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Fake outrage

By 2353NM

You may have noticed some of our more conservative politicians reacting to the recent terrorist attacks in London and Europe by calling for bans on the Islamic religion or the expelling of all those who have similar beliefs. Apart from the lack of logic that is implied by suggesting that somehow ‘the authorities’ have some way of reading or controlling people’s minds, how do you differentiate between the person with the ‘suspicious’ name who has been resident in a country for two years and the person with the ‘suspicious’ name who has generations of ‘local’ heritage.

The shrill argument goes along the lines that people who have been radicalised by Islamic preachers will cause a catastrophe in Australia. While they might be right, statistically they are more likely to be completely wrong. To claim that terrorism being justified (falsely) by religion is a new or ‘Islamic’ thing is also completely wrong. It is also hypocritical for those like Hanson to suggest that this is a new problem, as she was alive and well when Christians were the terrorists.

As recently as 1996, the Irish Republican Army was using terrorism as a means of forcing the UK to relinquish control of Northern Ireland and cede it to the Irish Republic. The original split that formed the Irish Republic occurred in the 1920s and the Irish Government has traditionally been dominated by those of the Catholic branch of the Christian faith tradition. The area the UK retained, known as Northern Ireland, was populated predominately by non-Catholic members of the Christian religion. The ‘modern day’ Irish Republican Army is not to be confused with

an earlier IRA organisation that evolved out of the struggle for independence. The first IRA was founded as the military of the “Irish Republic,” a state proclaimed in 1916 by the leaders of the Easter Rising, which Sinn Fein, a nationalist party, claimed allegiance to. When Sinn Fein won a majority of Irish seats in the 1918 British elections, they refused to sit in Westminster and instead formed an Irish Assembly and de facto government. Shortly thereafter fighting broke out and the Irish War of Independence (1919–1921) began. It ended with the Anglo-Irish Agreement and formation of the Irish Free State, but a large minority within the IRA couldn’t accept the compromise peace.

Rather than publish a history of Irish independence since 1921, we’ll move forward to the 1970s where

Northern Ireland was wracked by sectarian violence, instigated by extremist Protestant elements. Catholic neighbourhoods were under siege and IRA volunteers in the North wanted to take action and use the destabilisation as a pretext to launch a new campaign against British rule.

However, the leadership, which was based in Dublin, had adopted a Marxist position and wished to move beyond sectarianism and ethno-nationalism to a more class conflict oriented position (they supported a united Ireland too of course, but to them it was less important than “the Revolution”). Finally, for the northern members the armchair Marxism of their Dublin-based leaders became too much and the group split (into the Provisional IRA and Official IRA). As the Provisional IRA was based in Northern Ireland it got most of the organisation’s guns and members, while the Official IRA struggled for relevance afterwards.

The atheistic communism of the Official IRA leadership didn’t rub many practicing Catholics in the North the right way either, even though the Provisional IRA itself had a left-wing, socialist ideology. The Provisional IRA went onto launch an urban guerrilla/terrorist insurgency against the British state and fell into a pattern of tit-for-tat sectarian murders with the loyalist paramilitaries, while the Official IRA tried their hand at terrorism for a few years, feuded with the Provos a lot, and gave up insurrection by the late 70s.

The period of Provisional IRA and loyalist violence is known as “the Troubles,” 1969–1998 and saw thousands die.

The point here is that the 1970s and later version of the IRA pitted different groups of the Christian faith against each other claiming it to be a religious issue, but the real aim was significantly different.

In July 2016, we looked at religious difference on The Political Sword with an article entitled Johno goes to heaven. In the article, there is a link to an opinion piece in The Guardian written by Nick Earls. Earls notes that

I was passing through airport security somewhere in North America in October 2001 when I realised it: I was no longer the face of terrorism, and might never be selected for one of those comprehensive “special clearance procedures” again.

Until then, that’s what a passport with a Northern Irish birthplace had got me – it happened often enough anywhere in the world, and was almost inevitable at airports in the UK. I’d be taken away to a side room, physically searched, swabbed for explosives and asked to unpack my suitcase entirely. Sometimes I even had to unball my balled-up socks. I’d adjusted to it being the price of travel for someone with a birthplace like mine.

After the September 11 (2001) attacks on the World Trade Centre, there was obviously a quick re-assessment of ‘potential risk’ to the USA, continuing to President Trump’s current crusade to victimise citizens of a number of middle eastern countries. Trump has signed two Presidential Orders to ban people from certain middle eastern countries entering the USA. Last January, after the first ban was overturned, the New York Times reported,

But the order is illegal. More than 50 years ago, Congress outlawed such discrimination against immigrants based on national origin.

That decision came after a long and shameful history in this country of barring immigrants based on where they came from. Starting in the late 19th century, laws excluded all Chinese, almost all Japanese, then all Asians in the so-called Asiatic Barred Zone. Finally, in 1924, Congress created a comprehensive “national-origins system,” skewing immigration quotas to benefit Western Europeans and to exclude most Eastern Europeans, almost all Asians, and Africans.

Mr. Trump appears to want to reinstate a new type of Asiatic Barred Zone by executive order, but there is just one problem: The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965 banned all discrimination against immigrants on the basis of national origin, replacing the old prejudicial system and giving each country an equal shot at the quotas. In signing the new law, President Lyndon B. Johnson said that “the harsh injustice” of the national-origins quota system had been “abolished.”

It’s ironic that the Democratic Party US President that led his and our nation into the Vietnam War had a better sense of justice than a Republican Party President in 2017. The second Order was also overruled.

Trump and other popularist politician’s xenophobic cries to somehow ban Muslims also has a precedent in medieval history. Commencing in 1095, armies of Christians went to the middle east (then known as the Holy Land) to reclaim Jerusalem at the ‘request’ of the Pope. While the first crusade was claimed to be a success when Jerusalem was reclaimed in 1099, there were a series of crusades up until the end of the 13th Century. Really it was a land grab and one could suggest similar tensions are still in play today between Israel and Palestine.

In response to the recent ‘terrorist’ attack on the UK Houses of Parliament, those who clearly have no hesitation in attempting to push a political point regardless of the facts, claimed that Australia needed to manage what they believe is the almost certain potential for an Islamic attack on our shores. Pauline Hanson went one further, advising we should vaccinate against Islam. You would think that Hanson would have learnt her lesson about talking about vaccination – earlier in March she was claiming that parents should ensure their children have the test to see if they will ‘catch autism’ if subjected to the routine childhood vaccinations. There is no ‘test’, and no evidence to suggest that autism is a possible side effect from routine vaccinations.

The Daily Mail reported soon after the Westminster attack that

The British-born jihadi who killed four and injured 29 in Westminster was last night revealed to be a middle-aged criminal career who MI5 had investigated in the past and had a previous conviction for stabbing a man in the nose.

English teacher Khalid Masood, 52, a ‘lone wolf’ attacker, who was living in the Birmingham area, had a series of convictions for assault and other crimes.

Scotland Yard revealed how Masood was known by a number of aliases and MailOnline can reveal he was born Adrian Elms to a single mother in Kent before his religious conversion. Masood has used the names Khalid Choudry and Adrian Ajao among others.

He grew up in a £300,000 house in the seaside town of Rye, East Sussex and had a long criminal history.

His first conviction was for criminal damage in November 1983, when he was just 19.

His last was for an attack in 2003, where he stabbed a 22-year-old man in the face, leaving him slumped in the driveway of a nursing home in Eastbourne. The victim was left needing cosmetic surgery after the vicious attack.

Masood is understood to have spent time in Lewes jail in East Sussex, Wayland prison in Norfolk and Ford open prison in West Sussex, The Times reported.

He was sentenced to two years for wounding in 2000 and sent back to jail in 2003 for the attack in Eastbourne.

. . . It also emerged today the attacker was known to MI5 after an investigation many years ago, but was considered ‘peripheral’

Masood had never been convicted of terror offences, although Theresa May revealed this morning that he had been on MI5’s radar a number of years ago.

Police insist there was no intelligence suggesting he was about to unleash a terror attack.

Masood was a married father-of-three, and a religious convert who was into bodybuilding, according to Sky News.

While the Daily Mail reported that ISIL claimed responsibility for the attack, ISIL have not provided any evidence to support their claim. Without evidence, the claim has as much credence as Malcolm Turnbull claiming to have solved the budget ‘crisis’.

The reality is that the majority of followers of the Muslim, Christian or any other religion do not subscribe to or wish to be a part of the actions of radicals who are using the name of the religion to further their own purely secular aims. To suggest that Australia should somehow ban Muslims (from what exactly) is as crazy an idea as suggesting that all Catholics alive in the 1970s and 1980s supported the actions and ideals of the IRA, or Halal labelling of Australian food is a plot to ‘convert’ everyone who eats it to Islam rather than a marketing tool to increase sales in Asia and the middle east.

The majority of people, regardless of their skin colour, religion (or lack thereof), or any other characteristic just want to live in peace with those around them. Perhaps we should feel sorry for Hanson’s supporters; not because they actually believe the pronouncements of their leader; but because they have a real problem either way, according to a recent headline in The Shovel on-line (satirical) newspaper – Tough Choice For One Nation Supporters, After Muslim Vaccination Linked To Autism.

This article was originally published on The Political Sword

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  1. Zathras

    If it was disgruntled Christian Adrian Elms with a grudge against the British Government and not radicalised Khalid Masood behind the wheel would we have witnessed the same public and media reaction?

    Likewise, if somebody started blowing up Christian Churches in Dresden instead of Mosques, would there have been more outrage and demands for justice?

    I’ve always wondered what sort of people would have worked in Nazi Death Camps – loving family men at night and cold-hearted killers during the day. It wasn’t politics at work here, it was the concocted idea of an eternal battle between good and evil and the cognitive dissonance that comes with it.

    All religions are capable of encouraging the worst imaginable atrocities but only if people are willing to invest enough hatred, but those who work to capitalise on such events for personal or political gain are probably the worst of them all.

  2. olddavey

    Martin Bryant???

  3. susan

    Why are so many hateful people staunch followers of some church or other? It’s about time religions started improving the behaviour of their members and Scott Morrison comes readily to mind!

  4. Kyran

    Whilst I get your drift, 2353NM, I am compelled to correct some of your time line. Whilst the IRA arose out of the ‘civil war’ (of which there is no such thing. They are all un-civil wars), their predecessors were the ‘Irish Republican Brotherhood’. That was a manifestation in the late 1800’s, borne out of a culture that was denied its very own existence for more than five centuries.
    The dance was illegal. The language was illegal. The song was illegal. It is possibly a reason for the Catholic Church being so well established in Eire. Many of the priests conducted what were called ‘hedge schools’. Teaching dance, language, song.
    I can go through the geography of why Eire survived onslaughts.
    I can go through the economics of why the four counties of the North were so important (hint, flax and ship building).
    I can go through lots of issues. But, here’s the thing. The Irish culture is one of those I celebrate. Not because it’s my culture. I left when I was 6, so I can hardly claim it’s my culture. It has, however, evolved, through many troubles.
    The IRA were criminals, controlling most of the drugs and prostitution throughout the dis-United Kingdom. They used crime to fund, and religion to justify, their existence. It was, ironically, the women of the North, neither ignorant of religion or law, that started the solution. Devoid of politics, church, state. Their only interest was their children, their children’s future.
    Twenty years later. Same same. But different. If you identify IS with Islam, you will happily identify the IRA with Catholics.
    The reason I celebrate the Irish culture is that, through so much adversity, it has survived. I can only wish our First People the best of luck. We have criminals, who are now referenced as politicians, extoling the virtues of crime and deprivation, telling us we need to be afraid of terrorists.
    “The majority of people, regardless of their skin colour, religion (or lack thereof), or any other characteristic just want to live in peace with those around them.”
    Never, in my experience, have truer words been said.

    “So, as I grew from boy to man,
    I bent me to that bidding
    My spirit of each selfish plan
    And cruel passion ridding;
    For, thus I hoped some day to aid,
    Oh, can such hope be vain ?
    When my dear country shall be made
    A Nation once again!”

    Thank you 2353NM. Take care.
    PS I did read the rest of the article. Did you know it was the Republicans that outlawed slavery?

  5. wam

    the poms were forced to partition on economic grounds by the paisley thugs.
    Subsequently it was obvious they learned nothing and in 1947 repeated their partition arrogance(ironically the perpetrator did reap his reward in Ireland). I cannot wait till birmingham moves to secede from england,
    The rangers/celtic anger was unbelievably important in my mother’s time in scotland. It was worse in Ulster and ‘what are you?’ was the standard question where the young congregated.
    Eventually some Irish women were listened to and a relatively change eventuated.
    Until the next outbreak of sanity by the christian and muslim women, the hate and the killing under the banner of the male god of the jews, christians and muslims and his man-interpreted religion, will continue.

  6. 2353

    @ Zathras – I’d bet if Adrian did it, we’d be having a discussion about mental health.

    @ olddavey – Bryant did lead to a mental health discussion across the country.

    @ susan – I don’t think it is religion per se, as there are a lot of good works done by people in the name of religion. However, religion also gives those who are looking for a justification for their own interpretation on life one means to find the justification.

    @ Kyran – Thanks for the corrections to the history. In my defence while I have some Irish heritage, I have a few generations of Australian heritage. A lot of the evil in the world is based on someone’s slightly warped view of religion – yet you also have considerable good works being done by religious on a daily basis.

    I did know that the Republicans outlawed slavery. It wouldn’t happen today. Generally it seems, political parties drift slowly to the right – and the right seems to value privilege such as slaves to do your biffing.

    @ wam – the actions of the Irish women were instrumental in bringing an end to the troubles. It is an interesting idea.

  7. helvityni

    Well, there’s nothing fake about those ex-Hansonites whom Pauline and Ashby have enraged according to the last nights Four Corners…

  8. Roswell

    helvityni, I missed 4 Corners. Is it worth looking for it on YouTube or elsewhere?

  9. Johno

    I saw it. I thought it was very good and I think it showed how fragile one nation really is. An implosion does not look far away.

  10. helvityni

    Yes, Roswell, the people that Pauline and Ashby ‘sacked’ seemed better people than those two top-dogs; you have to see it to believe it…
    I thought always that she’s just uneducated, not the brightest, but she also not very nice…to put it nicely 🙂

  11. David Bruce

    Two issues, well reported elsewhere:
    1. Muslim prisoners and converts are being radicalized in the British and Australian prison systems.
    2. Johnson led the US and Australia into the war in Vietnam based on a lie (the Gulf of Tonkin event), same as Bush in Iraq.

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