Muslims have only just come out of a Ramadan that was more a month of mourning, rather than of worship, when we saw terrorists attack Islam’s most sacred site, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina. And yet, commentators continue to asset that this terror is completely characteristic of Islam.
In the wake of a secularist coup in Turkey by the military, there were no detractions or condemnations, but rather celebrations and encouragements from the hard right. Both of these are typical of the direction the anti-Muslim narrative has taken, in not only hostility but also hypocrisy.
In his column, “The Mufti warns: criticise the imam and risk death”, Andrew Bolt recently criticised the Chief Mufti for language in a public letter, after the Orlando shooting. This he amounted to a threat of outright violence to silence dissent:
“Ibrahim Abu Mohammad has written an astonishing letter warning that to criticise even a gay-hating imam is to risk inciting terrorist attacks against us.”
This, to him, “conveys an implied and sinister warning: that to criticise a Muslim cleric is to criticise Islam itself and risk death. Shut up or else.”
Yet Bolt’s own column, after the tragedy in Nice, exposes his double standards. Here he warns that to not agree with his view of Islam is to risk igniting civil war and inciting public violence and revenge attacks against Muslims.
“And if our politicians will not speak frankly and protect us from Islam, watch out for a civil war. A frightened public will not put up with this for much longer and will defend themselves.”
In other words, stop tolerating Muslims, or else.
Has any other commentator suggested something so intimidating to stifle discussion of religion, society and the place Islam has had in Australia for centuries?
Pundits continue to demand a discussion and debate of Islam, yet slam any opinion of Islam that differs from their own, in which Islam is reduced to nothing more than a potential inspirer of violence and a vessel for radicalism.
Their demand for open discussion is disingenuous. They do not want conversation but conformity.
© James Abdulmalik Randall, 2016.