI) requests even though these institutions receive massive government funding. While public schools have to reveal their dirty washing when the MSM comes ‘a calling’ with evil intent (as they do from time to time), private schools can simply put up the shutters. So while public schools must reveal their record of suspensions, exclusions and the like (with reasons for same) the private sector is exempt. No transparency. And at so many levels. No enrollment audits etc etc.

    (One of the quirks of FOI is that any authority must only reveal information that has already been generated. Thus there is a reluctance to collect data no matter how useful it might be. Not a good outcome for public administration and policy development in particular)

  26. Robert REYNOLDS

    Just curious Matters Not, in reference to your post at 9:27 pm, do those controls/regulations that you so strongly advocate for private schools also extend to schools run by “The Religion of Peace”? Or do they receive the usual special dispensation which you have, time and again, afforded them?

  27. Matters Not

    Robert Reynolds – Make no mistake, I am an atheist. If I had my way, there would be no religious schools that received public funding. In fact I oppose the existence of private schools in general whether they be religious or otherwise – including Islamic.

    But to keep panicking about Islam – seems to me – to be a massive overstatement of the problem. For example, I entertain the notion the US evangelism might be a greater threat to our immediate future than Islamic fundamentalism. What say you?

    I have lots of problems with religion in general but I try not to focus on certain branches of Islam. Perhaps a bit of ‘balance’?

  28. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hello Matters Not. Thank you for your reply.

    The views that you express in the first paragraph of your post yesterday at 10:15 pm comport exactly with those that I hold. In that regard we are as one.

    I simply think that you, along with many others on some parts of the left, grossly underestimate the existential threat that Islam poses, in the long term, not just to Australia or America or Europe but to the very fabric of Western Civilization. There are many from a branch or section (call is what you like) of the ‘left’ that seem to fail to realize this. So, far so good. I can cope with those who share a different view as long as we can discuss our differences in a calm and civilized manner. I know deeply religious people, and people from the right of politics, with whom I can do just that. It is when I am accused of ‘jumping at shadows’ or ‘panicking’ about something such as Islam that I usually somehow switch to a different mode in the discussion. What particularly, ‘gets up my nose’ is not only what is said, but the way that it is said. Those accusations such as ‘jumping at shadows’, etc. are made in a way that sounds as though those making them are absolutely superior and because you express concerns about, or dare to criticize Islam, that you are some kind of ill-informed, ignorant, bigoted, moron. I used to get a lot of that from one particularly strident interlocutor at The Conversation before I was blocked from that site. I should add in passing, that my ‘discussion style’ was no different there at The Conversation to what it is here at AIM. I think that I can generally ‘match-it’ with those people but I would rather use a different approach. When we resort to abuse it rarely ever causes people to change their minds; in fact it usually only hardens attitudes. I will readily acknowledge that some of my posts have been fairly savage at times too. But at the end of the day it does not get us very far in terms of persuading our interlocutors to see things differently.

    Matters Not, I also very much share your view about the real threat posed by US evangelism. Make no mistake about that. They not only poison the minds of the vulnerable with their religious fantasies, but play a role in stirring up trouble in the ‘train wreck’ that is Middle Eastern politics. There is a Wiki page on Christian terrorism.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_terrorism

    Thankfully though, the cancer of Christian evangelism is not spreading at the same rate as that of Islam.

    But more importantly, and of more immediate concern, it is not because of Christian fundamentalists that we, in the west, are subjected to unprecedented searches at public venues and airports, we have bollards, along with security cameras and sirens, placed strategically around public thoroughfares in our cities. In addition to all that we are now going to witness the spectacle of paramilitary police carrying sub-machine guns around our cities, as has been occurring in Europe for some time now, for exactly the same reason. I find explanations for these developments along the lines of, “it is only happening to distract the masses from economic exploitation or other forms of repression” as risible and certainly not to be taken seriously.

    I also find it most curious how, to put it bluntly, that as far as the Catholic Church is concerned, it is ‘open season’. Yet when it comes to Islam, any form of questioning of this religion seems of be ‘off limits’, let alone, heaven forbid, any sort of criticism. Under no circumstances will I be complicit in that type of blatant hypocrisy and foolishness, Matters Not.

    The deniers who inhabit that part of the left that I previously alluded to, will use any excuse at all in an effort to explain all this away and to in fact, blame the west for it all. I know as I write this Matters Not, that I am slipping into some very complicated territory. I am very aware that the west has stirred up trouble in the Middle East for probably centuries but that is no excuse for terrorist attacks. The invasion of Iraq was unforgivable and rated alongside that other American foreign policy catastrophe, the Vietnam War.

    I also know too Matters Not, that the west, and especially those parts of it that are now operating under the neo-liberal economic model, are far from perfect. I know all that and I try to do my best to campaign against it. When I do that I am generally not accused of ‘jumping at shadows’ or ‘panicking’, etc. but yet, when I try to argue against what I see as a rising tide of religious belief that I believe is utterly incompatible with a modern society, then I am pilloried by this section of the ‘left’.

    I will leave it at that Matters Not. I hope that I am making sense. I felt that your latest post was framed in a more conciliatory way and I have sought to respond in a like manner. At the end of the day Matters Not, it seems that we have much more in common than we have differences.

    Best regards,

    Rob

  29. Kaye Lee

    Actually, in Australia, Hinduism had the most significant growth between 2006 and 2016 of religions, but it was far outweighed by the growth in those reporting no religion from 19 per cent in 2006 to 30 per cent in 2016 – an even higher 39% of young adults aged 18-34.

    In the 2016 census, our 10 most common ancestries were:

    • English (36.1%)
    • Australian (33.5%)
    • Irish (11.0%)
    • Scottish (9.3%)
    • Chinese (5.6%)
    • Italian (4.6%)
    • German (4.5%)
    • Indian (2.8%)
    • Greek (1.8%)
    • Dutch (1.6%).

    Of those people born overseas who reported a religion other than Christianity, 31% were Buddhist, 28% were Islamic, 27% were Hindu, 7.6% were Sikh and 3.2% were Jewish.

    more than one-quarter (26%) of all overseas-born Muslims came from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

    While those of us born overseas were less likely to report having no religion than our Australian-born population (27% compared with 34%), it was still the second most common response after Christianity. This compares to 20% in 2011 and 17% in 2006.

    I do not believe we are becoming more religious and if we stopped funding religious schools the evolution would happen even more quickly. Most of our teachers do a good job of making children think and ask questions if not constrained by religious doctrine.

    People do not come here seeking a fundamentalist religious state. Many of them are fleeing exactly that. Oh and our bombs and guns of course.

  30. Kaye Lee

    My real problem with your opinion Robert, is that you want us to be afraid of Muslims. I have real trouble being afraid of the family whose son played cricket with my son – we spent every weekend during the summer together. I have real trouble being afraid of my electrician who has been a huge help to me for many years. I have trouble being afraid of the girls I taught at Birrong. I have trouble being afraid of Waleed Aly, Ed Husic, Sam Dastyari, and Anne Aly.

    They are just people and to try to make everyone suspicious of them because of the acts of a few criminals overseas is terribly wrong and has very bad consequences. If you isolate and vilify and discriminate against a group of people it leads to resentment.

    I would also point out that our intelligence agencies have consistently praised the Australian Muslim community for being instrumental in keeping us safe from the problems that some other countries have experienced.

    If we cherish our youth of all stripes, if we educate them properly and teach them to be critical thinkers, if we protect their freedom and provide a safe and healthy environment for them to grow, then we have a far better chance of maintaining social harmony and religion retreating even further from mainstream life.

  31. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Kaye,

    Thank you for you reply. I would like to respond to your post by saying that I do not want anyone to be ‘afraid’ of Muslims, any more than I want them to be ‘afraid’ of Catholics or Jews, etc. I remember that you have alluded to the Muslim family whose son plays cricket with your son. A totally harmless situation, no doubt. The same thing applies, I am sure to the other Muslims who you mention.

    I have also mentioned in previous posts that a couple of years ago I enrolled in some Year 11 and then Year 12 classes to ‘brush-up’ on my maths and physics. To me this is a hobby and an interest. I enjoy it. At the particular institution where I enrolled, there were many Muslims. I became quite friendly with a number of them. There was one particular young woman who I got along quite well with. She was a genial and affable person who was happy to shake my hand as a friendly gesture. This young woman was not even in any of my classes. We discussed life in general and because of my previous teaching experience I was delighted to assist her with the work in any way that I could. I was also happy to help others as well when this was possible. I will admit though that it used to annoy me a little when some of the Muslim students would arrive late to class after lunch thereby causing a small, but in my mind, totally unnecessary disruption, because they had been at ‘prayer’.

    After NBN was installed at my home I had some major problems. In the end, after sending a letter to Mitch Fifield, a very competent (Muslim) technician came out and fixed the problem. My wife and I gave him a hot drink and something to eat while making much friendly conversation.

    At the risk of laboring the point, (don’t worry Kaye, I know that that is my of my shortcomings), let me say that in my younger days I had the same view on religion that I do now, but that did not stop me from going out with a few Catholic girls. There was a Jewish girl that I recall seeing a few times and a number of Protestant girls too. Believe me religion was not the main thing on my mind. But in no sense was I wanting everyone to be ‘afraid’ of Jews of Christians. I also used to mention, in the nicest way possible of course, what I thought about religion.

    I simply see any practicing follower of a proselytizing religion as having aims that are inimical to my own, which are secular. Because I have had close relationships and friendships with religious people who I have genuinely liked and respected does not in any way mean that I was lulled into a false sense of security in regard to the religious bodies that had poisoned the minds of these people.

    I am sure Kaye that you will recall the influence that the the Groupers, later to become the National Civic Council and the Democratic Labor Party had in Federal Parliament. The we had the lone wolf operator, Senator Brian Harradine who was responsible for promoting the Catholic agenda in Parliament.

    More recently, the influence of the Muslim vote in connection with the marriage equality survey was very evident.

    I will have to leave it there at the moment, Kaye.

    My approach is yes, sure Kaye, be friendly and sociable with Muslims and Christians and anyone else who want to be friendly, but never, ever lose sight of what the religious institutions that those people support, want to achieve.

    Cheers,

    Rob

  32. Glenn Barry

    @Robert Reynolds – your assignment of importance/urgency/threat to everything Islamic, whilst dismissing all other fundamentalist religions as not of immediate concern or threat is completely distorted and really does smack of propaganda.

    Be aware of the difference between providing reasons to support a reasoned conclusion, and justifying beliefs by making unreasonable statements.
    Your argumentation comes off as anything but reasonable.

    Islam is but one of three main branches of Abrahamic religions – all three pose credible existential threats

  33. helvityni

    I’m an atheist, and see no point in religious schools….

    Leave all that for after hours activities, and start teaching some foreign languages instead, they are sadly lacking in Aussie schools…

  34. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Kaye,
    Perhaps I should begin with an apology for not addressing completely the issues that you raised in your earlier post at 9:47 am this morning. Unfortunately I needed to attend to some personal matters which could not be put off when I was framing my response at 10:58 am. The last thing that I want you to think is that I do not read your posts carefully and do not give proper consideration to their contents before replying. In addition to that, it is only common courtesy that I should respond to issues that you take the trouble to raise.

    Your comment that,

    “If you isolate and vilify and discriminate against a group of people it leads to resentment.”

    is interesting in that yes, I do most often, talk in general terms about ‘Muslims’ and ‘Islam’, a fact that some people pick up in a flash and then, as Glenn Barry at 11:50 am does, accuse me of “making unreasonable statements” and “propaganda”.

    Perhaps Kaye, if I emphasized that the problems associated with the “Religion of Peace” are only due to “a few bad apples”, then things might be different. Although, for a start, that would make me sound a little like a banking executive at a press conference trying to excuse the disgraceful behavior of banking staff. But, more relevant to the present discussion, I notice that when the topic is on the Catholic Church and the despicable behavior of some of its priests, or as in this case, the influence of the Catholic Church in politics and education, no-one seems to see a need to confine this to “a few bad apples” in the Church. It is ‘open season’. I see this as, well let’s just say Kaye, ‘a little inconsistent’. I am very sure that you are getting my point.

    I strongly believe that the sentiments which you express in the last paragraph of your post closely reflect my feelings. As I have maintained all along, the best way to fight all religions is to organize society so that top priority is given to achieving goals such as full employment, reducing the gap between rich and poor, and the free availability of good quality health care and education. Gender equality is another most important goal. The establishment of racial or religious ghettos in our society should also be discouraged.

  35. Robert REYNOLDS

    Glenn Barry, thank you for your response at 11:50 am this morning. You have made a few comments that I really am having a great deal of trouble understanding. Perhaps you might be so kind as to clarify those for me, as I am quite confused.

    Firstly, you claim,

    “ – your assignment of importance/urgency/threat to everything Islamic, whilst dismissing all other fundamentalist religions as not of immediate concern or threat is completely distorted and really does smack of propaganda.”

    I have no idea what causes you to come to this conclusion? For instance, which comments in particular constitute ‘propaganda’ and who stands to benefit from this ‘propaganda’ that I am allegedly responsible for? I am really interested.

    Secondly, in your second paragraph you imply that I am unable to distinguish between

    “…..providing reasons to support a reasoned conclusion, and justifying beliefs by making unreasonable statements.”

    I am particularly concerned to learn just where my,

    “…… argumentation comes off as anything but reasonable.”

    Thirdly, in response to your final paragraph/sentence,

    “Islam is but one of three main branches of Abrahamic religions – all three pose credible existential threats”

    I would simply repeat the comment that I made in my post at 7:57 am this morning, and that is,

    “But more importantly, and of more immediate concern, it is not because of Christian fundamentalists that we, in the west, are subjected to unprecedented searches at public venues and airports, we have bollards, along with security cameras and sirens, placed strategically around public thoroughfares in our cities. In addition to all that we are now going to witness the spectacle of paramilitary police carrying sub-machine guns around our cities, as has been occurring in Europe for some time now, for exactly the same reason.”

    I will not argue with your conclusion that Abrahamic religions pose credible threats but Glenn it seems, as indicated in the penultimate paragraph of this post, that the threats posed by these religions are not all of the same magnitude.

    I look forward to receiving your explanations.

  36. Kaye Lee

    I tend to talk about what is happening in Australia. I have seen absolutely no influence on our politicians by Muslim clerics. I have not seen any policies brought about because Muslims wanted them. “I am very sure that you are getting my point.”

    I do not want to fight religions. I want people to make their own decisions. But I do not think it should be part of our schools and I think funding should go to the state schools that accept all children including the disadvantaged. That would make them far better equipped to cater to every individual student’s needs.

    As for the hysterical over response by our security forces, that is just Peter Dutton empire building. As you are no doubt aware, terrorism here is negligible. You are much more likely to be killed if you associate with John Ibrahim than by a terrorist act.

  37. Kaye Lee

    “who stands to benefit from this ‘propaganda”

    From 2011…..

    “shadow ministers were asked to bring three ideas for issues on which the Coalition should concentrate its political attack during this parliamentary term. The opposition immigration spokesman, Scott Morrison, urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the electorate’s growing concerns about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate.”

    http://www.smh.com.au/national/morrison-sees-votes-in-antimuslim-strategy-20110216-1awmo.html

    or 2007……

    “The Lindsay pamphlet scandal was an Australian electoral scandal in which Liberal Party volunteers distributed fake election pamphlets, claiming to be from an Islamic organisation that was later found not to exist, that claimed the Labor Party candidate would support clemency for convicted terrorists and the construction of a mosque in the local area.

    The retiring Liberal member of parliament representing the federal Division of Lindsay, Jackie Kelly, was forced to explain why her husband, local orthodontist Gary Clark, was caught distributing the pamphlets with four other people. The pamphlets, claiming to be from “The Islamic Australia Federation”, thanked the Australian Labor Party (ALP) for supporting terrorists involved with the 2002 Bali bombings.”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lindsay_pamphlet_scandal

    Or Peter Dutton’s promotion to supreme warlord despite having been a total failure at everything except whipping up fear. Likewise Pauline Hanson.

    I could go on but “I am very sure that you are getting my point.”

  38. Matters Not

    RR been out and about – school holidays means child minding. Sorry if my choice of words were over the top.

    Re:

    am very aware that the west has stirred up trouble in the Middle East for probably centuries but that is no excuse for terrorist attacks.

    Really liked the bit about no excuse for terrorist attacks. It resonates. No time for terrorism. Yet that’s exactly what the West has prosecuted in the Middle East (and elsewhere) for decades. Straight out TERRORISM. Much, much more than stirred up trouble. (Give me a break). It was and is TERRORISM plain and simple and it’s been executed from afar (not face to face) day and night. Relentless terrorism. Hundreds of thousands of innocents have been annihilated. Then there’s the children …

    Put yourself in the position of Muslims around the world but particularly in the Middle East. Take the Sykes–Picot Agreement as a starting point. Muslims have been treated as vermin – without basic human rights – and when they respond with violence (of a much lesser nature) people wonder why.

    I don’t! My wonder is why there’s not a whole lot more. As You Sow So Shall You Reap. I expect there’s more to come – If I was treated the way they have been treated … I wouldn’t forget I would probably want to stir up a whole lot of trouble. And it would last for years and years.

  39. silkworm

    The Keri Phillips article that was linked to was fairly good, but neglected to identify the real cause of State Aid to Catholic schools by the Menzies government in 1963. That was preceded in 1962 by the Goulburn school strike, in which the Catholic church closed their schools and encouraged thousands of Catholic children to roll up to public schools, all because the state of New South Wales would not fund a toilet block at a Catholic school in Goulburn. The state was forced to fund that toilet block in order to save the public school system from the threatened influx of children. Essentially, the Catholic church had blackmailed the state. The tactic was so successful that B. A. Santamaria used blackmail again in 1967 against the state of Victoria. The Catholic church have had their hands on the public purse strings ever since.

  40. Kaye Lee

    Very interesting silkworm. Just read up on the Goulburn strike. A flash point with ongoing repercussions.

  41. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thanks Kaye,

    In response to your post at 5:14 pm please let me say that I certainly do, very much get your point. You begin the post by saying,

    “I tend to talk about what is happening in Australia. I have seen absolutely no influence on our politicians by Muslim clerics.”

    This affords me the opportunity to inform you about just a few of the attempts that those in the Muslim community have made to influence Australian politics and not as individuals mind you, but to push their religious agenda. If the Catholic Church sought to do this in the same blatant way it would (rightly) bring the house down at the AIM network.

    See article entitled “Grand Mufti threatened Labor over Israel ‘bias’” from the Financial Review dated September 26, 2013, at,

    http://www.afr.com/news/grand-mufti-threatened-labor-over-israel-bias-20130925-j0d67

    I was particularly taken with this paragraph from the above-mentioned article,

    “He (ALP identity and businessman Michael Easson) likened the Mufti’s political adviser to the Islamic equivalent of BA Santamaria channelling Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix, giving direction on the minutiae of local politics.”

    Next Kaye, you might like to have a look at this article from The Australian of October 28th 2006, entitled “Keating stopped sheik’s expulsion”. Inter alia, it will remind of the infamous words of sheik Taj In al-Halali. Do you remember? He is quoted in this article as saying,

    “”The two cheapest things in Australia are the flesh of a woman and the meat of a pig,””

    Now there is a really progressive attitude for you. If a non-Muslim man was to say this he would rightly be rebuked scathingly and pilloried remorselessly. But when a Muslim cleric says this, then some of those on the left have all sorts of excuses and alibis to offer. The hypocrisy Kaye, literally takes your breath away.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/keating-stopped-sheiks-expulsion/news-story/f8d5651bf34e14425dcebac434a82435?sv=9f1554c90b3cf1a287998fc14633793b

    (You can remove the ‘subscribe’ box by clicking to close it.)

    I invite you to read this article and learn why Keating did this. I will give you a clue. Keating’s decision was in response to lobbying by the Muslim community. As you would be aware, there are many seats in the Western Sydney area that have large Muslim populations. This gives them considerable political weight to throw around. (Keep in mind this is what they are capable of achieving with only 2.6% or so of the population.)

    I would observe in passing here too, that this is yet another example of a politician ‘selling out their ‘principles’ (from my observations that is something that very few of them have.) for votes, in the same way that the archetypal capitalist will do the same for profit.

    The dates of these two references will also reinforce the fact that Islamic influence in Australian politics is not a recent phenomenon.

    Oh, and before I get off the topic, let’s not forget where the highest ‘NO’ votes were recorded in the recent ‘Marriage Equality Survey’. There was a strong statistical correlation between the numbers of Muslims in those Western Sydney electorates and the size of the ‘NO’ vote.

    As far as the question of school funding is concerned, I strongly believe that we should be working towards phasing out all, and I mean all, funding for all non-government schools. It is important to retain the notion of a “free, compulsory and secular” education sector.

    I disagree with you when you call the response of the security forces ‘hysterical’. I put myself in the position of someone responsible for security and preventing terrorist attacks and I can tell you Kaye, what Peter Dutton is doing would only be the beginning for me. I know that you seem to take little, or no interest, in what happens overseas but if you did you would be quite concerned. You simply cannot ignore what is occurring overseas and imagine that we exist in some sort of ‘bubble’ here. I can assure you Kaye that we, here in Australia are far from the only country that has a need for bollards, security searches at public venues. security cameras, loud-speakers installed for the purposes of broadcasting warnings of terrorist attacks and para-military and military police getting around armed with automatic weapons. Surely Kaye all of these governments cannot be doing this to ‘build empires’ and to frighten the population?

    Now Kaye, a quick (I hope) word in response to your 6:16 pm post.
    Kaye, I do not think that Scott Morrison or Peter Dutton pay too much attention to what I say. I would add that like many Australians, I am very concerned about “Muslim immigration”, “Muslims in Australia” and the “inability” of Muslim migrants to integrate. Unfortunately I do not think that enough people are concerned about these issues.

    If anything concerns me about Scott Morrison’s comment it is the fact that he wants cabinet to “capitalize” on the fact. This is the sort of cynical and self-serving approach that I would expect from this individual. Morrison’s approach seems to be, never mind the seriousness of the concerns, let’s just ‘milk it’ for what we can get out of it. It reminds me of the Petrov affair. The Liberals have form when it comes to this sort of thing.

    As far as those fake pamphlets were concerned, believe me, I deplore that as much as you do. That sort of thing only comes back to bite you and the fools that tried it really only played into the hands of the Muslim clerics in the end. That sort of scandalous behavior by the Liberal Party makes even me have some sympathy for the Muslims. There is absolutely no need for that sort of thing. Apart from it being morally and ethically wrong, my view is that you can make you point by simply campaigning using facts. I like to form my views based on the best evidence that is available. Thanks for the link to the “Lindsay pamphlet scandal” site.

    Finally Kaye, let me assure you that yes, I am getting your point. When you express your views clearly and succinctly, it affords me the opportunity to respond accordingly. Do not worry Kaye I know that we are worlds apart on this issue but as I have always maintained, I learn more from people with whom I disagree, than by communicating with those who hold the same or a similar view.

    I know that I have expressed some views here that will cause some readers (that is if they bother to read the post) to become incandescent with rage. My mind is always open to logic and reason and the facts. If people want me to change my views then that it the best approach to use.
    Best regards,
    Rob

  42. Kaye Lee

    Robert,

    Ummmm…. I did not mean to imply you are influencing politicians but to show you why they exaggerate and lie to you for their own political gain. They want you to be fearful and it has certainly worked with you. You should be more afraid of the American armaments manufacturers who have been dictating our foreign policy and ‘defence’ spending and involvement in other countries’ wars for decades….but that’s a whole other topic.

    “When you express your views clearly and succinctly, it affords me the opportunity to respond accordingly.”

    Ok that made me guffaw.

  43. Glenn Barry

    RR – this one sentence of yours completely poleaxes your credibility

    “I simply think that you, along with many others on some parts of the left, grossly underestimate the existential threat that Islam poses, in the long term, not just to Australia or America or Europe but to the very fabric of Western Civilization.”

    It is pure jingoism and I’ve heard variations of it ooze from between the lips of the likes of Pauline Hanson and other extreme right wing sources.
    It’s hate baiting, the technique of shock jocks and right wing opinion merchants – the beneficiaries, well that’s them – any publicity is good publicity and controversy is gold.

    You are correct in your assessment that the three branches of the Abrahamic religions pose differing levels of existential threats, but not for the conclusion that you assume.
    The single greatest existential threat on the planet is the United States of America – that’s not merely an assertion, the millions of deaths in the decades since the end of the second world war at the hands of that nation are proof positive, pure and undeniable.

    Yes that ONE NATION UNDER GOD – God fearing, Christian Nation with all of it’s quirky and cute religious variations, many of which hold a fundamental belief in armageddon and have no reluctance in participating in it.

    Any terrorist threats from Muslim sources are the direct and undeniable consequence of US & coalition atrocities and war crimes and illegal invasions of sovereign nations. It’s called blowback. That good, god fearing, nation which had zero reluctance or hesitation in invading sovereign nations illegally caused the rise in terrorism – that was their objective all along.

    The UK had decades of experience with terrorism in their conflict with the IRA – it was no surprise then, and, it comes as no surprise now.
    The magnitude of the over-reaction to terrorism in this country, however, is thoroughly ridiculous – contrast deaths at the hands of terrorists to deaths as a result of domestic violence in this country.

    BTW – I am not from the left that you like to refer to so often, you seem to be mired in a left/right dichotomy.

  44. Kaye Lee

    “The single greatest existential threat on the planet is the United States of America ”

    Immediate, medium term and forever – inaction on climate change

  45. Tony Turaku

    ALWAYS REMEMBER The state took over the church and dragged it through the centuries using it as a control body and tax syphon more powerful than the Borgia’s and Medici’s could ever do on their own.

  46. Matters Not

    RR re:

    I put myself in the position of someone responsible for security and preventing terrorist attacks and I can tell you Kaye, what Peter Dutton is doing would only be the beginning for me.

    That it would only be the beginning for me. You know I can really believe that. The evidence abounds. And that for me is a great concern. Indeed a very, very great concern. As was pointed out on The Drum tonight – the legislative restrictions on our freedom just keeps ratcheting up. And yet you urge them to go further because you have these particular insights that are certainly not universal.

    As for:

    grossly underestimate the existential threat that Islam poses, in the long term, not just to Australia or America or Europe but to the very fabric of Western Civilization.

    I suspect that your claim: the existential threat .. to the very fabric of Western Civilization might lie much closer to home. Looked into the metaphorical mirror recently?

    By the way – what is your definition of the .. very fabric of Western Civilization? A belief in God? The tendency to destroy … What?

  47. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thanks for your replies Kaye.

    I response to your post at 9:18 pm yesterday, can I say that I am very aware that the Liberal Party thrives on creating fear and running scare campaigns. I have been witnessing this all my life. I lived through The Petrov Affair, although I was too young at the time to really understand it, but boy, did my dad go on about it. Then there was the Communist Party Dissolution Act of 1950, together with the hysteria surrounding the Korean War. Later, there was the Vietnam War.

    At the time of the Vietnam War, I recall vividly the political advertisements on television with a spokesperson from the Liberal Party or the DLP, sitting or standing in front of a map of Asia with huge arrows all pointing down south toward Australia.

    Then there was the bogyman of the trade union movement.

    So yes, Kaye, as you can see, I am very well aware of the propensity of the Liberal Party to create fear and to run scare campaigns in order to frighten the electorate into thinking that they are the only Party that can protect us from these so-called ‘threats’. The capitalist media barons are of course complicit with them in their endeavors.

    However, as far as Islam is concerned, well (not that it will do any good, I know Kaye, but I can only try) all I can do is to remind you of the old story of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf”. Sometimes a threat comes along that IS real and we must be clear-headed enough to realize when that happens.

    Let me add immediately and emphatically, I do not in any way, shape or form, disagree with your comments about the American armaments industry. A few days ago I finished reading the book “Washington’s Long War on Syria” by Stephen Gowans. This was a powerful reminder of the insidious and murderous influence that the U.S. Imperialist armaments industry has been exerting on the world, arguably since the end of WW II.

    The words spoken by former President Dwight D. Eisenhower at his Farewell Address to the Nation on January 17, 1961 should never be forgotten,

    “…..In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military–industrial complex…….”

    See
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military%E2%80%93industrial_complex

    for more details, if required.

    I would like to make the point Kaye that there are multiple existential threats facing humanity. It is hard to prioritize and quantify these. Especially as an atheist, I stand by my decision to regard the spread of Islam as one of them.

    Finally, I am glad that my comment gave you a laugh. It is good to know that you have a sense of humor. I also try (quite successfully, I feel) not to lose mine.

    Now, in regard to your post at 9:46 pm yesterday (that was past my bedtime), in which you claim that the U.S. represents the greatest existential threat on the planet. I will not argue with you on that. In fact I will probably agree with you. The election of the narcissistic, vacuous ‘man-child’ as President has only worsened that threat by orders of magnitude. But we must not ignore other, more slowly acting threats. As civilization progresses Kaye, we should be aiming for less religion, not more of it.

  48. Andrew J. Smith

    Agree, the standard template generally of power has been autocracy, nationalism or nativism and religion including control of education curricula; conservative Australian Catholics and ageing electorates have been and are being leveraged similarly.

    What is disturbing is the white nativist Christianity creating a fortress mentality, delineating boundaries on identity, borders etc. and throwing red meat to their supporters in the ‘Anglosphere’, Eastern Europe and even coopting Israel and related conservatives of the Judaic faith; while observance adeclining.

    This has been made easier by organic gerrymandering and manipulation of electorates.

  49. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Matters Not, thank you for your two replies.

    I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. As you can see, Kaye Lee has been keeping me busy in this site, and ‘She who must be obeyed’ has been keeping me busy at home.

    In response to your post yesterday at 6:16 pm let me say that I think you definitely have your priorities in the right order. That is, to put child-minding before the politics. And as far as your ‘choice of words’ went, there was no problem whatsoever.

    I read your post late yesterday and although I did not have sufficient time to write a reply, at least I did have the time to think about what you said. I would not argue with you for a minute when you remind us of the terrorism and trouble that western powers have stirred up in the past, are stirring up now and no doubt, will continue to stir up into the foreseeable future. It is not an exaggeration to call these ‘crimes against humanity’.

    Some of your comments Matters Not, could easily be interpreted as an attempt to rationalize Islamic terrorism; that is, these acts of terrorism are a reaction against western aggression, destabilization and theft of oil resources.

    I would note in passing though, that the indigenous populations of countries such as Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada, etc. have in the past, and arguably still are, suffering because of their treatment at the hands of those who usurped their lands and culture. Yet these people do not conduct terrorist attacks indiscriminately.

    I recall those horrific years when the Vietnamese people were being bombed, murdered and raped relentlessly by the American Armed forces. The Vietnamese did not organize indiscriminate terrorist attacks on the western countries that invaded their soil. Yet once again, our Muslim friends seem to get special dispensation when it comes to these matters. I simply do not understand it.

    Secondly, Matters Not, we must not forget that Islam is a very aggressive proselytizing religion (I know that you will take issue with my use of the word ‘aggressive’ but I believe its use to be appropriate). The fact that we are dealing with a religion here, is perhaps what distinguishes the Vietnamese and indigenous people, etc. from the Muslims.

    On sites such as,.

    http://ireport.cnn.com/docs/DOC-1023139

    we discover that,

    “The (Muslim) Brotherhood’s goal is to turn the world into an Islamist empire. The Muslim Brotherhood, founded in Egypt in 1928, is a revolutionary fundamentalist movement to restore the caliphate and strict shariah (Islamist) law in Muslim lands and, ultimately, the world. Today, it has chapters in 80 countries.

    “It is in the nature of Islam to dominate, not to be dominated, to impose its law on all nations and to extend its power to the entire planet.” —Muslim Brotherhood founder Hassan al-Banna”

    I would suggest Matters Not, that the repressed indigenous peoples or the Vietnamese never professed to have goals such as these.

    I think that in many ways Matters Not, western civilization is now entering a phase where it is vulnerable to an ideology such as the one offered by Islam. Islam is the world’s fastest growing religion, see,

    http://www.bbc.com/news/av/world-39279631/islam-the-world-s-fastest-growing-religion

    The western lifestyle seems to becoming increasingly decadent and meaningless. The problems of drug abuse, homelessness, instability in employment, isolation and alienation show no signs of abating. I believe that our preoccupation with instant gratification and trivia has much to do with this. The capitalist system is now operating ‘on steroids’ and all that matters is making money. Many people sense that life is lacking in meaning and substance and they are looking for something to replace the emptiness. However to think that Islam will fill this gap, is to jump out of a rather unpleasant and uncomfortable ‘frying pan’ into a raging inferno.

    I am sorry if I appear to wander a bit there Matters Not but I guess what I am really trying to say is, that I think there is more to Islamic terrorism than ‘revenge’.

    In your post from 10:14 pm last night you ask me what my definition of Western Civilization is. That is a fair question Matters Not. I would tend to agree, more or less, with the descriptions given at,

    https://study.com/academy/lesson/what-is-western-civilization-definition-overview.html
    or
    https://www.sciencedaily.com/terms/western_culture.htm

    Of course one must be careful not to confuse the generalities of ‘Western Civilization’ as it is, with what we would like it to be.

    Perhaps it might be more useful to list some of the practices that I see as being utterly incompatible with western civilization or western culture. Some of these would include

    Women being to wear special attire that is the norm in backward countries or was required dress some 1500 years or so ago,
    Female genital mutilation.
    Honor killings.
    No freedom to renounce religious belief without intimidation.
    Under age and forced marriages
    Sharia law.
    That should do for a start.

  50. Matters Not

    RR of necessity my responses will be selective.

    Some of your comments Matters Not, could easily be interpreted as an attempt to rationalize Islamic terrorism;

    As I have stressed on any number of occasions, I have absolutely no control as to the meanings a reader gives to my posts. Given that disclaimer, I am not in the business of rationalising Islamic terrorism in any shape or form but attempting to explain the background and reasons for same. Seems to me that the current bout of Islamic terrorism might have its roots in their reactions to the terrorism initiated by the West.

    As for: easily be interpreted – I can understand that you go down that path. Seems to me, that for you, it’s a well trodden path. Indeed, perhaps it’s the only path you choose to travel when any discussion of Islam appears on the horizon.

    Then there’s this extraordinary para:

    would note in passing though, that the indigenous populations of countries such as Australia, New Zealand, America and Canada, etc. have in the past, and arguably still are, suffering because of their treatment at the hands of those who usurped their lands and culture. Yet these people do not conduct terrorist attacks indiscriminately.

    Yes, you provide an accurate description of indigenous people who, in times gone by, failed to act in the face of horrific treatment and you do so as though in the fervent hope – because they lay back and enjoyed it, all others should do the same. (A rape counsellor in this day and age would beg to disagree – I hope). Perhaps, oppressed peoples had no other choice? And those who do have other choices – must be condemned because they have the will and capacity to fight back? Spare me!

    I won’t go on RR but I will stress, you should do a bit of history and in so doing, understand that that many people draw a distinction between the cultural and the religious. One example – genital multination (GM) has its roots in Culture – not Religion. So much so that the aforementioned GM is more widely practised in some Christian communities than Islamic ones. In short, GM came before Islam – not as a result of same.

    I won’t go on! Promise!

  51. Kaye Lee

    “Women being to wear special attire that is the norm in backward countries or was required dress some 1500 years or so ago,”

    Like nuns?

    What if women choose to wear a veil? Would you deny them that choice?

    Honor killings and underaged marriage are illegal in Australia.

    “No freedom to renounce religious belief without intimidation.”

    How about freedom to practice religious belief without intimidation?

    Sharia law is just a way of life that is practised or not to varying degrees by individuals. It does not override the laws of the land, unlike canon law which apparently does.

    I am yet to find a religion which is not trying to increase its number of followers. Why do you think they still oppose contraception? I am also yet to find a religion that is not trying to impose its beliefs on everyone. Tolerance is rare.

    Robert, you said before “that there are multiple existential threats facing humanity. It is hard to prioritize and quantify these”

    Rather than constantly talking about what is happening in other countries, think about what is happening in Australia. So far your greatest complaint has been that Dutton’s ‘war on terror’ security measures are inconveniencing you.

  52. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thank you Matters Not and Kaye for your latest responses.

    When some of my students seem ready to give up because they consider the work to be ‘too hard’ for them and they perceive that it is impossible to make any more progress at all, I always try to encourage them not to quit and to remember the all-important three P’s, viz. perseverance, persistence and practice. It is times like this when I need to follow my own advice.

    Matters Not, your post appeared first, so I shall respond to you first. You appear to be saying that it is O.K. for Islam to “fight back” against injustices committed against it by the west.

    In a similar vein, our friend Glenn Barry claims (December 19, 9:19 pm), in a very unequivocal but nevertheless very erroneous way, that,

    “Any terrorist threats from Muslim sources are the direct and undeniable consequence of US & coalition atrocities and war crimes and illegal invasions of sovereign nations. It’s called blowback.”

    I would also invite you (and Glenn) to consider the comments made by this author on the salon.com site (a site not known for its right-wing views),

    “There’s a persistent taboo on the Left which demands that every incident of terror be attributed to American foreign policy. Terrorism is a hydra-headed problem, and it’s not reducible to a single cause – religion and politics and economics and foreign policy and institutional corruption are critical variables. Does America’s history of looting and corruption in the Middle East matter? Absolutely. Is the world and the region currently paying the price for the West’s self-interested partitioning of the Middle East after World War I? Without question. But Islamists aren’t killing cartoonists because the U.S. invaded Iraq. And ISIS isn’t exterminating the Yazidis because of America’s sordid relationship with Saudi Arabia.”

    https://www.salon.com/2015/11/17/the_left_has_an_islam_problem_if_liberals_wont_come_to_terms_with_religious_extremism_the_xenophobic_right_will_carry_the_day/

    Matters Not I would suggest that you also watch this short (less than 3 minute) report extracted from the (oh, so politically correct) ABC, regarding the hideous, abominable and illegal practice of FGM.

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-12-11/prosecutions-and-help-follow-fgm-reports/4422480

    I was going to post a link to a video from YouTube regarding the practice as it occurs in the U.K. but I cannot. It has been removed. I wonder why? Even before I discovered that it had been removed I was already having second thoughts about posting the link as Kaye seems to have no interest whatsoever in what occurs overseas. Apparently what occurs there is of little relevance to what happens here. If you do watch this video you will notice that an ‘Islamic scholar’ (that phrase gives a whole new meaning to the word ‘scholar’, doesn’t it? Certainly one that is vastly different from the one that I grew up with) confirms that the practice occurs here in Australia among the Muslim community.

    Now Kaye,

    I am sorry but your attempt to draw an analogy between the hideous garb that many Muslim women are required to wear (or decide to wear voluntarily for whatever reason) and that worn by nuns really does not ‘cut it’. Nuns would usually enter the monastery in a voluntary capacity in the full knowledge of what sort of attire their chose profession would require them to wear.

    I think also Kaye that you would be able to discern from the tone of my previous posts that I have no time for Catholicism and the absurd practices of that religion either.

    Kaye, when Australia was at war with the axis powers, or indeed when any country is at war, it is not unusual to experience some restriction of usual freedoms. This is unfortunately an unavoidable consequence of what is occurring especially when there are fifth-columnists operating within the community.

    Kaye, you say that

    “I am also yet to find a religion that is not trying to impose its beliefs on everyone. Tolerance is rare.”

    The Jews do not seek to convert you. Judaism is not a proselytizing religion.

    What both you and Matters Not, together with umpteen others on this site, resolutely and steadfastly refuse to acknowledge, despite being provided with an tsunami of evidence to the contrary, is that Islam is an aggressive religion and it is on the march around the world. They have established a ‘beachhead’ here in Australia and are now in the process of extending their influence. They are extremely adept at using the ‘carrot and stick’ approach in doing this. In some ways the terrorists are easier to deal with than those who know that much can be gained by using a passive, friendly and seductive approach. There is an old saying Kaye, ‘that you catch more flies with honey, than you do with vinegar’. The dedicated followers of this religion are consummate practitioners of both these approaches and also of using a liberal combination of both.

    Large sections of the left are in complete denial about what is happening on a global scale. (I know that what occurs outside Australia’s borders is apparently of no concern to you Kaye, but I was watching a few videos on this issue this morning. This short 11.5 minute video on the situation in Europe in general and in Austria in particular was a little alarming in some respects.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jWWpQiijOaw

    There is a growing backlash against what is happening, at least in Europe, as the results of elections on that continent this year have shown, and it is this trend which is allowing some people to increase their power and influence and to actually come to power, who I have grave reservations about. Yet I will say this, if it comes to making a choice between allowing greater influence for Muslims and supporting these right-wing groups, then I will hold my nose and support the lesser of the two evils.

    I can tell you Matters Not and Kaye, I will strenuously oppose the spread of Islam not with just ‘every bone in my body’ but with ‘every instinct in my body’.

  53. Matters Not

    RR I said I wouldn’t go on. And therefore I won’t – because There’s none so blind as those who will not s …

    So sad!

  54. Robert REYNOLDS

    Matters Not, I am always quite happy to continue as I know that I am on very solid ground. I do not wear ideological blinkers.

    I am happy to end on a positive note. I agree entirely with your comment that, “There are none so blind as those who will not see”. It is a comment that I often use myself.

    Although I am an atheist, “Happy Christmas” and a great New Year in 2018.

  55. Kaye Lee

    “I know that I am on very solid ground. I do not wear ideological blinkers.”

    Extremist Muslims have been able to dupe some people into thinking the West is out to get them. Lord knows we have given them enough ammunition, both literally and figuratively.

    Extremist right wingers have been able to dupe some people into thinking all Muslims are out to get them. A very small number of people have committed atrocities that have fuelled this lie.

    The paranoia and intolerance of both groups threaten our social cohesion.

    As has been pointed out to you countless times, the majority of things that trouble you are cultural rather than religious practices in which case it would be far safer for children to be raised here where they will be educated and protected by law.

  56. Harquebus

    Silkworm
    Thank you for that piece of information.
    Menzies, a coward who I despise, should have squeezed the Catholic students into public schools and closed their schools permanently.

    Religion offers no benefit that can not be obtained by other means and produces unique problems that we are encouraged to tolerate. Pigs arse! Tolerating religion is the problem.
    I tend to agree with Robert Reynolds on this one.

  57. Zathras

    “Islam is an aggressive religion and it is on the march around the world..”

    If this is the case, under whose instruction and control? Does it have a Pope-like figurehead coordinating everything it does and a political manifesto unlike all other religions? How is this different from the motivation of other religions?

    It sounds a lot like the sentiment behind the age-old conspiracy that Jews are plotting to take over the world economically and enslave the goyim who are destined to be their slaves (as per the Torah).

    We’ve seen all this before in many variations but always with scapegoating and generalisation.
    .
    For example, the current anti-Halal movement is the same as the anti-Kosher one during the sixties.
    Listen to Wally Butterworth and the American Voters and Buyers League (who turned out to be just a recruitment shop-front for the KKK).
    https://ia800203.us.archive.org/22/items/WallyButterworthKosherFoodBlackmailOfAmericanHousewives/00_butterworthJews_butterworthJews.mp3
    It sounds strangely familiar.

    I tend to think it’s the result to a century of betrayal, political interference and resource exploitation of certain Middle Eastern countries by Western interests. Even Bin Laden said his ultimate aim was to reclaim those countries from the West and religion is the convenient way to get people to do the unthinkable.

    I’m not defending or justifying anything. All religion is poison to society but just because it gets nothing but negative coverage doesn’t make Islam worse than the others – just more obvious and a handy distraction.

    Christianity in particular has a persecution and martyrdom complex (as we see every Christmas and Easter when it’s always “under attack”).

  58. Kaye Lee

    You can’t ban religion. You can’t stop people from believing what they want.

    What we can do is stop giving these private organisations public money. We can make the laws of the land enforceable to all. No exemptions from mandatory reporting of child sexual abuse. No exemptions from filing financial reports and paying taxation on profit-making business enterprises.

    We can stop religious instruction in public schools. stop the Lord’s Prayer being said in Parliament, and stop the chuches’ influence in policy making beyond advice from their charity work.

  59. OPPOSE THE MAJOUR PARTIES

    kaye…the current constitution prevents the gov from making laws prohiibiting religion but it would be possible to remove organised religions tax deductible status.

  60. Kaye Lee

    And right on cue, the cynical opportunist Morrison says ‘I’m not going to put up with it any more’: Morrison vows to defend Christianity in 2018.

    Scott Morrison says he will fight back against discrimination and mockery of Christians and other religious groups in 2018, in comments that position him as one of the leading religious conservatives in the Turnbull government.

    Mr Morrison also promised to play a leading role next year in the debate about enshrining further “protections” for religious freedom in law, which will be informed by a review currently being led by former Attorney-General Philip Ruddock.

    The Treasurer said he had made a conscious decision to “call out” discrimination and to stand up for people of faith.

    http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-news/im-not-going-to-put-up-with-it-anymore-morrison-vows-to-defend-christianity-in-2018-20171221-h08jg8.html

    What a turnaround from his previous suggestion that they exploit community fears about Islam. Now he is going to exploit community fears about same sex marriage and the safe schools program. They used to fight for the rights of bigots to offend and humiliate people….unless its them of course.
    What an irrelevant little man on the make.

  61. Harquebus

    Religions advantages are; they are well established institutions with similar methods of indoctrination (child abuse), structured hierarchical power and control, a large number of loyal and obedient practitioners with deeply embedded and unshakable core beliefs.
    Just what one needs to rebuild a world to suit shamans and witchdoctors and one that I wish to avoid.
    Ridiculing and humiliating religion and its practitioners, especially when considering Morrison’s madness, is fair game.

  62. Kaye Lee

    I very much disagree. I do not want to live in a world that condones ridicule and humiliation as ways to create positive change. Instead, they are used to impose one’s will on others.

  63. Robert REYNOLDS

    Harquebus, thanks for you bit of support in your post at 7:55 am. I thought that I was fighting the battle of ideas by myself here.

    One of the main things Harquebus, that I cannot, for the life of me understand, is why it is O.K. to sail full-throttle into the Catholics for there considerable crimes but when it comes to the Muslims it seems that they are some sort of ‘sacred cow’. For God’s sake the horrors and atrocities that are committed in the name of “The Religion of Peace’ far exceed anything that the Catholics have done in recent time and the Catholic Church has committed some pretty horrible crimes.

    If you can shed any light on this seemingly impenetrable conundrum for me, I would really appreciate it.

  64. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye, can I please remind you that Islamic organizations such as ISIS and al Qaeda, (just to name two) use considerably more than humiliation and ridicule to create change and to seek to impose their will on others.

  65. Kaye Lee

    Robert,

    In Australia Catholic priests have been raping children for decades leading to many many suicides and broken lives or did you forget that part? What have Australian Muslims done that even comes close?

    In Australia, the Catholic church has great influence over government policy. What political influence does the Australian Muslim community have?

    In Australia, enormous amounts of public money are given to the Catholic church.

    Could you please list the horrors and atrocities committed by Australian Muslims. To read about the horrors and atrocities committed by catholic clergy, I refer you to the Royal Commission.

    There are only about a total estimated 100,000 militant extremist Muslims in the world. That is less than 0.01% of the global Muslim population of 1.7 billion people.

    As of March this year, 23 Jihadists had either been found guilty, or pleaded guilty to terrorism charges in Australia. Three others have also been jailed after pleading guilty to terrorism-related offences. I don’t think any of them actually succeeded in doing anything. The three who harmed people were all immediately killed.

  66. Harquebus

    Robert REYNOLDS
    Muslims respond more aggressively to criticism and ‘Lord knows’, more suicide bombers we can do without.
    I have read a book on Mohammed and it is scary, the man was crazy. Deception is integral to Islaam’s approach to domination.

    Kaye Lee
    A world that includes ridicule and humiliation is much more preferable to me than one that includes religion’s insidious influence. The former being much less deadly than the latter.

  67. Matters Not

    I have read a book on Mohammed

    Really, A whole book on Muhammad. One book ! Clearly you are now an expert on Islam and Muslim’s over aggressive tendencies.

  68. Zathras

    I see it’s descending into the realms of who is the more evil?
    If I kill a thousand but my enemy kills a thousand and one am I more righteous?

    At the risk of invoking Godwin’s Law we should remember that it was Christians who killed six million Jews during WW2 (after a couple of millennia of constant persecution) and dropped not one but two nuclear weapons on a non-Christian country.

    Before the usual arguments it should be remembered that Hitler himself was a devout Christian who believed he was doing God’s work and his party always remained close to the Church. Hitler himself probably killed nobody himself but there were thousands who were prepared to kill for him and their troops had “Gott Mitt Uns” (God With Us) on their belt buckles for a reason.

    In fact both world wars were mostly fought between members of that peace-loving enlightened religion. While religion may have started many wars, it has never stopped a single one.

    It’s always declared a battle between Good and Evil – that’s how religion is used.

    People get their religious history from Hollywood and Sunday school stories but they are all repressive with blood-soaked histories of their own. The real history seems to have forgotten that that modern day Syria was once a vast killing field where Christians crucified and burned alive tens of thousands of pagans after the Roman emperor made paganism illegal and punishable by death. Hypatia had the living flesh carved from her bones with broken tile shards and sea shells by a Christian mob for not bowing to their beliefs. On and on and on…let’s keep it nice like a Disneyland theme park.

    What all religions share is boundless hypocrisy, nonsensical beliefs, willing agents to undertake any task without question and an upper echelon concerned more with the religion itself than its membership.

    To damn one is to damn them all.

  69. Harquebus

    Matters Not
    Still resorting to personal attacks I see. Oh well. It was enough for me to form an opinion and I gave it. Do you disagree?

    I shouldn’t restrict my stated opinion to just Mohammed, there is also the other who, if he were emerge today and claimed to be the Messiah would be locked up as crazy and the Jews who, are not Hebrew and have no claim to the land of Israel and yet, have convinced the rest of the world that they do and divinely given at that, if you believe it.

    Religion has created a mad world. I will gladly endure ridicule and humiliation to be rid of it. Hanging out here has toughened me up to it.
    Thanks Matters Not.

  70. Robert REYNOLDS

    Thank you again Kaye for letting me know your view on this issue.

    I will begin with that part of your post that I believe is in most urgent need of clarification. You say that,

    “There are only about a total estimated 100,000 militant extremist Muslims in the world. That is less than 0.01% of the global Muslim population of 1.7 billion people.”

    This is a misconception that desperately needs to be rectified. My feeling at the moment is that the best way to do this is to refer you (and anyone else who may need some clarification of this matter) to the excellent video by Raheel Raza who is a Sunni Muslim woman. She works for an American organization called “Clarion Project”

    This video (which does not contain any scenes that would not be found on the evening news and runs for a fraction under 15 minutes) is available at,

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSPvnFDDQHk

    This video comes with the highest recommendation from me. As always, if anyone takes the trouble to watch it and disagrees with any of the information that Raheel Raza provides, then I would be very interested to know about it. I would of course, expect any claims disputing the information provided by Ms Raza, to be suitably referenced.

    Now Kaye,I think I can tell where this is going to go from here. I could give examples of murder, torture, rape and other atrocities committed by Muslims overseas. You are then going to respond by saying that you do not enter into discussions of what happens overseas. Then I am going to reply that you cannot ignore this. We need to take a global view of this issue.

    You again ask me what political influence that the Australian Muslim community has? Kaye you have asked me this question previously and I have answered you. However, I am happy to provide you with some examples as it seems that somehow you must have missed my earlier response to this same question that I wrote in my post on December 9th at 9:09 pm. I have reproduced it for you below:

    “I tend to talk about what is happening in Australia. I have seen absolutely no influence on our politicians by Muslim clerics.”

    This affords me the opportunity to inform you about just a few of the attempts that those in the Muslim community have made to influence Australian politics and not as individuals mind you, but to push their religious agenda. If the Catholic Church sought to do this in the same blatant way it would (rightly) bring the house down at the AIM network.

    See article entitled “Grand Mufti threatened Labor over Israel ‘bias’” from the Financial Review dated September 26, 2013, at,

    http://www.afr.com/news/grand-mufti-threatened-labor-over-israel-bias-20130925-j0d67

    I was particularly taken with this paragraph from the above-mentioned article,

    “He (ALP identity and businessman Michael Easson) likened the Mufti’s political adviser to the Islamic equivalent of BA Santamaria channelling Catholic Archbishop Daniel Mannix, giving direction on the minutiae of local politics.”

    Next Kaye, you might like to have a look at this article from The Australian of October 28th 2006, entitled “Keating stopped sheik’s expulsion”. Inter alia, it will remind of the infamous words of sheik Taj In al-Halali. Do you remember? He is quoted in this article as saying,

    “”The two cheapest things in Australia are the flesh of a woman and the meat of a pig,””

    Now there is a really progressive attitude for you. If a non-Muslim man was to say this he would rightly be rebuked scathingly and pilloried remorselessly. But when a Muslim cleric says this, then some of those on the left have all sorts of excuses and alibis to offer. The hypocrisy Kaye, literally takes your breath away.

    http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/keating-stopped-sheiks-expulsion/news-story/f8d5651bf34e14425dcebac434a82435?sv=9f1554c90b3cf1a287998fc14633793b

    (You can remove the ‘subscribe’ box by clicking to close it.)

    I invite you to read this article and learn why Keating did this. I will give you a clue. Keating’s decision was in response to lobbying by the Muslim community. As you would be aware, there are many seats in the Western Sydney area that have large Muslim populations. This gives them considerable political weight to throw around. (Keep in mind this is what they are capable of achieving with only 2.6% or so of the population.)

    I would observe in passing here too, that this is yet another example of a politician ‘selling out their ‘principles’ (from my observations that is something that very few of them have.) for votes, in the same way that the archetypal capitalist will do the same for profit.

    The dates of these two references will also reinforce the fact that Islamic influence in Australian politics is not a recent phenomenon.

    Oh, and before we get off the topic of Muslims exerting influence in Australian politics, let’s not forget where the highest ‘NO’ votes were recorded in the recent ‘Marriage Equality Survey’. There was a strong statistical correlation between the numbers of Muslims in those Western Sydney electorates and the size of the ‘NO’ vote.”

    Your latest post also affords me the opportunity to remind you again of the brazen attempt by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils Inc. to introduce a form of Sharia Law under the guise of “Maintaining the Rights to be Different” in 2011. I overlooked this matter in my December 9 post. My apologies for the oversight.

    A pdf copy of this letter can be obtained by Googling “Australian Federation of Islamic Councils – Parliament of Australia”.

    Please keep the questions coming Kaye as I am more than happy to provide you with the answers.

  71. Möbius Ecko

    http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/am/vatican-funeral-disgraced-former-archbishop-boston-bernard-law/9281540

    Even the pope attended this one.

    A reason cardinals at his funeral gave for praising the evil archbishop as a great man, who not only covered up child abuse by priests, but moved them around so they could continue to prey on other children?

    “He was a good man with good intentions.” (covering up and abetting the abuse of children is OK, as long as your intentions are good)
    “The mass media being what they are….” (abusing children isn’t the trouble, the Boston Globe is for outing the abuse)
    “When he was a Bishop, the times were different.” (abusing children is OK as long as the times are right)
    “The provisions for pedophilia were not as severe as they are now.” (Priests abusing children isn’t the problem, the current severity of the law is)

    This is what the current church seniors think. Reformed? No way.

  72. Kaye Lee

    Righto. So no atrocities in Australia that you can think of.

    As for the political influence…they weren’t alone in not wanting Paul Howes to replace Bob Carr. “Senior Labor sources said the Mufti’s warning was not a significant factor in the internal campaign to convince Mr Howes to withdraw.” They are entitled to an opinion about candidates. I was more thinking of them influencing legislation as the Christians continually do.

    As for men making crude comments about women’s flesh, are you seriously going to pretend that is a Muslim issue? You have obviously never had to walk the gauntlet past a construction site or encountered the drunken football team on a night out after the game or had strangers grab you by the breasts in a crowd. Or just been a woman. It happens all day every day. It is disgusting but that is a male issue, not a Muslim issue. And your article is 11 years old. I could show lots more recent ones about politicians doing dodgy things to win votes in their electorate.

    Measly offerings Robert. The overwhelming evidence shows that Australian women should be far more afraid of their intimate partner than of any terrorist threat. Domestic violence, mental health, drug and alcohol abuse are far more pressing issues.

    Save your anger and leave it up to our intelligence, security and legal system who, with the help of Australian Muslims, seem to be keeping any threat at bay. Stop trawling the net for things that happen in other countries. Australia is a unique place. You would make a far better contribution to social cohesion by stopping your hatred.

    And please don’t just repeat the same things over and over and over. If you have norhing new to add then don’t bother pasting a million paragraphs every time.

  73. Michael Taylor

    … I cannot, for the life of me understand, is why it is O.K. to sail full-throttle into the Catholics for there considerable crimes but when it comes to the Muslims it seems that they are some sort of ‘sacred cow’.

    Robert, you’ve been reading us all wrong, then.

    I think you’ll find that people here blame the perpetrators for their crimes, whether they be Catholics, Muslims, ETs, Calathumpians or bongo-players.

    We do not blame all Catholics, Muslims etc, whereas I’ve noted that you’re very keen to go “full-throttle” into all Muslims when the perpetrator of a crime is a Muslim.

    You’re hatred is unhealthy.

  74. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hello again, Kaye,

    “Righto. So no atrocities in Australia that you can think of.”

    But plenty of thwarted attempts though in Australia, Kaye. And I have no doubt whatsoever Kaye that if there was a major terrorist attack here, you would have plenty of excuses and alibis to explain the incident. Also Kaye, as I am at pains to explain to you, but I cannot seem to get through the impenetrable barrier that you have erected, that the world does not begin and end at the Australian border. I find it extraordinary that you try to justify being so insular and parochial. It is the kind of provincialism that could be expected from a hillbilly.

    I presume that if something terrible was to happen here then you would then feel obliged to restrict your comments to something along the lines of “So no atrocities in your state that you can think of?”

    I have just this minute, received a news alert from the Herald Sun advising that the,

    “Flinders St attacker Saeed Noori rambled about Allah and the nations’s top security agency from his hospital bed in the hours after he mowed down 18 people.”

    Just thought that i would mention that snippet in passing. It seems that this character has mental health and chemical drug problems, which, when superimposed on top of the mental problems associated with religious belief, can be very problematic. Man Haron Monis is a case in point.

    If you check out the site at (don’t worry Kaye, I know you won’t),

    “https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Terrorism_in_Australia#Faheem_Khalid_Lodhi” you will find any number of examples of people motivated by Islam who have planned terrorist attacks, or who have planned or actually gone to Syria to fight with ISIS.

    We have been very lucky here in Australia to have avoided the kinds of attacks that have occurred with monotonous regularity in Europe and America.

    Next,

    “They are entitled to an opinion about candidates. I was more thinking of them influencing legislation as the Christians continually do.”

    It ‘they’ want to get involved in politics then ‘they’ should expect not only praise but criticism. But for some, it seems that if you even question Islam, then you run the risk of being labeled an ‘Islamophobe’, ‘xenophobe’, ‘bigot’, or ‘racist’, etc. To be fair I cannot recall being called any of those names here at AIM but boy, did I cop it at The Conversation from the politically correct Islamophile brigade. (That was before I was blocked at the site. The pseudo-sophisticates at that site really do insist on ‘political correctness’.)

    As far as ‘influencing legislation as the Christians do’, I refer you to the third last paragraph of my previous post. It seems that you do not read all of my posts. I thought that being a teacher I could rely on you to have more than the usual attention span. It seems that I was mistaken.

    In your third paragraph you allude to the problems faced by women including sexual assault and various forms of harassment. I fully acknowledge the importance of those issues and the urgent need to address them more effectively.

    Still on that issue, I cannot help notice a certain degree of, well, blatant hypocrisy in what you say. It seems that if a non-Muslim commits such an act against women there is (quite rightly) ‘hell to pay’. But if a Muslim, and a senior one at that, does something similar, then it is excused with the ‘brush of a hand’.

    In your penultimate paragraph you suggest that I should stop my hatred. Kaye, what I say is not hatred, it is simply the truth. I think that I have addressed that issue adequately in the past but once again you have failed totally to understand what I am saying; instead you construct a persona of Robert Reynolds that suits your beliefs instead of facing the truth.

    Finally, it is glaringly obvious (but not unexpected) that you studiously avoided any reference whatsoever to Raheel Raza’s video. I can understand you not wanting to watch that and in the process, have a Muslim and a woman, destroy so many or your fantasies. Hopefully some others might choose to watch it and learn something.

  75. Matters Not

    MT, don’t rain on peoples’ raison d’être. H’ is the Messiah who knows the world is coming to an end in the foreseeable future – while RR also knows that all who adhere to Islam are both bad and wrong. Seems to me that while they both decry religious belief they then proceed (epistemologically speaking) to behave in exactly the same manner.

    Such is life. (But, on the positive side, I suppose it keeps them off the streets.) LOL.

  76. Kaye Lee

    Every Islamophobe I have encountered links to that video by Raheel Raza which I watched the first time someone linked to it. She expresses her opinion on her speaking tours, a tad more eloquently than Ayaan Hirsi Ali does. Perhaps they speak from experience though one earned a double degree in Pakistan and now lives in Canada so is not really a great example of oppression and the other has been shown to have lied to ramp up her appeal on the speaking tour.

    Neither of them have any knowledge or experience of life in Australia.

    You talk about the vote on same sex marriage whilst ignoring the fact that the MPs from those electorates voted Yes. Not much influence there. You talk about them wanting some form of legal plurality. Perhaps Philip Ruddock and Scott Morrison will be able to sort that out next year because that’s what they want too.

    No wonder you are so poorly informed if you get alerts from the Herald Sun. The driver has not yet been formally interviewed. They have been at pains to say they have found no link to any terrorist organisation. The Herald Sun says he “rambled about Allah and the nations’s top security agency from his hospital bed”. How would they know that? I saw the press conference with the policeman who said he spoke about voices in his head. The closest he came to what the Murdoch trash is saying was that he was upset about the attitude towards Muslims. Hmmmm….ever think about the repercussions of vilifying certain groups of people?

    And quite frankly Robert, your posts are too long, too boringly predictable, too repetitive, and too hate-filled to respond to every word. I have wasted enough time on you. Read Michael’s above comment.

  77. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Michael,

    I must thank Kaye for alerting me to your reply otherwise I might have missed it.

    O.K. I might have been misreading some here at AIM but I do not think that I am far off the mark. When I read an article that comments on the shortcomings of Islam in the same way that I have read a number which comment on the shortcomings of the Catholic Church, then I will be more convinced about what you say.

    You say that my hatred is “unhealthy”. I think that people here misread me. Mike, as I have said ad nauseam, but no one hears because they simply do not want to, for the record, I have befriended Catholics and Muslims and even the odd evangelical Christian. I have never, I repeat never, Michael, planted a bomb on an aircraft or anywhere else for that matter with the intent of killing someone or damaging property’ nor, believe it or not, have I ever even attended a demonstration for or against Muslims or Islam. Hence, I tend to think that my CV as a ‘hater’ is a bit ‘light-on’. Let me assure you Mike that there are plenty of people ‘out there’ who you should be more worried about than me. Even I worry about some of them too.

    It is interesting that some on this site describe me as a hater, yet they are ‘stony silent’ when it comes to even commenting on those who do bomb aircraft, run cars into crowds or building or shoot innocent people at random, all the while shouting “Allahu Akbar”. In fact, we are more likely to hear excuses and alibis. Mike, really, who are the ‘haters’?

  78. Michael Taylor

    O.K. I might have been misreading some here at AIM but I do not think that I am far off the mark.

    Well I think you’re way off the mark. You’re a relative newcomer, whilst I’ve been reading the comments here for five years.

    I think I speak with more knowledge of this place than you.

  79. Robert REYNOLDS

    Kaye firstly, let me thank you for your prompt reply and for alerting me to Michael’s post.

    I will make a real effort to say less from now on.

    Personally I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for both Raheel Raza and Aayan Hirsi Ali. They are both extremely courageous people.

    Yes, I receive news alerts from the Herald Sun. However, I do not pay Rupert Murdoch one cent. I also receive Corrie Bernardi’s weekly “Dose of Common Sense”, I regularly check The Spectator Site (and incur the wrath of the free marketeers there from time-to-time), and Quadrant online. I also receive the New York Times and Washington Post on a daily basis. These are two of my favorites. Project Syndicate regularly forwards their newsletter to me. I also check New Matilda on an almost daily basis. Sarah Hanson-Young also sends me her newsletter of the odd occasion. So, AIM is not the only website that I visit. The only news service that I pay for is from Fairfax. I receive the daily paper as well has having access to the website. So I do ‘get about’ as far as my news sources go.

    I find your comment,

    “Hmmmm….ever think about the repercussions of vilifying certain groups of people?”

    to be quite ominous. If the meaning of this comment is what I think it is, then it is …. well I will leave that for another time in the interests of keeping my posts short.

    I will say this in closing, even though I am smeared and accused of all sorts of outrageous things here, I still respect the site. As I have said before, it is a breath of fresh air compare to The Conversation.

    Cheers.

  80. LOVO

    RR, ” Mike, really, who are the ‘haters’?”…..umm….is this one of them’s ‘trick’ questions…. 😞

  81. Kaye Lee

    Make your response commensurate to the threat posed. In some countries malaria is a real threat. Here, not so much. In some countries, inflation is rampant. Here, not so much. In some countries, airborne pollution is a real health hazard. Here, sometimes in some places. In some countries, planes drop bombs from the sky. Here, nope. In some countries, Islamist terrorists are committing atrocities. Here, not so much. In some countries, the state does not fund religious schools. Here, way too much.

  82. Robert REYNOLDS

    I feel that it would be good to end the day on a positive note Kaye.

    I totally agree with what you say in you last sentence. (I mean that!!)

    Goodnight.

  83. Glenn Barry

    WOW – Seeing the litany of responses from RR – it gives me small comfort that we have relatively restrictive gun laws, because with the level of pathology that he is exhibiting it’s easy to foresee someone walking into a mosque with their finger on the trigger

  84. paul walter

    Sort of noticed this thread spitting and festering away and waited for some time for Robert Reynolds to remark on Western terrorism imposed on the countries of the middle east and the millions of dead there.

  85. Kaye Lee

    Corey Bernardi and Rowan Dean – I couldn’t think of two bigger fools.

  86. Robert REYNOLDS

    LOVO, perhaps you might like to rephrase your comment,

    “…..umm….is this one of them’s ‘trick’ questions…. ”

    It seems that your literary talents are obviously far superior to mine. I simply cannot understand what you are saying.

  87. Robert REYNOLDS

    Glenn Barry I have been commenting on various sites for a few years now. Your comment is one of the most despicable and provocative, not to mention, absurd, that I have ever read on any site. It says much about your own personality and your manifest inability to judge others. I have always provided evidence to support my arguments. I am now forming the conclusion that it is a waste of time to use reasoned, evidence based argument, especially with people like you.

    When you do not like what someone says it seems more acceptable to call your interlocutor a ‘hater’ or to infer that they are some kind of potential mass killer. It is interesting Glenn that people of your persuasion are remarkably silent when others with a certain religious conviction actually do commit acts of mass murder. Your comment is causing me to rethink a few things.

    If indeed Glenn, you had been reading “the litany of responses” that I have written and you had a shred of intelligence, then you would not have written those comments. You are an absolute disgrace.

    Finally I would make the following observation. There appears to be a kind of ‘group think’ mentality prevalent here at the AIM site, not to mention a superiority complex evident amongst some (and I emphasize some) contributors. The arrogance, as well as the ignorance, is palpable. Some contributors seem to display a kind of supercilious attitude whereby if you do not agree with them, then rather than replying with reasoned argument, the favored response seems to outlandish personal and vitriolic abuse.

    Well Glenn my friend, as you are discovering, that approach does not work with me.

  88. Robert REYNOLDS

    paul walter, when someone writes an article on ‘western terrorism in the Middle East and the millions of dead there’ and I get to read it and have the time to respond, then I will be only too pleased to do so.

  89. Andrew J. Smith

    Good example of both obsessive compulsive and narcissistic personality disorder?

  90. Kaye Lee

    How about when someone writes an article about the Catholic influence on politics and education in Australia?

  91. Glenn Barry

    RR – the group think here is more about not subscribing to a sweeping generalisation about a religion, in this case Islam, with 1.8 Billion followers world wide, and seeing it as a threat.

    Your obsession with Islam is approaching pathological and riddled with confirmation bias. All of your argumentation comes from the same starting point – Islam is Evil and you’re the one who is going to enlighten everyone about the truth of the threat. That’s zealotry!

    You’re not starting from a reasonable assumption, so no matter how many reasons you provide in your reasoned argument, your conclusions are not reasonable because your initial, extremist assumptions are false.

    You’re justifying your hatred, not making a reasoned, logical argument.

    Just because someone, anyone, with any religious affiliation whatsoever, commits a crime DOES NOT MEAN that their religious affiliation played a causative role in the crime.
    That is some of the worst argumentation I have encountered and that includes or current federal LNP politicians.

    If you want to follow that line of argument then the crime statistics in this country for people with non-muslim religious backgrounds would be truly horrifying, if we took stock of all of their religious affiliations, whether or not they are currently practicing.

    The other problem – taking an extremist view as somehow being representative of an entire religion, then would you condone taking the KKK or Westboro Baptist Church as being representative of Christian values. Both are good God fearing groups, but they represent only themselves and no-one else, because they are extremist.

    There’s very little else going on with anything your saying –
    I’m with Kaye-Lee And quite frankly Robert, your posts are too long, too boringly predictable, too repetitive, and too hate-filled to respond to every word. I have wasted enough time on you. Read Michael’s above comment.

    At what point do you realise and acknowledge that people here are being polite, but their patience will wear thin, and as you have acknowledged you’ve been banned from other sites, presumably for pushing the same anti-Islam argument.

    If you dislike Islam so much, then one thing is for certain – avoid, at all costs, going to a Mosque and you should be safe.

    As for the rest of us, I’m fairly certain that we’ll take our chances out in the big scary world.

    BTW spare me the mock indignation, there is no chance in this universe or any other for that matter that you haven’t heard all of this before – my intelligence is in seeing straight through your poor logic, appalling argumentation techniques and false conclusions.

    My judgement – you’re a zealot, pure and simple, easy to spot

  92. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hello Glenn,

    I am sure that you are expecting a reply from me to your latest post and I do not want, under any circumstances, to disappoint you if indeed that is the case.

    Anyone reading your latest offerings will notice that it is replete with accusations that I have an obsession with Islam, I am a hater, my argumentation is worse the current lot of federal LNP politicians (now Glenny, that was a bit below the belt, but then again, comments of that nature are your specialty, aren’t they?), I am also accused of taking an extremist view that puts me in the same league as the KKK or the Westboro Baptist Church, and so it goes on and on and on…… Finally you accuse me of being an easy to spot zealot.

    You had better be careful Glenn lest you be accused of writing posts that are too long, too boring and too predictable. But I will let that one slip through to the keeper.

    The point that I really would like to make here is that despite all the empty rhetoric, vitriolic bluster, venomous abuse and groundless accusations, not once Glenn, not once, did you ever even try to address any of the arguments that I took the trouble to present in my earlier posts. Of course in that regard, this puts you in good company here.

    Glenny, my friend, if you want me to take you seriously then you had better take a somewhat different tack. Somehow though, I doubt that you possess the intellectual wherewithal that would enable you to do that.

    After your previous post you surely cannot expect anything more than contempt from me.

  93. Robert REYNOLDS

    Hi Harquebus, I think that your comment also deserves a reply.

    I have just had a look at the link you posted. It takes your breath away to think that a subset of fans of a science fiction movie series have been able set themselves up as a religion in various countries around the world.

    This article provides a snippet of further evidence of the exceptionalism that surrounds any organization that can gain official acceptance as a ‘religion’. The tax-exempt racket evidently even extends to ‘Jediism’. A quick check on the internet seems to confirm all this.

    “And even though this “faith” is entirely based on fictitious characters, the IRS actually granted tax exempt status to the Temple of the Jedi Order in 2015.”

    The author of this article then adds,

    “I was seven years old when Star Wars first came out, and it definitely had a major impact on me.”

    This latter statement helps to provide some small insight (to me anyway) into the question of why/how this religious belief idiocy (and that is all you can call it) takes root in the first place.

    The final paragraph also adds to this,

    “We live at a time when people are groping for answers to the most fundamental questions in life. Millions of Americans are feeling deeply disillusioned, and they don’t know where to turn. The spiritual void in our society is growing with each passing day, and the need for a new spiritual awakening has never been greater.”

    You would think (and hope) that the individuals who embrace this fantasy could have come up with something better. The same applies to those who embrace the more popular and widely accepted forms religious belief. It seems that Donald Trump is not the only adult who is at home acting out child-like fantasies.

    When you read an article like this one on ‘Jediism’ and then contemplate the condition that the world is in, the pieces do seem to fit together.

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