Posted by: Bruce | September 19, 2012

A scary Saturday in Sydney as ‘Muslim protestors clash with police’.

15th Sept. 2012 and news headlines and images like these, fill our screens on a Saturday night.

http://news.ninemsn.com.au/national/8533359/muslim-protesters-clash-with-police-in-sydney

These violent protesters scare me, anger me and totally confuse me. I get a brain freeze if I try to get some understanding of their actions/reactions.

They remind me of bullies, those that go hunting on a Friday or a Saturday night looking for any excuse to explode, to hurt, to prove their superiority or masculinity or whatever it is that makes them tick. They don’t give a flying duck about anyone except themselves.

And now, along comes a ‘film’ put together by some Egyptian guy in America and all hell breaks loose. Innocent Libyan’s and Americans in Libya are murdered in a frenzy by people they don’t know because of some guy they have never heard of.

The Muslim demonstrators in Sydney who hurt our coppers, who smash things and call for blood, for a beheading; these to me, are the bullies of religion. They walk around with an enormous chip on their shoulder just waiting, hoping, for someone or some thing to knock it off. When they do explode it’s as if we are supposed to understand or approve, as if they have some special right to act this way. Well, they don’t. They can stand and beat their puffed up chests saying ‘look at me’ all they want; their importance in this world is no more or less than others. They only succeed in attracting more criticism, well deserved in this case.

They play the role of victim, but it’s everyone else who is the victim including the majority of our Muslim population. What an ugly and disgusting display of arrogance, insecurity, hypocrisy and violence committed in the name of religion. Freedom of speech, yes. Freedom to kill and destroy, no.

For the record, my opinion; If the film, Innocence of Muslims, is insulting to the Muslim religion, then it is not acceptable, it is wrong.  Equally, a film insulting any other religion isn’t okay.

BUT, you don’t go and kill people because a person puts an insulting ‘film’ together. How does that equate to  adult, rational thinking? It doesn’t. Just as well people of every other religion don’t act the same way.

http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/nation/sydney-protesters-call-for-beheadings/story-e6frg6nf-1226474756501

Isn’t religion about peace, understanding, tolerance, wisdom and forgiveness, to name just a few good points? Does the Muslim religion preach murder to balance an insult?

I don’t think so, it just wouldn’t make sense. I prefer to think Islam is about peace, I hope it is.

This is Australia; don’t do it here. All Australians are insulted by this. If you don’t like living by our rules, then clear out, find some other suckers to take you in. If you hate Westerners so much, what are you doing in Australia?

I hoped the Leaders/Clerics of the Australian Muslim community would speak out strongly against the behaviour of these fanatics. To me, it doesn’t seem to happen very often and this lack of condemnation by the Muslim community and it’s leaders can be wrongly interpreted as silent approval.

This time though, the condemnation by the Muslim community and its leaders was rapid and well publicised. It covered other States and cities as well. Don’t these moronic demonstrators, whose actions spread grief on the whole of the Muslim community, realise what they are doing? They are going to stuff things up for everyone.

And what about people like this?

http://www.news.com.au/national/sydney-muslim-riots-alleged-20-year-old-organiser-arrested-and-charged-with-inciting-violence-by-nsw-police/story-fndo4eg9-1226479012009

and….

http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/news/sydney-sheik-stirs-the-hatred/story-e6freuy9-1226476066456

Sheik Feiz Mohammed; if the article is true, then this is a scary person with his own agenda, looking for followers. He delivers speeches to the vulnerable, those open to manipulation. He encourages parents to sacrifice their children in the name of Islam? Does he include his own? What is so desperately wrong that a Mum or Dad would send their kids to die in their place? How does he get away with it, legally or otherwise? This is weird, scary stuff.

When I lived in Sydney, I had Muslim neighbours. Husband, wife and three little kids. They shared with me, one of those small, super strong coffees in those little cups. They moved out some months later but I have never forgotten that small act of kindness, the offering of friendship, an opportunity to know each other a little.

I resent those violent Sydney demonstrators, and people like Sheik Feiz  for stirring the hatred, violence and hypocrisy; for perhaps ruining the opportunity of future small coffees being shared with myself, my kids and others.

These words are probably just time wasted; the target audience unlikely to read them. Just as well I guess; given the great divide in thinking, they are already angry, maybe scared, and would have a brain freeze just like me.

I like happy endings so I’ll go with this image. It’s a feel good photo that’s for sure, and a good reminder that Australia’s Muslim population have to get through some tough times because of the actions of others.

Word for today:    MANIPULATE:

To control or play upon by artful, unfair or insidious means, especially to ones own advantage.

More to come;  same blog time, same blog channel.


Responses

  1. Well said, Bruce. The immediate damage these people inflict is obvious, but it goes further and deeper than that. Every senseless act strengthens the suspicions of one group for another, ensuring that the conflict will continue. Your anger is aimed at those who do harm, while you express compassion for everyone who is adversely affected — including the majority of Muslims who want nothing to do with the violence. Excellent post.

    • Thanks Charles; It took a while for me to cool before I could lay out my thoughts. Bruce

  2. Bruce, I read this when you posted it but have wanted to take the time to phrase my thoughts on this topic and it’s taken me a lot longer than I thought it would.

    I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiments in this post. Extremely well written and articulated thoughts that resound through the hearts of all Australians.

    However, and with me there is always a however, as there are always two sides to every story, I firmly believe that the government-influenced media, both in Australia and The US have demonised Muslims and also reinforced the racism that naturally occurs when peoples of such different cultures are thrown together into the one society.

    I think they have demonised these people as a whole, in such a way that an entire generation of muslims, mostly those who were born here and struggle between maintaining the faith their families enforce so strictly, and the more relaxed Australian lifestyle, are very lost, confused and angry with the way they are represented by mainstream media and the way they as a people are perceived by Western society.

    Unfortunately, the protestors’ actions have reinforced the picture the media has painted of them as religious zealots, hell bent on taking over the world with zero tolerance for the opinions or lifestyles of others.

    The fallout from that film was horrifying. There is never any excuse to tolerate the murder or violent protests that occurred following the release of that film. Never – and I am very glad to see Australia stand up and defend its way of life as it’s something we’ve needed to do for a very long time.

    But if we are ever to see change, then we must recognise where some of their anger comes from, and we must demand non-biased reporting from our mainstream media. They are persecuted as a people, in the same way Jews were persecuted as a people.

    Their beliefs, their culture is so different from ours that it is incredibly difficult to see how it will ever work cohesively in one place, but while they are demonised by media, with the intent of instilling fear and mistrust of them into the wider Australian community, we will never be able to bridge the gap between us on a large scale. We can all meet muslim neighbours and get to know them, but they are generally seen as “different to the normal ones, more laid back, more Australianised” rather than simply seen as normal muslim people, which is exactly what they are.

    The extremists are the minority – however it is the largest religion in the world, which means the minority is made up of a lot of people.

    Our racist fear, taught to us by a Current Affair and Today Tonight is partly responsible for instilling such anger into these young muslims who are being judged not at all for who they are, but what they are. That is enough to make any person angry. Enough to make them feel justified in lashing out and taking a stand to defend their religion.

    When you talk about manipulation, I think the media is by far the most manipulation-savvy machine in the world and differs not at all from the religious extremists or con-men who have manipulated societies throughout the history of the world.

    • I pretty much agree with most of what you have said but I don’t really know if the Government influences the media to demonise Muslims. Anything is possible of course but I’m not sure what the motive would be given existing peaceful Muslim communities. The power of editing in current affairs shows is scary. I think the media can be pretty extreme in what and how it presents its news and has a huge responsibility to make headlines in the correct way. In this case, we’re shown the ugly face of extremists in action in the name of religion. But the following day, I have to acknowledge, the media managed to display a lot of the condemnation from the general Muslim community. Not much in between stuff though. Manipulation is such a relevant word and hopefully most of us recognise it for what it is and its effects. It’s the extremist manipulation of vulnerable individuals and groups that is so scary to me. Whether our cultures become cohesive is yet to be discovered. Thanks for such a comprehensive comment Bri. It demonstrates so many variables to consider on the subject of cultures shaking hands. Bruce

  3. Look, aren’t we all immigrants or sons and daughters of immigrants? The only original Australians that I am aware of are ‘the first people’. The rest of us have had to settle in to a new environment and understand the culture. The rest of us (or our ancestors) have had to take the flack that comes with being ‘new Australians’. Give it a generation and our children settle down to lose the adjective. Of course it’s not politically correct to say new Australian any more. Perhaps it’s poltical correctness that’s getting in the way.
    The media on the whole, mainstream and ABC, are doing its best to understand this batch of new Aussies. But if it can’t be critical when it is warranted then surely the media isn’t doing its job.

    • Thanks for an interesting comment, including the actions of the media. Whether we all get along in the future will work out one way or another, hopefully peacefully. As for the media, my understanding is, that it is there to report, to be unbiased, to provide factual information, good or bad, to those that want or need it. If media can be critical, then it can praise or condemn. Therefore, the media would be expressing an opinion and influence. I’d really like to know what ethics, rules and regulations form the foundation of media reporting. Is it supposed to be the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? In papers, the editors have an opinion column but that doesn’t necessarily hold for various reporters or other staff who may think the opposite. Is there some sort of charter or constitution for the media with guiding principles to clearly state their role in society? Perhaps someone in the media will read this and be able to clearly enlighten the consumers of media including myself. Bruce

      • Hi Bruce, forget the charter. I took a class in journalism and had it on the best authority that the rules didn’t always apply. That’s becoming more and more obvious to me these days. The media may be there to report and be unbiased but reportage these days (perhaps it’s always been that way) seems to me to be picking and choosing facts or reshaping facts to suit an agenda, usually as it related to the policy of the paper they worked for. Some newspapers allow no opposing voice to shatter the illusion that there’s only one way to look at an issue, other papers (and I’m deliberately not naming names, work it out for yourself) are predominantly the other way in their opinion but do allow regular voices to give the reader a broader outlook on an issue and a chance to decide for themselves what to believe. I just find it annoying that in some circles people complain that not everyone agrees with their point of view. They are the very types who are all for democracy and human rights, as long as it’s their type of democracy and their human rights.


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