The reason that they do not respond with reason is that the Anti-Islam arguments are better. Australian Culture is better, equality of sexes is better, disagreeing politically and voting on things is better than shooting or bombing the humans with whom one disagrees.
I can barely keep up with the unreasonableness ( by that I mean that their arguments when properly analysed have no reason) of those who accuse and label me rather than present opposing arguments. This is a recent example. The large type is mine. The small type is the original article.
The Reclaim Australia project is a mass of contradiction. Many of those rallying would have found themselves unwelcome in the Australia they long to return to, writes Jeff Sparrow.
Please explain why the reportedly 71% (recent independent survey) of Australian’s who are very concerned about Islam in Australia are all required to express it in the same way?
How different are the views of all Liberal and Labour party supporters.
How many Liberal or Labour Party supporters have had thousands of Australian’s rally “in principle” support of them in the same way that the Re-claim rallies have presented the broad range of Mums and Dads who oppose Islam in Australia.
Re-claim does not wish to “return to” a past Australia. Re-claim wishes to preserve the “future” development of Australia according to democratic, parliamentary law with a separation of powers - not according to the theocratic totalitarian ideology that is Islamic facism.
In a recent piece for News.com.au, John Safran remarks upon.
He describes the hardcore nationalists of the United Patriots Front as "white Australians who look like bikies". One of them abuses him with anti-Semitic taunts.
But Safran notes that about half the crowd come from the religious groups led by Daniel Nalliah: Catch The Fire Ministry and the associated political body, Rise Up Australia. Of these, he says, "Maybe a quarter are non-white - Asians, Indians and Africans."
Such people, Safran says, are motivated by religion more than politics: "Essentially, these non-white people are here because the scriptures tell them Jesus Christ is the last prophet."
That may well be true. But the centrality of Catch The Fire to the protests makes the Reclaim Australia project even more contradictory.
I have read Safran’s piece. I have not had time to answer the “without reason” unreasonable statements that he makes. But simply to re-assert his statements here, by this author, is not argument, it is simply repetitive non-sense. I have yet to see any response to any argument that I have put forward.
I am against the ideology that says that women are not equal to men – tell me why I am wrong about that.
I am against genital mutilation of infants in Australia – tell me why I am wrong about that.
I am against 9 year olds being subjected to sexual intercourse by older men under the disguise of freedom of religion in 2015 Australia – tell me why I am wrong about that.
For what is the Australia such believers seek to reclaim? Certainly, if you look back in the past, you can find a time where most people identified as Christian - and Islam was marginalised in public life. But, of course, the religious intolerance of, say, the mid-nineteenth century would also have extended to Catch The Fire.
Back then, respectable society was solidly Anglican. The mainstream churches would have would have found the beliefs of modern Pentecostalism, had they encountered them, utterly bizarre. By contrast, the Muslim faith of the Afghan camel drivers brought to Australia in the 1860s was at least a tradition they recognised.
There's a long tradition of nativist resentments in this country, usually expressed as a desire to "return" to some better time. But the focus of those resentments has changed radically - as has the understanding of the idealised past.
Reclaim is looking to what is happening, looking to the future, not the past. There is no pursuit of the past. The pursuit is to prevent fundamental breaches of human rights and breaches of Australian Civil and Criminal Law under the disguise of freedom of Religion. No western democracy has ever permitted freedom of religion to disguise, anarchy, treason and felonious breaches of the Nation’s Laws.
Last Saturday, Pauline Hanson addressed the Rockhampton Reclaim the Australia event:
"I am against Islam in Australia," she said. "I'm not targeting Muslims, I'm targeting the ideology of what Islam stands for. We do not want or need Sharia law in Australia."
Let's leave aside the question of how you can be "against Islam" without "targeting Muslims" (rather like being against Judaism without targeting Jews, one would have thought).
The anti-freedom of speecher’s incapacity to understand this argument is a fundamental problem for them. The argument is easy to those who are not bigoted.
Islam has multiple interpretations and schisms.
Some of them believe that their particular version of Islam is merely a religion and peaceful and can be practised without breaching the civil and criminal laws of Australia. These people need no permission to practise their faith. Indeed they deserve the complete protection of Australian Laws and must not be subject to abuse or prejudice.
There are versions of Islam that are not so integratable. They preach isolation from their host culture. They pursue submission, conversion or death.
They ignore our laws asserting that their version of God’s law is superior to all others and to democratic principles.
Each breach of Australian Law must be prosecuted. Women and men are equal in Australian Law. Sexism under disguise of faith is an offence. Girls and boys have equal opportunity. Child sex under disguise of “marriage” and female infant genital mutilation are felonies and the teaching of Jihad is unlawful incitement to violence. Domestic violence by a man to a woman cannot be tolerated despite it being supported by Islamic Sharia.
There is no dilemma between supporting law abiding Australians who are Muslim and at the same time fighting against other versions of Islam and Sharia.
What's fascinating is that, back when Pauline Hanson was a serious political force, she showed no interest in Islam at all. In her 1996 maiden speech - probably her most famous political intervention - she said nothing about sharia law or halal foods or any of her current preoccupations.
Instead, she railed against a quite different target.
"I believe we are in danger of being swamped by Asians," she said.
She quoted figures about the number of immigrants who were of "Asian origin", warning that "they have their own culture and religion, form ghettos and do not assimilate".
Today, the Reclaimers - and Hanson - use exactly the same rhetoric but direct it at Muslims.
If we go back further, the targets shift again. In the 1990s, demagogues like Hanson championed European culture against the purported "Asian invasion". But, earlier in the twentieth century, Italians and Greeks were seen in almost the same light as "Asians". Back then, they were not understood as part of "white" Australia. Rather, they were a threat to it.
The academic Helen Andreoni quotes an Italian journalist in the 1920s trying to understand the hostility directed at his countrymen:
Why all this bitter feeling against the Italians? I will explain - in order to keep Australia "white". "Keep Australia white!" is the true catchword of this crusade. In fact we are not "white", we are "olive." "Olive-skinned influx", the invasion of the "olive-skins" is how a large Melbourne evening paper refers to the announcement of an inquiry by the Queensland Government into Italian immigration in the northern districts.
A few years earlier, the Bulletin had published a long poem explaining how Italians (or 'dagoes') were only 'partly white'. The verse concluded:
Yes! - it's not a pleasant thought
For a Race that dreadeth nought
To think St. Jingo second to St. Jago!
But, unless you make things hum
That's about what's going to come,
And - Australia will be waiting on the Dago!
The idea that "Australia will be waiting on the Dago" unless readers "make things hum" replicates, almost exactly, Reclaim Australia's warning about a supposed need to fight so as to prevent Australians being subjected to sharia law.
Again, the fear's the same - but the victims have changed. And there's plenty of other examples of the same process.
It is without reason to state that “the fear is the same” Since British settlement no other group of immigrants have come with a deliberate, god ordained, separationist, isolationist, self proclaimed superior, totalitarian ideology that sets out to impose the international caliphate regardless of sovereign state borders that seeks to convert, dominate and subjugate or kill those who resist. Together with an international and Australian National track record of 23 Australian arrests for terrorist violence in just nine months.
It is quite ridiculous to say that any other immigration wave to Australia has ever had the same approach. There is no basis for saying that the “fear is the same.”
If anyone's entitled to talk about "reclaiming Australia", it's the Indigenous people who had inhabited the continent for tens of thousands of years before colonisation. I agree with this fundamental position. But of Course we have the ‘close the gap’ policy which recognises and attempts to correct or at least morally deal with this historic Act. We deal with Aborigines according to 2015 morals. We need to deal with Islamic felonies and horror crimes according to 2015 morals as well. It is not OK to burn or behead people for Video propaganda. Again I say, Tell me why I am wrong about that instead of re-iterating labels that ignore the points that I make.
But, after the first rally in April, Harold Thomas, the man who designed the Aboriginal flag, denounced anti-Islam protesters for displaying the iconic image.
"You can't use it in the context of what it was used for in Reclaim Australia," he said. "Who's reclaiming it? Reclaiming it for who?"
Thomas was quite clear about the links between the old bigotry and the new - and he wanted no part of it.
"It's no longer the 1950s and people are tired of these extremists ... any kind of fanaticism that denigrates other people is not part of the world we live in."
Catch the Fire should take note.
Jeff Sparrow is a writer, editor and broadcaster, and an Honorary Fellow at Victoria University. His Twitter handle is @Jeff_Sparrow.
Again I say, repeating what someone that you agree with says is not an argument.
Just tell me why it is a good thing that in Australia in 2015 we should permit the totalitarian ideology of a 7th Century warlord to dictate our moral and legal values. I say that is the objective of Islam. Tell me why I am wrong if you can?