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We need to talk about Australian Conservatives

In 2017, the day after the London Bridge terrorist attack, Cory Bernardi’s newly formed party, Australian Conservatives, emailed his supporters with a survey titled We Need to Talk About Islam.

The preamble to the survey stated:

Our founder, Senator Cory Bernardi, has been a regular critic of Islam, including here calling on Muslims to ‘reject, refute and reform’ Islam, and here where he called out the error of Britain’s migration program accepting Islamic migrants.

One question states that “some have attributed the migration of people of Islamic belief to terror attacks in Australia and abroad” and asks people for their view.  In an obvious attempt to solicit negative responses, other questions included, “What is your view on the practice of sharia law in Australia?” and, “What is your view on the Islamic practice of allowing men to marry girls who are under the legal age of sexual consent?”

Bernardi defended the timing of the survey saying “We’re not politicising anything, we’re trying to decide what the Australian people want.”

Far from an innocent information gathering exercise, the very format was intended to offend.

A graphic next to the survey showed the Islamic “shahada” or proclamation of faith, written in Arabic with a large cross through it, a move labelled “fiercely extremist” by the Australian Federation of Islamic Councils, and offensive by Sydney Muslim community leader Dr Jamal Rifi.

AFIC spokesman Ali Kadri made a very prescient warning.

“Bernardi’s party are trying to reverse the gains of the Western world and eventually the people will pay for it, just as people in the Muslim world are paying now, because they excused extremism and thought it was the answer.”

Whilst not a member of Bernardi’s party yet, member for Dawson, George Christensen has appeared with Berrnardi at anti-Muslim speaking events and has addressed anti-Muslim rallies.

In 2016, he tried to set up a site (unsuccessfully it seems) specifically designed to attack Islam.  He appealed to Facebook for writers to make contributions (for free).

“The website will seek to expose radical Islamic practices, its adherents and its appeasers within our midst. The site will also root out political correctness and its purveyors who seek to stymie free speech on this, the most important subject for the future of our Western civilisation,” George grandiosely claims, promising to expose the “practices of so-called moderate Muslims in this country or elsewhere [who] are found to be less than moderate or appeasing the extremists.”

“The pay rate for writers and researchers is a whopping total of nothing but you’ll be helping fight for a cause which could determine the future of Western civilisation, freedom, liberty and humankind.”

The fact that these two politicians make much of their personal religious adherence makes their perfidy in demonising other people of faith all the more galling.

Whilst Hanson and Anning are rightly ridiculed and dismissed as fringe dwellers, Bernardi and Christensen were part of the government, contributing to the debate about national security and forming the policy and laws to enforce it.  They, along with Morrison and Dutton, gave a legitimacy to Islamophobia.

Hate speech was defended by the white men in the Coalition, the rights of bigots being apparently more important than the rights and safety of their victims.

Just as the Islamists who would seek to corrupt our youth must be exposed and vigorously opposed, so must these politicians who are, to use their own words, “appeasing the extremists” and enabling those who would seek to impose their warped views of White Supremacy and the superiority of something they call our “Judeo-Christian heritage” on us all.

The hate speech must stop and those who promote it must be removed from public office and, if necessary, prosecuted for inciting hatred and violence.  This is not about political correctness or censorship.  It is about opposing those who threaten our social cohesion.

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48 comments

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  1. David Evans

    My two word contribution to any ‘debate’ about Islam:
    ‘brent tarrant”

  2. Kampbell

    Australian Conservatives have dropped advertising material into letter boxes across Toowoomba already. I feel they will be pinching votes from the disaffected One Nation/Liberals/National voter pool.

  3. Stephengb

    “The hate speech must stop and those who promote it must be removed from public office and, if necessary, prosecuted for inciting hatred and violence”.

    Exactly, well said Kaye Lee.

  4. DrakeN

    My comment about Islam is the same which I repeat in reference to all religions – it is part of the longest running, most successful confidence trickery ever imposted on humankind.

  5. Diannaart

    Watch them, watch them all line up to shake hands with Fraser Anning after his parliamentary maiden speech.

    https://youtu.be/-slfYHJ8b00

  6. Frank Smith

    Yes, well said, Kaye Lee!

  7. terence mills

    Senator Linda Reynolds showing a disturbingly blinkered approach to issues. Last night on Q&A she said of the recent medivac legislation that :

    I was literally almost physically ill when I saw some of my Senate and House of Representatives colleagues in the chamber cheering and high-fiving the passage of these amendments. Because I was one of the few in that chamber who has lived through terrorism and the impact, up in the Bali bombings.

    “I was up there, I saw, I smelt and I got to understand the commodification of human beings. There are people in our own nation and there are people overseas who want to do us harm. They don’t respect our compassion. And they certainly do not respect our way of life.”

    Tony Jones interrupted, asking: “Are you drawing a link between the Bali bombings and refugees coming to Australia for medical services?”

    Reynolds: “What I’m saying is that having my colleagues cheer for this policy that will inevitably lead to the boat trade coming again.

    This legislative amendment you may recall was merely to involve doctors in the medical evacuation process rather than leaving the decision to bureaucrats which, in the past has led to unnecessary delay and in the case of Manus Island detainee, Hamid Khazaei his death from severe sepsis resulting from an inadequately treated leg infection.

    At first I thought that senator Reynolds was almost physically ill when considering the plight of asylum seekers in offshore detention and the fate of people like the twenty-four year old Khazei. But no, her illness was the result of losing the vote to deliver proper medical oversight and compassionate treatment to these individuals.

    Senator Reynolds is being groomed by Scott Morrison who appointed her to the Cabinet as Defence Industry Minister and she’s being groomed to take over as Defence Minister if the Coalition is re-elected.

    This is not the first time that Reynolds has shown a blinkered disposition to see just one side of a discussion and we really have to ask is she the right person to be elevated so rapidly to high office ?

  8. Kaye Lee

    DrakeN,

    I am not a religious person but I attended church for a long time. I loved the sense of community and neighbours coming together to help each other. I appreciated the tangible good done in the community and beyond by members of the congregation. The good will and support offered to others in times of need was very real.

    What drove me away was the emphasis on worship, the intolerance of others, the hypocrisy of wealth accumulation by the church organisation, the interference by the church in politics, the very blatant nepotism of the Boys Club, the misogyny, and the inescapable disappointment of some very ordinary clergy.

    Churches can be a force for good and a collective voice for people who would otherwise not have one.

    They, like our other institutions – government, business and even unions – have not always put the well being of society in front of the interests of the club members.

    Change happens slowly but it does happen – if enough people demand it.

  9. helvityni

    “And this is the essence of ScoMo’s insoluble problem: the mob has worked him out, and has decoded that he is a 36 carat phoney.”

    That’s what Mungo MacCallum says in his excellent post on Menadue’s blog Pearls and Irritations.

  10. Kaye Lee

    helvityni,

    The problem with being a phoney is that truth has a nasty habit of rearing its head just at the wrong moment.

    Pretty much every election strategy that the Coalition had ready to use, apart from a possible surplus next year, has been blown out of the water,

    They wanted to make us love coal for its ‘reliability’. They wanted us to think that renewables were the cause of our rising energy bills. They wanted us to ignore climate change.

    Well, the reef bleached, the Murray dried up, the fish died, the country simultaneously suffered from devastating drought, floods and bushfires, we had our hottest summer on record again, and the children marched. The people want renewables.

    They wanted us to be scared of foreigners – Muslims, African gangs, asylum seekers, Chinese.

    And then an Australian white supremacist killed 50 people in NZ.

    They want us to be thankful for a figure from the ABS showing more people are in work.

    Except the working community see increasing job insecurity, stagnant wages, the undermining of workplace entitlements, the exploitation of people with working visas, all during a time of record company profits and obscene remuneration packages to CEOs.

    But hey, we might have a ‘surplus’ sometime soon.

  11. Rhonda

    My street has a sense of community and neighbours coming together to help each other – toward our local creek re- habitation and weed de-infestation (supported by the Moggill Ck Catchment Group – recently featured on Gardening Aus+ BCC). No religion, no church. Just a regular monthly working bee. Works for me!

  12. Kaye Lee

    Those sort of community initiatives are wonderful Rhonda. Not only does it work for you, your work is of benefit for all of us. These are the sort of things the government should be fostering and facilitating – the things that bring us together in shared goals, supporting each other.

  13. Zathras

    Whether Morrison is a phoney or not doesn’t really matter. He’s just the window dressing for vested interests elsewhere.

    All an election-winning government has to do is fool that swinging 5% of the voters every thousand days or so – the rest will fall in line as they usually do and the bizarre system of quotas will decide the makeup of the Upper House and typically let in a few token crazies.

    It’s what happens to us as a society that really matters but that’s seldom mentioned when it matters the most.

  14. whatever

    The election ads for the Nationals are still pushing a “vigilante justice” theme about the Greens and Labor ‘shutting down coal mines and power stations’.
    Talk-Back radio here in Newcastle is a bastion of Far-Right Bogan straya idiocy, you can regularly hear threats being made against Greens or anyone they consider Green, especially Sarah Hanson-Young.

  15. Alcibiades

    ‘The Feed’ Is Taking The Australian Media To Task For Its Christchurch Terrorist Attack Coverage

    The coverage of the Christchurch shooting by Australia’s leading right-wing media outlets has represented a unique break in their usual modus operandi.

    In the past, conservative papers have tended to call on Imams to accept responsibility for acts of terror, and have described spree killers as unthinking murders. But in response to Christchurch, pundits have instead painted the shooting’s perpetrator as a one-time “curly-haired”, chubby and “working class” boy corrupted by violent video games.

    Now, The Feed has tackled that very double standard, a bias in the media that has led to the Christchurch shooter being described as an angel and the Orlando Pulse nightclub shooter as an “ISIS devil.”…

    Australia’s leading right-wing media outlets ?

    Murdochs Sky News Australia & Limited News Corpse.

  16. paul walter

    Just in the door for ten minutes to read the Trish Corry thingie than the Guardian now, here.

    Put all together, how does this piece in the Grauniad sum it all up?

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/mar/18/john-howard-says-gun-control-at-risk-over-nsw-labor-deal-with-shooters-party

    If you don’t get what this writer is talking about, think of the elephant in the room; Christchurch, then consider what Abbott and Howard are upset about rather than fifty unarmed people shot dead by a brainwashed Australian crank.

  17. guest

    At present the Coalition is wheeling out a report which purports to be an analysis of Labor’s climate policy. Some astronomical costs have been paraded in order to disparage Labor policy and to present a milder, fluffier Coalition “policy”.

    The report was written by Brian Fisher who has written about the topic before when he was associated with the Australian Bureau of Agriculture and Resource Economics.

    Details can be found about his previous writing on sourcewatch.org by linking Brian Fisher and John Quiggin.

    “…ABARE’s real trick was to overstate even the costs yielded by its modelling. Its favourite method was to calculate either its cumulative total reduction in GDP over the course of several decades if action was taken to ameliorate carbon emissions, or calculate the present value of reductions in per capita GDP if such actions were taken. These entirely meaningless figures could be dressed up as a sort of massive impost on Australians for addressing climate change.”

    It was Professor John Quiggin who revealed this trickery in “Greenhouse gas sums don’t add up” in the Australian Financial Review, 17 December 1996.

    Is this the same trick brought out into daylight again? See The Aus,21Feb, 2019

  18. guest

    Acknowledgement to Bernard Keane of Crikey.com for the quotation at sourcewatch.org.

  19. Kaye Lee

    guest,

    Mediawatch did a program on Fisher and the story in the Australian.

    “Step forward economist Dr Brian Fisher, a well-known consultant to the mining industry. And it’s Brian Fisher’s four-page paper, which is not peer reviewed, that is the one and only source for The Australian’s story.

    So, since The Oz didn’t bother to seek a second opinion or alternative view, we asked Dylan McConnell from Melbourne University’s Climate & Energy College to review it for us.

    And he told Media Watch:

    It’s really quite difficult to critique, given the lack of detail. There are clearly some assumptions that make very little sense to me … and many others seem completely unjustified.

    • Email, 22 February, 2019

    And he added:

    It’s very disappointing and discouraging to see such prominent coverage given to what amounts to two pages of ‘analysis’ … without a second or third opinion, or fact checking (especially, given it was clearly known to the journalist that the analysis was not peer-reviewed, and they were preliminary results).

    • Email, 22 February, 2019″

    https://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/episodes/solar/10846360

  20. andy56

    Reynolds comes across as a dickhead. The other day, she showed what a shit wanna be she is with her demonisation of shorten but quickly reversing when she listened and heard it was Mathias words. So , she really has no position on that issue., just what ever is anti labor. Then last night on Q&a, she came across as a shit politician who answers questions by wandering off on her own agenda.
    I am all for more women in parliament, but please, if this one got her job on merit, throw open the doors cause you couldnt do worse than this. I want women who act like women, not like nasty shit kickers . The 4 amigos on the cross bench (independants) are so much more civil and intelligent.

  21. Kaye Lee

    We also have “Rio employs Brian Fisher analysis to support coal mine expansion”

    https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/business-spectator/rio-employs-brian-fisher-analysis-to-support-coal-mine-expansion/news-story/6b8257d8b6e1f6d1447b645865770a04

    “However, his report for Rio Tinto was last week criticised in the Australia Institute’s submission to the NSW Government.

    The Institute claims the assessment has major flaws and fails to fairly present the economic case for continued mining at the Warkworth open cut.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-26/economist-defends-coal-mine-report/5696716

    Mr Fisher is somewhat renowned for making figures prove what those paying him want to hear. He is a coal promoter.

  22. Alcibiades

    Mr Fisher is somewhat renowned for making figures prove what those paying him want to hear.

    Surprise, surprise, not. Of course Murdochs minions & co. would use him.

  23. Miriam English

    Richard Di Natale has urged Australian politicians to “put an end to the politics of fear and division that is so dangerous, and so damaging. Yesterday on your behalf I wrote to Scott Morrison and Bill Shorten to ask that they back the Greens’ push to introduce a parliamentary code of conduct to stamp out hate speech.”

    Good on him. It’s a pity the LNP politicians need to be asked to, though. Of course they’ll object to it. Hate seems to be the only “policy” they have left.

  24. John

    Isnt it about time that we stopped calling these benighted cultural dinosaurs “conservatives”?

  25. Andrew Smith

    It’s a small world, their bogus ‘conservative’ PR, ideology and role in Australia is not even original. Meawhile one of their favoured US organisations is the libertarian and corporate driven ‘bill mill’ ALEC. Bernardi had been linked with ALEC and SourceWatch cites him.

    https://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php/ALEC_Politicians

    But shockingly, there’s s whiff….

    ‘ALEC & SLLI – “Bipartisan” Bigotry. There appears to be a dirty little lurking in the halls and cocktail parties of the of the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) meetings – overt racism.’

    https://m.dailykos.com/stories/2012/7/4/1106275/-ALEC-SLLI-Bipartisan-Bigotry?

    No surprise since white Oz admirer and white nationalist, John ‘passive eugenics’ Tanton, had been linked to ALEC, as outlined in the same article.

    From over 15 years ago from SPLC on Tanton :

    JOHN TANTON IS THE MASTERMIND BEHIND THE ORGANIZED ANTI-IMMIGRATION MOVEMENT

    ‘The organized anti-immigration ‘movement,’ increasingly in bed with racist hate groups, is dominated by one man, John Tanton.’

    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2002/john-tanton-mastermind-behind-organized-anti-immigration-movement

  26. Kaye Lee

    John,

    The name of Bernardi’s party is Australian Conservatives. They have a candidate running in my electorate in the NSW election. People need to know how vile they are.

    Also, one of Fraser Anning’s minders that tackled egg boy was Neil Eriksonn, a convicted criminal who has an outstanding arrest warrant out against him after he invaded my local church with four other thugs from some group who call themselves Cook’s Convicts brandishing whips and fake swords.

    Father Rod Bowers said at the time “These people are to Christianity what Isis is to Islam.”

    “This attack shows how far we have gone down the road of right-wing extremism. Such an attack on a church could not have been imagined only a few years ago,” he added.

    https://coastcommunitynews.com.au/central-coast/news/2018/05/christianist-terrorists-invade-gosford-anglican-church/

    But no-one listened and there is Erikson standing with a Senator of the Australian parliament while 50 people were massacred as they attended church in NZ.

  27. Kaye Lee

    Labor’s climate change spokesman Mark Butler said Dr Fisher’s analysis was “utterly dodgy rubbish”, noting that his report assumed renewable energy was as high as $200/MWh when Snowy Hydro was already offering contracts at $70/MWh.

    “We’ve seen these fear campaigns claiming Whyalla would be wiped off the map, and lamb roasts will cost $100. Now we have this prediction of doom and gloom. They simply aren’t credible,” Mr Butler said.

    The Australia Institute research director Rod Campbell dismissed the modelling, which he said was based on flawed assumptions.

    “It’s economic modelling like this that are giving economists a bad name,” he said.

  28. guest

    And the usual nonsense abut Climate Change from Judith Sloan in “RBA speakers’ bureau shows how out of touch they are” (19/3/19). Apparently Guy Debelle, RBA deputy governor, quoted Dorothea Mackellar’s poem on droughts and flooding rains and weather events.

    “But Debelle gets himself into deeper water by accepting holus-bolus all the material from the UN IPCC, the Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO.

    “We should expect more from one of our leading bureaucrats merely regurgitating the propositions of these agencies while ignoring other findings.

    “Actually, if you read the IPCC reports closely, you will learn about the lack of definite evidence on the rising incidence of extreme weather events, particularly hurricanes/typhoons.

    “The evidence is there in the bodies of these reports; it’s just not in the executive summaries.”

    This is a strange bi-polar submission. Not to accept ‘holus-bolus’ all materials from the IPCC, the Bureau of Meteorology and CSIRO? But accept ‘other findings’?

    Is she serious? It’s a bit like the idea of balance: if you mention global Earth, you must also mention flat Earth. The Murdoch media is addicted to publishing any crackpot alternative to those agencies she criticises.

    As well, these agencies get it wrong, she says. For example, in the Murdoch media it is claimed they were not able to predict the flooding rains in Townsville. There can be no other explanation for the reference to hurricanes and typhoons. It is about that stupid claim.

    But she does admit that there is ‘rising incidence of extreme weather’.

    Then she tells us the ‘information is there…it’s just not in the executive summaries’. She said what?

    Further evidence of the muddle presented by the climate deniers, contradicting themselves and each other, with no coherent science to argue against the agencies of the UN IPCC, Bureau of Meteorology and the CSIRO, not to mention hundreds of climate science agencies around the world.

    The Murdoch scribblers seem to live in their own echo chamber.

  29. Kaye Lee

    Judith has a much higher opinion of herself than she deserves. She calls herself “the laconic economist”. Who needs all those wordy scientists?

  30. whatever

    Neil Eriksonn belongs to the United Patriots Front, who seem to be providing a kind of Praetorian Guard for Anning.
    Maybe he just fancies older men.

  31. Diannaart

    Whatever

    Anning is a vile piece of work, no doubt.

    However, homophobia is not just confined to the right.

    So what, if Neil prefers men?

  32. Diannaart

    Guest

    The strange ‘balance’ of the Murdoch press – which never finds parity by publishing proven science against the science-phobic.

  33. Kronomex

    So millions more dollars for mates and big business –

    “Government contracts with 41 private employment service providers will cost the budget more than $6 billion over the next four years.”
    “Existing provider contracts will be extended by two years with the government set for a national rollout in mid-2022.”

    “Ms O’Dwyer stressed people who used the online portal could access face-to-face services if required.” With the operative word being “could”.

    The ultimate loser, as usual, is the little person.

    https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/kelly-o-dwyer-to-unveil-biggest-changes-to-employment-services-in-two-decades-20190319-p515fk.html

    The whole thing stinks of “Out of sight, out of mind.”

  34. helvityni

    Diannaart,

    ‘Anning is a vile piece of work, no doubt.’

    Agree, and so is Hanson. If we want more good women in Oz politics, let’s try to find some like Jacinda Ardern, and leave the Reynolds likes out….she even silenced the Q&A host, Tony Jones….

    On the other hand, is Anning any worse than say Dutton, Scomo, and the rest…?

  35. helvityni

    PS. I also find it hard to believe that our Right-wing male politicians are now all ‘born again’ after the horror attack by Tarrant in NZ….

  36. Alcibiades

    @helvityni

    Certainly far from alone in that view. On the other hand, from a different perspective, the supposedly ‘born again’ can often be found to be the most dangerous & unhinged of all …

  37. andy56

    Kronomex, yes more fuckups in the making.
    Centrelink is a DISASTER, pure and simple.
    Who ever thought privatising job searching was a good idea needs to be lined up. Oh yea, competition and let the market rip . Its a disjointed , adhock and fractured environment. Its bloody disheartening looking for work as it is. I dare anyone to venture into this crap and come out on top. All these job agencies are only interested in churning you over to collect their government fee. Not entitled to the dole? There is the door.
    I can see what is going to happen with this ” reform”. You will be forced online and disappear out of sight. As soon as the word SAVINGS appears you know full well what that means to services. Fuck, how much more humiliation do they want to heap on the unemployed? But for ideology that bears no resemblance to human behaviour (dole bludgers ) , they are put into a forced spiral down. I mean, to get the dole, you have to be DESTITUTE. How does that get you out of the hole?
    A true reform would be to allow the unemployed to earn an extra 300 a fortnight. Currently , anything over a 100 lands you in a paper shuffle and possible loss of benefits. A totally negative incentive. I mean, for an extra 300 a fortnight you get a few hrs of work. This incentivises you to get a part-time job, surely, thats what the aim is no? It costs the government ZERO dollars.

  38. NotSoNaive

    “We need to talk about Australian Conservatives”. We actually need to talk about radical Islam and realise the friction it causes in the modern world.

    This is the country of Australia with its heritage, including multiculturalism, you shouldnt expect a group here called Australian Conservatives to not bring attention to groups promoting a culture that is non multicultural such as Islam.

    Pick any one of the political parties, they offend some group, its easy to make an article which shows they are extreme in one view or another, overlooking their other benefits.

    Why suppose everyone here should be offended by what is found to be offensive by a “Federation of Islamic Councils” or a “Muslim Community Leader”

    It could be that you would rather see an Islamic heritage in our country, rather a political party in our elections called Muslim Conservatives.

    Extreme Australian views belong here in the country of Australia, its not so shocking to hear it here, but extreme Islam views of muslims dont belong here, rather, they would belong in the country of its origin and cultural heritage.

  39. Kaye Lee

    “promoting a culture that is non multicultural such as Islam”

    Islam is as multicultural as it gets. Muslims come from every country on earth and practice in very different ways.

    I wrote the article because I am offended by what Bernardi and his band of bigots say.

    “It could be that you would rather see an Islamic heritage in our country”

    We HAVE an Islamic heritage in this country which goes back before white colonisation

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

    “Extreme Australian views belong here in the country of Australia”

    Extremism of any kind has no place here

  40. NotSoNaive

    Islam is certainly multi-racial, but that is not the same as multi-cultural, Islam is intrinsically and specifically its own culture and wants adherants to its own.

    The word Bigot could include people who are intolerable of Australian patriotism too, to call a respect held for our christian organisations historically supportive to our culture ‘some warped superiority imposed on us all’.

    Claiming Islamic “heritage” in Australia pre white colonisation is incongruous with heritage, and anything evident in the Islam In Australia link is no comparison to the English status quo.

    I never spoke about extremism having a place only about its appropriation, its normal for the intensity of Australian views to be strongest in Australia, as in any other country.

  41. Kaye Lee

    Do you think how Islam is practised in Saudi-Arabia is the same as how it is practised in Malaysia and that is the same as how it is practised in Somalia and that is the same as how it is practised in Australia?

    Do you think Waleed Aly and Osama bin Laden have cultural links?

    Do you think all Muslim sects are the same?

    Do you think the laws of the land have any bearing on culture?

    What does Australian patriotism mean to you? I think you would find the vast majority of Australian Muslims would express support for Australia making them also patriots.

    There are many of us who have no connection to Christianity This is a secular country and religion should be a personal issue that has no place in determining our laws or in our schools.

    What are Australian views? Are they the views of our First People? Are they the views of our churches? Are they the views of the English invaders? Or are they the views of the more than 25 million very diverse people who have chosen to make this country their home?

  42. Andrew Smith

    It’s a misnomer to speak of ‘Islam’ as a unified religion with broad groups of Sunni and Shia, then diversity of tarikets or sects.

    Turkey has the Alevi ‘folk religion’, deemed by the powers that be as Islam, which is neither Sunni nor Shia (up to 1/3 of population).

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alevism

  43. Miriam English

    NotSoNaive, the Australian “Conservatives” are not actually conservatives at all (hence my quote marks). They are actually radicals.

    Genuine conservatives don’t like change, preferring stability. And they value honesty and integrity and strict observance of the law. They consider it their duty to look after the lower classes, though admittedly in a paternalist fashion. In the past it was the conservatives who were most interested in conservation of forests and rivers.

    Those politicians today who call themselves “conservatives” have been altering Australia at a pace unheard of. They lie and cheat in ways that are eyewatering even for politicians. They constantly bend and break the law, and they don’t give a damn for the great majority of the Australian population — that is, anybody who is not obscenely wealthy. They have no interest in nature, other than what can be gained from a good raping. They are NOT conservatives.

    As for Islam, all religions are absurd and horrible and riddled with lies and contradictions, but the vast bulk of religious people are good people who only want to live peaceful, honest, helpful lives. This is true of Christians, Muslims, Hindus, Jewish people, Buddhists, Jains… etc.

    Australian society is secular. Our constitution requires politics and religion not to mix, either to advantage or disadvantage any religion. The current crop of religious loons in government are violating the law almost every time they open their disgusting mouths. This is especially so when they whip up anti-Islamic fear and hate.

    You think Islam causes friction in the world? Yes, of course it does — it’s a religion. All religions do. Do you not consider the problems being caused around the world by Christians “friction”? I’m sure you think the Christians don’t kill people, but you’d be wrong. The Nazis were devout Catholics, the Rwandan genocide was aided and cheered on by Christian priests and nuns, the child soldiers in the Sudan are under a Baptist preacher/general, the genocide in the former Yugoslavia was committed by Christians against their peaceful Muslim neighbors, the fundamentalist Christians in USA are trying to bring about a nuclear war because they think it will bring on the end-time prophecies… and there is much more. The Muslims don’t look quite so bad now do they? All religion is dangerous, but almost all religious people are not — an interesting paradox.

    I believe the biggest religious group in Australia comprises those with no religion, and that group is rapidly growing with every generation. All around the world religion is dying out. Islam looks like it is still growing, but that actually seems to be because revealing that you’ve lost your faith can get you killed in many Islamic countries (as used to be the case in Christian countries and I’m sure still is in some). When that law is eliminated, as it is bound to be eventually, they will find a massive part of their population is not religious. Religion is dying out everywhere… thank goodness.

  44. NotSoNaive

    I think you have some extreme views. Nowhere did I say..

    Islam is a unified religion.
    Islam is practiced the same everywhere.
    Australia is not secular.
    Australian Conservatives are genuine Conservatives.
    Christians dont kill people.
    Religion is the problem.

    You said “most of us have no connection to Christianity”. Alot of people in Australia identify as Christian, in the past as much as 90%, its still the largest religion now at just over 50%.

    Australian Government does seem to be secular, but you shouldnt say the Country is secular, people and culture truly make the country not laws and politics of the Nation.

    You cant deny Christianity has had a big influence in the past in politics, in the development of our country, to our heritage, and it is a part of the Genuine Patriotism in this country. The Nation was established under the Monarchy and under God.

    I havnt said I think Australian Law should be determined by Christianity, and I never thought the Australian Conservative Party was thinking that either. As far as I know, in their Policy they only mention Recognition and Respect of Christianity, besides defending it from threats, whatever that is.

  45. Kaye Lee

    It is a crying shame when people think that tolerance and acceptance and an appreciation of the value of diversity are extreme views.

  46. Matters Not

    Re:

    The Nazis were devout Catholics

    Really? All, some, or perhaps a minority – and what is the definition of devout? Perhaps a link or two?

    Methinks, that generalisation masks much complexity and if one were in the fact checking business, one would have to say – that the claim is somewhat misleading – at best.

  47. Miriam English

    Matters Not, during the rise of Nazism in Germany the country was strongly Catholic (about a third of the population, and I believe the largest single religious group). Admittedly, many Catholics became annoyed at the Nazis banning the Catholic-aligned Centre Party, but they seemed to have little difficulty supporting the Nazis anyway. Though you couldn’t really blame them in the early days, as strong, dynamic dictators seemed to be the way to get things done back then. A group of wealthy USA businessmen tried to overthrow the US government and install a dictator there about the same time. Fascism was fashionable.

    Most of Hitler’s inner circle were devout Catholics (Hitler distrusted atheists and agnostics almost as much as he did Jews). None were excommunicated by the Catholic church, with the lone exception of Joseph Goebbels — not for his part in mass murder… but for the much more awful crime of marrying a Protestant! To be fair, Hitler, although raised as Catholic, preferred the Lutheran Bible, which he apparently carried with him everywhere and often quoted from.

    It is true that some Catholics stood against Nazism — not all were complicit — but the strongly antisemitic teachings in the Catholic church caused most to either approve of the racial vilification or at least not to oppose.

    The Roman Catholics in Nazi Germany’s Leadership :

    Among the many Nazi leaders who were Roman Catholics, in addition to Adolf Hitler, were Josef Goebbels, Heinrich Himmler, Reinhard Heydrich, Heinrich Müllerv and Rudolf Hoess, (not to be confused with Hitler’s Deputy Fuëhrer and secretary, Rudolf Hess below). Hermann Goering, on the other hand, had mixed Catholic – Protestant parentage, while Rudolf Hess, Martin Bormann, Albert Speer, and Adolf Eichmann had Protestant backgrounds. Not one of the top Nazi leaders was raised in a liberal or atheistic family.

    http://www.liberalslikechrist.org/Catholic/NaziLeadership.html

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