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Collective culpability

A very thin-skinned and defensive Scott Morrison tried to convince us on Thursday night that he has a wonderful record of supporting the Muslim community and any suggestion to the contrary is an outrageous slur.

“Over the last decade, I have spent my time as a public figure working with the Muslim community in south-western New South Wales,” he said. “That’s why I’m welcomed when I attend mosques in south-western Sydney, with warm embraces.”

On Saturday he took the cameras along for a photo shoot with Muslim leaders at Lakemba mosque, pretending all was sweetness and light as they hugged each other.

What he failed to mention was what was said in the meeting.

“The tragedy in New Zealand yesterday – it wasn’t something overnight, it’s been something that’s been a build-up over the last few years because of the incitement of hatred, bigotry, and discrimination against groups like the Islamic community,” Dr Ibrahim Mohammed told Morrison.

“We need to look into the causation of what makes such a tragedy that took place yesterday and it all comes down to the hate speech… that takes place.”

Lebanese Muslim Association Director Ahmad Malas said “The group raised several concerns, grievances with the position that senior members of government have taken on immigration, previous incidents such as the Bourke St attack, and political rhetoric about Muslims being detrimental. Also, a review of the laws to prevent religious discrimination and vilification of Muslims, and the need for the Government to take responsibility at stamping out the ideology of white supremacy and do more to address Islamophobia.”

Four months ago, those same Muslim leaders wrote to Morrison expressing their deep concern and disappointment with statements made by “senior Government Ministers and the Prime Minister” which inferred “that the community is collectively culpable for the criminal actions of individuals and should be doing more to prevent such acts of violence.”

 

On Monday, five highly qualified articulate Muslim women appeared on the Drum and were in total agreement about the damage being done by some politicians and media in stoking Islamophobia.

When Zaky Mallah warned that young Muslims in Australia felt vilified by a government “looking for votes” and that “ASIO and counter-terrorism police” benefit from community relations, all hell broke loose, with Tony Abbott saying that “heads should roll” (really Tony?) at the ABC for giving Mallah a platform.

We are bombarded with stories about cultural practices from other parts of the world that we find abhorrent, seemingly ignoring the fact that those practices are illegal here. People who choose to live in this country agree to abide by our laws.

Morrison righteously intones that an attack on people of faith is an attack on all faiths, yet several members of his party, including his Deputy Josh Frydenberg, former PM Tony Abbott, and the very ambitious Andrew Hastie, have all said the problem stems from Islam itself.

It must be utterly galling for the Muslim community to hear Morrison spruiking his credentials at promoting harmony (the third finger in his election slogan – “keeping our economy strong, keeping Australians safe and keeping Australians together.”)

Where is the collective culpability for encouraging an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust where raids on suspects’ houses are televised before they have even been charged with anything?

Where is the admission that collectively blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few has promoted fear and hatred?

Where is the acceptance that conflating asylum seekers with criminals is dogwhistling?

Wasn’t me, says Scott. They love me. I even went on a walk with some Muslim boys once.

Scott says he has led by example and that he has set the tone.

The tragedy is that he is right about that – and look at what has happened.

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23 comments

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  1. Ken

    Not long now and Scott Morrison will no longer be the Australian Prime Minister

  2. Kaye Lee

    Ken,

    I feel like I am on the waiting list for elective surgery while the tumour is growing

  3. Jaquix

    Wow Kaye Lee, best article yet on the subject! Watched Morrison trainwreck interview on Channel 10. Including his first airing of a newly invented story to cover himself for the talk swirling around about his encouraging cabinet in December 2010 to capitalise on anti-muslim sentiment in the community. The new invention (first aired last night) is that yes he did raise this (after continually denying it took place) but also new revelation that he was actually wanting them to dampen it down. (Samantha Maiden the day previously had asked him about this meeting, and he got very shirty, and shut her down. ) Both Lenore Taylor and Peter Hartcher wrote SMH articles in 2011 mentioning this incident, citing several Liberal sources who were present and vouched for the accuracy of the event. (his seeking for them to capitalise on it).
    SBS showed a short clip – the one where he airs the newly invented scenario last night to Wahleed – for the first time!

  4. Yvonne Robertson

    I found myself mentally inserting “(Hug!)” at every full stop in the letter regarding ‘The Proposed Government Round Table’.
    He’s a nasty piece of work Scott Morrison and excels in lies and talking over the top of people. Waleed Aly felt quite obviously ill at having to deal with it last night.
    At least they’re not going to be able to use race baiting this election though the pretend ‘friends’ routine is almost as sickening.

  5. AJ O'Grady

    The war mongers of the West need hate and vitriol so as to tell the general public, taxpayers who pick up the tab, it is in their best interest to bomb and destroy people on the other side of the worlds homes, businesses, places of worship, schools, and hospitals. Vested interests such as the owners of main stream media, who are also shareholders of and beneficiaries of weapons and munition companies, perpetuate the myth that it is for the greater good. Bombings and economic sanctions that bring a countries people to a point of civil war does not benefit the people or the country. It only benefits those with vested interests. It is very strange that the West’s war mongers never seem to want to remove a despot from power if the country does not have any oil. Mugabe springs to mind.

  6. New England Cocky

    “[W]ith Tony Abbott saying that “heads should roll” (really Tony?) at the ABC for giving Mallah a platform.”

    Yes, you are correct Tony. There should be a media blackout on all pics of Toxic RAbbott in social media to minimise his opportunities for public exposure before the 2019 Federal election.

    Uhm …. some 4/8 trailer stories to this article are about RAbbott …. could we perhaps start the cleansing on AIMN?

    Something about not naming the alleged perpetrator …..

  7. Ken

    Kaye, I know how you feel but dont worry all good things come to those who wait ! Cheers, Ken

  8. Peter F

    ‘The problem stems from Islam itself” …….. Just like the Northern Ireland problem stemmed from Christianity. That is, until you remember that it started with the English grabbing land from the Irish. If you need to have some idea of where the current world problem originates you need to say one word…..OIL.

    Now sit back and wait for the abuse.

  9. Peter F

    Ken, he has NEVER bee the Australian Prime Minister – merely the leader of the Coalition, and
    THEY have never been the Australian GOVERNMENT. I know,……. ‘but the constitution says’.

    I have spent 50+ years in the building industry and know that you cannot write legislation/rules to cover all situations:The constitution never envisaged such incompetence.

  10. Rob Gray

    “Where is the admission that collectively blaming all Muslims for the acts of a few has promoted fear and hatred?”

    And while we’re at it, let’s not blame people in other walks of life like, oh I dunno, gun owners for example, for the acts of a few.

  11. 1916

    So many ‘tells’ in that interview.
    That idiot was clearly lying through his teeth.
    Crossed legs,hand gestures,bit sweaty..ew.
    Election now!!

  12. DrakeN

    The LNP are liars – hopefully, come June, they will be “out” liars 😉

  13. Kronomex

    This is a “Oh Shit! He worked for us.” moment from Dunceolini’s department and the cretin Pezullo –

    “Pezzullo’s comments on white supremacy come just a week after he delivered a speech to the Australian Strategic Policy Institute where he listed “seven gathering storms” for national security, where “radical extremist Islamist terrorism” was mentioned, but white supremacy was not. But speaking to a Senate estimates hearing on Friday, Pezzullo said the department had “rededicated itself to standing resolutely against the extremist theology of white supremacy and its followers.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/22/home-affairs-says-it-is-targeting-extremist-theology-of-white-supremacy

    Now it’s, “Grr, woof, look at us, NOW we’re worried about the naughty white extremists. Gr, gr.”

    Too little and waayy too late from this sfb –

    “But Pezzullo said he would examine all claims, telling the hearing his department “will not tolerate extremists of any description – any form of extremism is repugnant”.”

    Then why hasn’t he removed Heinrich Dutton and himself if he’s all so fired up about extremism?

  14. corvus boreus

    A couple of days after decrying “divisive tribalism and extremism”, PM Morrison yet again chose to appear on Alan Jones’ radio show, this time ostensibly to address incendiary comments made by the Turkish leader.
    Note that this is the same Alan Jones who called for PM Gillard to be drowned at sea, incited violent riots against fellow Australians by calling them ‘middle-eastern grubs’, and recently lobbied to overturn the visa ban against Milo Yiannopolis, who is not only an Islamiphobic, anti-Semitic agent-provocateur but also an apologist for rape and paedophilia.
    If ‘sco-mo’ is ‘fair-dinkum’, about rejecting divisive tribalistic extremism, then why does he continually choose to consort with a hate-mongering dunny-grub like Alan Jones?

  15. Kronomex

    “If ‘sco-mo’ is ‘fair-dinkum’, about rejecting divisive tribalistic extremism, then why does he continually choose to consort with a hate-mongering dunny-grub like Alan Jones?”

    ’cause him and Hadley and the rest of the RWNJ’s aren’t mean and horrible and don’t pick on him and ask questions that require answers that aren’t lies and full of bullshit. And…and…besides he’s a little prince precious and his feewings are easiwy hurt and he gets all upset and things…

  16. corvus boreus

    Kronomex,
    Not to undervalue the vileness of the views expressed by Hadley et al, but I really do believe that Alan Jones is a case apart.
    Jones’ behaviour leading up to the Cronulla riots was a clear case of public incitement to racial violence, and his comments regarding Prime Minister Gillard were a direct endorsement of the assassination of our then elected leader, which could almost be classified as a form of treason.
    That Morrison and his croneys continue to favour and feed that putrid shit-stain with airtime and oxygen shows their complete moral and ethical bankruptcy, as well as their utter contempt for the concepts of civility and law

  17. Alcibiades

    corvus boreus
    Fully concur.

  18. Kronomex

    corvus,

    I have to agree with you about Jones, he quite is literally the most vile right wing misogynist, misanthropic, racist, and overbearing scumbag to have ever been allowed behind a microphone.

    Rant over, time to continue watching 1972’s The Night Stalker with Darren McGavin.

  19. Paul Davis

    A quote from Guardian article regarding Murdoch’s Dark Sky television “news” sewer:

    “The logical extension of the moral challenge issued by Labor to the Morrison Government is that no succour should be given to those who promote, foster or preach prejudice against Muslims. Surely this should include Sky News Australia, which has not only provided a platform for hate preachers, but whose late-night commentators habitually demonise Muslims, immigrants and asylum seekers.”

    “By removing all current and former Labor and Labor-aligned interviewees, panelists and hosts from Sky News programs, Labor would demonstrate that its One Nation preferencing challenge to the Coalition is more than a cheap wedge. What’s more, a pre-election ban on Sky News appearances by all parties would send a signal to Australian voters that our calls for an end to hate speech against Muslims had been heard. Now THAT would be a demonstration of moral integrity.”

  20. Peter F

    With his life story to date highlighted in the unchallenged book “Jonestown’ by Chris Masters of 4 corners ‘Moonlight State’ fame, it is a wonder that anyone listens to the parrot.

  21. DrakeN

    Peter F,

    Do the people who tune in to him actually know what a non-fiction book is?

    Most of them would be unlikely to be able to read even the headlines in a newspaper.

  22. Graeme Henchel

    I have no doubt that Morrison has cleverly cultivated relationships with Muslims in his own electorate. He needs these people to vote for him. As a class A psychopath and faux religious narcissistic he has no problem at all with being simultaneously the best friend of muslims in his electorate whilst dogwhistling anti Muslim fear campaign throughout the land.

    Morrison is dangerous, deluded and duplicitous. Fortunately he is also fundamentally incompetent.

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