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A particularly Australian decency…

12 Nov

I don’t get the patriotism bug very often, though the Ashes Series gives one a good excuse and is also far more sensible than much that has been going on here lately. However, I revisited the good Sir William Deane’s Centenary Of Federation Speech last night and it went to where I live, if you know what I mean. We could all stand to consider this yardstick and measure our subsequent promise or decline.

The opening words of the national anthem we have just sung tell us to rejoice. And so we should. For we have much to celebrate as we recall the coming together, exactly one hundred years ago today, of the six Australian colonies to “be one people”.

We all remember our gratitude and pride in Australia during the recent Olympic and Paralympic Games. We bring that same grateful pride to this celebration of our nation’s 100th birthday.

Grateful pride in the land itself: this matchless continent, its islands, its surrounding seas. For those of us who love this “wide brown land”, there is nowhere else on earth that comes even close to its ancient majesty, its mystery, its varied beauty and its sheer wonder.

Grateful pride in the commitment to democracy under the rule of law, which created our nation and which has deepened down the century. We have sealed it by sacrifice in war. We have maintained it tenaciously in peace. Few other nations can look back on a century of democratic rule, unbroken by dictatorship, military coup, civil war or conquest.

And, above all, grateful pride in our Australian people who, as our Constitution makes plain, are our nation. All those who have been and are Australian. And what they were and are: their decency, their generosity, their sense of fair play; their spirit of ANZAC.

And their mutual respect and acceptance which underlie our greatest achievement, namely, the way we are making our diversity, of origin, race, culture and belief, a source of national strength and unity rather than a cause of weakness and division.

So let us rejoice and be grateful for all the achievements of our past and for this day.

At the same time, let us be honest and courageous about the failures and flaws which mar those achievements and which together we can address and overcome.

The damage we have done to the land, its rivers and coasts, notwithstanding our love of its beauty.

The unacceptable gap between the haves and the have-nots, in this the land of the “fair-go” for all.

How far we still have to travel on our journey towards genuine reconciliation between Australiaís indigenous peoples and the nation of which they form such a vital part.

Conscious of all these things, let us re-dedicate Australia to the ideal of unity, under freedom, democracy and the rule of law, which brought our Commonwealth into being, one hundred years ago.

And, in this Centennial Park, on the ancestral land and meeting place of the Eora, Cadagal and Tharawal [Dharawal] peoples, let us look to the future, and dream of what it might hold for our nation.

Let us walk together into that future with honesty, vision and determination, with Australian generosity of spirit, and with Australian goodwill and fair play.

Thereby we will truly, in the best and fullest sense, “Advance Australia Fair”.

I suspect we all need to revisit that.

Decent: The report in today’s Sun-Herald Tide has turned as Muslim lifesavers start training in burqinis.

Indecent: The reported tactics of an increasingly desperate and bankrupt (perhaps literally) NSW Labor Party in the coming election. See Now it’s personal: Iemma’s strategy to hurt Debnam. I carry no torch for Debnam either. Looks as if Clover Moore (Independent) will get my vote. If Labor goes with that style of campaigning they should be so rewarded with voter revulsion that no-one dares use the tactic again. Let’s hope so. Also indecent, in my opinion, has been our continuing inability to distinguish allegations from facts in the ongoing storm over alleged Labor sleazebags, but Labor can hardly complain, can they?

It’s not Cricket, people, not at all…

Note

I urge you all to remain polite with Kevin on that conversation post, but have to say he has revealed views and attitudes which I find quite distressing, and actually make me quite glad I am not an American; I am sure that was not his intention, nor do I question his character as a person. Fortunately the US government is likely to take a different path now. I would call it a saner path, as their trip into Rambo-style fantasy has not really done wonders in the War on Terror.

John Howard’s unwillingness to add 2+2 to get 4 after the recent US elections beggars belief still, and Ruddock’s refusal to hear Major Mori told you far more about Ruddock than it did about Mori’s presentation or the position of the combined states attorneys general.

Further note

To al-Qaeda and any sympathisers out there. Far from demonstrating a marvellous victory for your warped version of Islam, recent events in the USA demonstrate for all to see the greater value, morally socially and intellectually, for all its faults, of what the best aspects of America offer the world of the 21st century in contrast to what you have to offer.

To Americans. Distinguish between what you have that is worth fighting for and what you must fight against in yourselves. Behave with due humility, allowing that not everyone in the world wants to be as you are, and that this certainty is not itself a threat to world peace. The world is and always has been and always will be a multicultural place; world citizens of the 21st century have to live with that in mutual respect and harmony. The alternative is just too awful to contemplate.

To everyone. Embrace the view that all of us have complex identities and loyalties. Reject deadly identities that feed off the blood of “the other”.

Later

Decency recovering? See Labor denies smear campaign. Let’s hope so. Even if the story the Sun-Herald published on its front page this morning has merely produced a pragmatic rethink, it’s for the better.

Next day

I have just signed this. I recommend it to my fellow Australians.

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10 responses to “A particularly Australian decency…

  1. AV

    November 12, 2006 at 10:03 am

    Kevin said:

    Also, this is the face of liberalism in America. So, yes, it is considered a bad name here.

    Whereas I suggest most Australians wouldn’t bat an eyelid at something like a nude bike ride; nor would Janet’s exposed nipple have sent the nation into a fit of apoplexy and moral panic. This probably points to a greater psychological maturity on our part (in aggregate terms), relative to Americans.

    I urge you all to remain polite with Kevin on that conversation post, but have to say he has revealed views and attitudes which I find quite distressing, and actually make me quite glad I am not an American; I am sure that was not his intention, nor do I question his character as a person. Fortunately the US government is likely to take a different path now. I would call it a saner path, as their trip into Rambo-style fantasy has not really done wonders in the War on Terror.

    I think Kevin’s views, if implemented as policy in Australia, would spell electoral disaster in Australia. (Look at the reaction to Workchoices, for example.)

     
  2. Kevin

    November 12, 2006 at 11:01 pm

    My apologies for distressing you.

     
  3. Kevin

    November 12, 2006 at 11:22 pm

    My point had very little to do with the nudity, AV. It was about the attitude. I’m sorry I didn’t make that more clear. There’s nothing wrong with nudity, though I’d prefer it to be relegated to homes and some beaches.

    The pictures show a lack of concern for others. If I were to protest, it would certainly cross my mind that ‘people probably don’t want to see my weiner and huge rear-end.’ It’s a common courtesy, and it’s something that is lacking among the liberals of America. Like when they stand outside of army hospitals with signs that say ‘maimed for a lie’ so the soldiers can see them on the way in. It’s hard to respect someone willing to treat others in this manner. I wish it were just a few of the more radical liberals that were like this, but reading DU and myDD suggests otherwise.

    I’m stunned that you consider our actions in Iraq and Afghanistan ‘rambo style’, ninglun. More than half of the people over there are involved in building schools, power plants, etc. The might exerted by America was surprisingly low imo, which is exactly why the terrorists are not demoralized. And it’s exactly why the terrorists continue to murder thousands of innocent Iraqis.

    But you are right, we are probably going to surrender to them soon, and wait until they have nuclear weapons. When New York or Los Angeles disappears from the face of the earth, we’ll see a war the likes of which the world has never known. All because we weren’t aggressive enough now. Again, imo.

     
  4. ninglun

    November 13, 2006 at 12:04 am

    Yes Kevin, you are quite right to point out “people over there are involved in building schools, power plants, etc.” The trouble with blogging, as compared to the careful writing you might get in a full-length article in something like Foreign Affairs or in a decent book, is its tendency to “sound-bites”, to never saying enough.

    For example, I think the situation on the ground in Iraq is far more complex than your presentation or mine, and I guess that is inevitable, but it really isn’t the case that is is just “us” and “the terrorists” in Iraq. If only it were so easy! It is also not true, despite the temptation both on the Left and the Right to claim this, that Iraq is at all like the Vietnam War, or that the War on Terror is like any war we have seen in my lifetime, which does extend back to World War II (just!). That I think is something very many on all sides have been finding hard to get their heads around.

    If Osama bin Laden were found tomorrow, the war would be far from over. Even Al Qaeda could disappear and there would be no guarantee the problem would go away, as the ideas and strategies can be used by anyone who cares to. I think it has also been true that the numbers of terrorists increase in proportion to whatever horror the Americans may inflict. You could kill every terrorist in Iraq, and there are more there because of the 2003 invasion, and there would be recruits and training camps popping up somewhere else.

    So unless you want a new hundred years war, or perpetual war, then better strategies definitely need to be explored.

     
  5. Kevin

    November 13, 2006 at 3:06 am

    I think it has also been true that the numbers of terrorists increase in proportion to whatever horror the Americans may inflict..

    I don’t. The people that ‘become’ terrorists because of ‘whatever horror’ Americans inflict were just terrorists-in-waiting, and their exposure is actually a good thing in the long run. The cartoon jihad proved at least one thing: fundamentalist Islam will kill over anything. Imagine killing people because someone half a world away in Denmark published a cartoon of which you disapproved. Yeah, I can’t imagine it either. But it happened. It is the singular reason that I oppose Islam. Attempts at censoring my freedom of speech/expression has made them my enemy. That freedom is too dear to lose.

    If Iraq wasn’t an issue, they would choose something else (Israel’s continued existance?) as their casus belli. When we flee from Iraq in the near future, they will become militantly outraged at some other situation. Perhaps at that time you will believe that they (10% of Islam, 100 million+ human beings) will not be satisfied until we in the free world adhere to sharia?

    So unless you want a new hundred years war, or perpetual war, then better strategies definitely need to be explored.

    This is not about ‘wants’. No sane person ‘wants’ war. I ‘want’ to continue to live and let live as we did in the 90’s, despite jihadists murdering people on the USS Cole, the World Trade Center bombing, and the embassy bombings in Africa. 9/11 proved that the terrorists have gotten too good at killing innocent people, and it’s now necessary to extract them from the planet. My ‘wants’ take a backseat to what the world ‘needs’.

    It’s bad enough the way Islam treats their women. But now they want to treat us worse. No thanks, Islam. It was hoped that the democracy offered by ‘whatever horror’ America inflicted on them would be grasped as a drowning man grasps a life preserver. Aside from the great and proud Kurdish third of Iraq, they seem hellbent on killing each other. And then they proclaimed sharia to be the law of the land! Anyone who would have suggested that Iraq would intentionally enslave themselves before this announcement is a heck of a lot smarter than I am.

    And then the Palestinians (don’t blame the US for this plz) democratically elect terrorism! If that’s not a call to bomb them with impunity, then it’s time to put on a burkha. They are CLEARLY telling you that they support killing innocents. Why aren’t we believing them?

    What all of this tells me, and doesn’t seem to tell you, is that a large portion of Islam wants to impose their will upon you. I find that unacceptable, and am willing to utterly destroy them if they don’t recant. When it becomes illegal to say ‘Mohammed enjoyed sex with a 9 year old, because he called her his wife” will be the day that I die. I heard it’s true, but even if not, we have to be allowed to say it, or we are losing something. Freedom.

    Neil, I take issue with your suggestion that my opinions are something found only in America. Tim Blair (#1 Australian blog), Mark Steyn (a brilliant Canadian), and Omar and Mohammed (Iraq the Model, #1 Iraq blog (?)), generally support my position. It’s not American, it’s global. Since you are a history buff, I hope you will take time to look at the world today, and look for similarities in history. You won’t like what you see.

    I also take issue with your views on multiculturalism. True, the world is multicultural, and it’s probably better because of it. But when a country is multicultural, such as Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Armenia, India in the 1940’s, or Azerbaijan, it tends to lead to civil war and death. At least it did in Lebanon, Sri Lanka, Yugoslavia, Northern Ireland, Armenia, India in the 1940’s, or Azerbaijan. I’m not against immigration, but when the immigrant is not willing to become one with his new country, trouble ensues. I never disagree with history.

    I’m going to have to bow out of the conversation until next weekend because we are repacking a distillation column, and my (super cool) new liquid distribution system isn’t machined yet. It’s going to be a pain since it calls for curved shapes, but I predict it to be the wave of the future in liquid-gas and liquid-liquid transfer columns, from which stem most plastics, oil, fuel gas, antifreeze, and even food such as vegetable oil. I should mention that this process will make fertilizer (urea) and release copious amounts of CO2. But don’t worry, as a chemical engineer, I’ve studied the data and determined that the theory that global warming is caused by humans is bunk, and mostly driven by government grants as shown here. Heh. It’s important to say that I respect your positions, but strongly disagree with most. I don’t think that global warming is in any way damaging to the Earth, but I understand how you could come to that conclusion. It’s my goal to convince you that muslim imperialism is a much bigger threat.

     
  6. ninglun

    November 13, 2006 at 7:45 am

    Kevin, you don’t have to convince me that the ideology associated with people like Osama bin Laden is a very big threat. On the other hand I doubt whether you will ever convince me that the invasion of Iraq did anything very much to solve that problem, though having got into the mess we sure have to make the best of it. Remember when Rumsfeld told the world, after that “shock and awe” impressed us all so much, that it would all be over in a few weeks, months at the most? The truth is Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, and all the hawks back then had very little idea what they were getting into or what to do when they got there. The truth is that Australia made the wrong call back then and Canada and New Zealand made the right one. I thought, and still think, the Afghanistan thing was far more justified and, while perilous, more useful.

    You and I will never agree on this, and while I respect you for trying, one look at my links on current affairs would tell you what I tend to believe, and rather than endlessly repeating myself, I suggest you go search this blog under Iraq. I opposed the invasion of Iraq from the start, and still believe that Bush is probably the least wise President you people have had in fifty years. Yes, I know that includes Nixon and Carter.

    Your being a chemical engineer no more makes you a climatologist than my being an English and History teacher makes me one. There is a whole range of views on climate change from the most pessimistic (which I am not drawn to) to “it’s all crap”, which seems to me also to be nonsense. I am not going to repeat myself endlessly on that one either. Back where we came in that was my position and it still is.

    When it becomes illegal to say ‘Mohammed enjoyed sex with a 9 year old, because he called her his wife” will be the day that I die. I heard it’s true, but even if not, we have to be allowed to say it, or we are losing something. Well, it probably isn’t true, as it happens. You are also still free to say “Jesus was the illegitimate son of a Roman centurion” or “He survived the crucifixion and died in Kashmir” or “He married Mary Magdalene”, all of which are believed by somebody. All of them are potentially offensive to somebody too, so I guess we take care when and why we say them; if it is just to give offense, then we are being a little childish, like saying “pooh” or “wee-wee”. You seem to be constantly confused about whether it is terrorists or Muslims who are the enemy. Seeing there is a whole category of Muslims-who-are-not-terrorists and even Muslims-who-actively-oppose-terrorists, it is up to us to be careful. Otherwise such Muslims can quite rightly say we are ignorant and hate them, which really doesn’t help anyone. And they can also quite rightly quote back an almost endless list of horrible things Christians have said and done over the centuries, and the sad truth is most of them would be true. Go read Charlie Notess, a countryman of yours I can agree with. I commend him to all my visitors. Americans can take pride in people like him. He has taken the trouble to set out his ideas systematically instead of in the very unsatisfactory form of a blog. Feel free to argue your position, but maybe on your own blog, or on the myriad blogs of like mind.

    Australia is multicultural. Repeat: Australia is multicultural. Up until now we have been more successful at this than most. I for one want to keep it that way; that is one reason I oppose monoculturalists like Osama bin Laden. Did you even read Making Multicultural Australia?

    Kevin, you, and anyone who thinks as you do, are welcome to read and disagree, but I really don’t want endless repetition of positions neither of us is likely to shift from. Now I am off to write an entry on something completely different.

    This blog, like most, is not really a place for sustained argument. I don’t have the time, the energy, or even the necessary intelligence to say anything terribly original or worthwhile, and I don’t pretend to. You will have read the brief introduction over there on the right, which explains quite clearly the scope and limitations to this venture. For every blog you may cite in support I could cite an equal and opposite blog, but what is the point? I have a blogroll, and I have chosen, I think, carefully. I have even chosen some blogs I don’t always agree with.

    I regard all the blogs or pundits you mentioned to be total propagandists, by the way. Of course I know of all three, and that is my opinion of them. For example, here I wrote: “…my problem with Steyn is that I regard him as a propagandist who constantly oversimplifies complex issues.” I still think so, and it is not because I haven’t read him, but because I have. The same is true of Tim, one-eyed if ever anyone was. And as for Iraq the Model, go to a few other blogs listed on Iraq Blog Count. Simply asserting our opposed positions is not conversation, and since it appears that is all this is likely to lead to, I suggest we talk about something else.

     
  7. AV

    November 13, 2006 at 12:15 pm

    When it becomes illegal to say ‘Mohammed enjoyed sex with a 9 year old, because he called her his wife” will be the day that I die. I heard it’s true, but even if not, we have to be allowed to say it, or we are losing something. Freedom.

    I think you’re right, Kevin. But given your remarks on the nude bike ride, aren’t you contradicting yourself here? Because you seem to be implying that while it is bad (i.e. discourteous) to offend those who would be offended by a nude bike ride, it is good to offend those who would be offended by the statement: “Mohammed enjoyed sex with a 9 year old, because he called her his wife.” How does that work? Aren’t the “liberals” you condemn exercising and upholding the same freedom represented by the right to make disparaging comments about Mohammed (i.e. the freedom to be discourteous)?

    I submit that there is something very wrong with a culture that finds nudity more offensive than malicious and inflammatory attacks on religion.

     
  8. Tim Baker

    November 14, 2006 at 2:42 pm

    I won’t attempt to match the eloquence of the word smiths here but I feel obliged to present what is perhaps a middle Australia view.

    I am pretty confident that there is an Australian Culture, however, being one of the trees, its hard to see the whole forest.

    I think we are basically a Western Culture with a “Fair Go” twist.(What ever Western Culture means – a little of this and a lot of Judaeo/Christian values and individualisms.)

    Our culture is very dynamic, constantly evolving, absorbing influences from our now polyglot society, and yet still retaining a unique Australian flavour.

    60 years of mass migration has little changed our core values. Those immigrants mostly came here to share in the fruits of those values.

    While I can’t put a finger on what makes our Aussie uniquieness, I can list a few of the core values which varies most from some other cultures:-

    Equality of sexes – not yet perfect but better then hijab wearing sequested wives.

    Equality of opportunity – money talks rather than breeding or class structure.

    Freedom of Speech – well – within some limits.

    There are heaps more – but you get the general idea.

     
  9. Kevin

    November 17, 2006 at 2:58 am

    Sorry for the delay. I hope someone is still interested enough to read this thread. I should mention, now that the shock value is gone, that the CO2 my (super cool) adsorbtion/stripping columns are venting to the atmosphere was actually farmed from the atmosphere, and 73% of that farmed CO2 is now part of the fertilizer instead of part of our air. So adherants to the doctrine of global warming should be saluting me. Please, no applause is necessary 🙂

    I disagree with a few of the comments above and would like to state my grievances.

    Ninglun said:

    Your being a chemical engineer no more makes you a climatologist than my being an English and History teacher makes me one.

    In fact, it does. I am very comfortable in believing that my background in science, with emphasis on gas purification and wastewater treatment makes me much more qualified to understand the data that supports (but mostly denies) a manmade cause to global warming. Much as your background makes you much more qualified to teach in any subject at all, or that your background makes you better at understanding tangential studies like anthropology. Climatologists (are supposed to, when not being paid to do otherwise) rely on science. Being an engineer makes me exceedingly good at that. I will go a step further and predict that in 5 years, the world will be a colder place. Despite what humans do, whether we hobble ourselves and cut CO2 production or whether we go wild and light everything on fire. It is my hope that in 5 years we will still be on speaking terms, so I can say, ‘toldjah!’ :).

    AV said:

    you seem to be implying that while it is bad (i.e. discourteous) to offend those who would be offended by a nude bike ride, it is good to offend those who would be offended by the statement: “Mohammed enjoyed sex with a 9 year old, because he called her his wife.” How does that work? Aren’t the “liberals” you condemn exercising and upholding the same freedom represented by the right to make disparaging comments about Mohammed (i.e. the freedom to be discourteous)?

    This is an important point! While I generally disapprove of Mohammed’s pedophilia, mentioning it doesn’t serve a purpose (except in this rare instance). However, 51+% of America has decided that freedom of speech is more important than risking discourtesy. 51+% of America has also decided that discourtesy is more important than freedom to ride a bike in the nude. So if you get on a bike naked, you are not only being discourteous, you are breaking a rule that most Americans have decided is important enough to make into a law. It’s how democracy works, and I’m a big fan of democracy. So I’m not a fan of hearing someone call Mohammed a pedophile, and it typically lowers my opinion of that person. But it’s legal. When a liberal sheds clothing and rides a bike, I’m not a fan because it’s discourteous, and also illegal. It’s a double whammy that puts my opinion of liberals in the gutter. A liberal who can’t be bothered to display courtesy or even respect the law is a liberal I can’t be bothered with. Unfortunately, it’s very typical of liberals up here. As Ninglun points out, it’s also legal for people to suggest that Jesus’ Mom was impregnated by a person, rather than a God. It is not a statement to be respected, but it’s legal.

    Ninglun said:

    …I doubt whether you will ever convince me that the invasion of Iraq did anything very much to solve that problem…

    And I don’t intend to try, since I agree with you. Freeing people from an evil despot who are STILL slaves to a religion that can and is twisted to support violent war with non-believers (jihad) is no kind of freedom at all. I’m not at all sure that we can win this battle at all. The fact that, when freed, both Afghanistan and Iraq chose to accept sharia as law proves that we lost. I used to compare this war to that of WWII where we gave freedom to Japanese and Germans alike. Robert Spencer said something the other day that really made me question this:

    There’s no comparison with post-war Japan and Germany. In both cases, the ideology that led to war was discredited. The emporer declared he was not a god. There was no one in Germany in 1946 who would openly claim that they were a Nazi. Political Islam has NOT been discredited, or even challenged. How can it do anything but win out?

    He’s right. I assure you that America is not willing to discredit jihad, even if your great country is. We aren’t willing to do what it takes to destroy proponents of jihadism. Therefore, big wars are coming, once the jihadists gear up for the fight. History buffs such as you will be reminded of Germany, 1938.

    Ninglun said:

    You seem to be constantly confused about whether it is terrorists or Muslims who are the enemy.

    Good Lord, nothing could be further from the truth. Muslims who believe that the koran is a list of actual phrases coming from God’s mouth are the enemy. Literally, it demands that muslims kill non-beleivers. I am not ambivalent about this. I am confused as to where you see confusion though. You are confusing 🙂

    Seeing there is a whole category of Muslims-who-are-not-terrorists and even Muslims-who-actively-oppose-terrorists, it is up to us to be careful.

    I would suggest that it is up to them to be clear.

    Otherwise such Muslims can quite rightly say we are ignorant and hate them, which really doesn’t help anyone.

    We’re not being ignorant, we are simply choosing to believe them when they say ‘death to America’ or ‘Israel will be destroyed’. Ignorance would be to ignore those statements.

    And they can also quite rightly quote back an almost endless list of horrible things Christians have said and done over the centuries…

    No doubt, Christians did some bad things 500+ years ago. What’s your point? That we allow muslims to do bad things for a few hundred years to even things out? Here’s my answer. No. Christianity may have done bad things, but that doesn’t give anyone, or any religion, the right to do bad things.

    Go read Charlie Notess, a countryman of yours I can agree with. I commend him to all my visitors. Americans can take pride in people like him.

    Also read American writers Thomas Sowell, Robert Spencer, Michael Yon and for humorous snarkiness, the famed Australian Tim Blair. There is much wisdom available in both our nations. Remember this? I can’t believe it didn’t get a mention :(. It took almost an hour to make. *sigh*

    Kevin, you, and anyone who thinks as you do, are welcome to read and disagree, but I really don’t want endless repetition of positions neither of us is likely to shift from.

    I understand, yet am saddened. Can I come back in 5 years when the world is colder to make funny remarks? If so, I’ll promise to come back even if the world is hot and we are dying or something… Regardless, I will post no further remarks on your blog until your policy is changed out of respect for you. Please email me if you do change your policy, as I generally can only read blogs on the weekend and may miss a mid-week post describing the change.

    Best of luck to you in the future!

     
  10. ninglun

    November 17, 2006 at 10:29 am

    One could make detailed comments, but as you say maybe people are tiring. I am sure we will both keep on thinking, which is all we can ask. I will just make a few comments then.

    I am not a Muslim, which should be obvious, but I do know some actual Muslims, and every time you say “they” I can point to those among “them” who would disagree with what you claim “they” believe. Much the same happens, of course, when we treat any group as a total lump. Even George Bush has been at pains to deny that there is a “war on Islam” going on. Just about everyone realises a military solution alone will never work, as the problem is transnational and keeps on moving. See also Muslims Never Condemn Radical Islam by the Kashmiri Nomad, whom I have quoted before:

    Muslims whether radical or not are not going to be over taking the world tomorrow morning at 11.37 am. There are those that wish to kill in the name of Islam but they are being fought tooth and nail both by non-Muslim countries like the U.S. and Great Britain but also by Muslim countries like Iraq, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Libya to name just a few.

    Hence the question remains why would anyone want to perpetuate an urban myth that Muslims do not condemn violence in the name of Islam ?

    Take for a moment another matter: “Mohammed’s pedophilia”. This is not quite so cut and dried: see Aisha. Clearly too we are talking about a whole different culture there. Remember it also seemed “normal” to Shakespeare’s audience that Juliet was 12 years old too.

    Look too at this global perspective on 20th/21st century RELIGIOUSLY-BASED CIVIL UNREST & WARFARE, and In the Name of God. See also What are the chances of a holy war? from Ekklesia, a British Christian site, Nov 4, 2006.

    • Many of the church’s political activities already bear the hallmarks of violence, even if they do not employ physical force. Some of the language the church uses (for example, in denouncing homosexual practice) verges on the violent, and it also shows a readiness to use the compulsion of the legal system to get what it wants. Jerry Springer – The Opera was met with threats not merely to prosecute BBC television executives under the law against blasphemy but even, reportedly, to kill them.

    • We have already seen cases in the US where Christians have bombed abortion clinics. Elsewhere in the world Christians continue to be involved in violence. There are, for example, conflicts between Christians and Muslims in places such as the Moluccas, and in Nigeria and elsewhere Anglican conservative Christians have threatened violence against Muslims. Christians could conceivably resort to violence in this country as well.

    • In Ireland, though religion per se has often been dragged in to sanction political violence grounded elsewhere, religious rhetoric has undoubtedly contributed to a climate of intimidation and sectarian revenge. It has been reported in the media that Pastor Clifford Peebles, an anti-agreement fundamentalist preacher associated with the LVF and the Orange Volunteers, pleaded guilty in court to the possession of two Russian-made RGD-5 grenades, two detonators and a pipe bomb.

    Just looking at Christian sources, you could do worse than read When Religion Becomes Evil by Charles Kimball (2002). You are right about there being lots of wisdom out there if we care to look; we just regard different things as wise. Also, to most Australians American ideas about “liberals” just seem totally weird. That’s fine, it’s your culture, not ours. However, if something comes up where you want to make a contribution, Kevin, feel free to do so. We may or may not agree, of course. I guess the “policy” you refer to is that I really don’t see much point in endlessly thrashing out certain issues which are very ably discussed elsewhere.

    Sorry about the slight delay in publishing your comment; Akismet decided it was spam, probably because you have a Yahoo email address and a Blogspot blog!

     
 
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