By Andrew Bolt ~
Here in Australia, the political class is demonstrating all its familiar idiocy and arrogance to the poll showing 49 per cent support (to 40 per cent against) for a ban on Muslim immigration. The public is branded as simply ill-informed.
The dumbest reaction is that of our Race Discrimination Commission, a former Labor Party speechwriter.
Australia is being tested with a debate about banning Muslim immigration and must rise above appeals to fear as it has in the past, the nation’s race discrimination commissioner says.
Tim Soutphommasane was responding to the findings of an opinion poll which showed almost half of Australians support banning Muslims from migrating here.
He puts the result down to heavy media coverage of Pauline Hanson and the One Nation leader’s anti-Muslim policies in the past two months.
“Not a week goes by when we don’t see or hear from her or her ideas, including on immigration,” he told ABC radio on Thursday.
“There is a risk that what were once unacceptable ideas about race, religion and immigration are now being normalised.”
This is idiotic. A question for Soutphommasane: so why did Hanson and her three Senators get elected in the first place?
The answer is blindingly obvious: they got big support precisely because the public was already worried about Muslim immigration and reached for the one political party (other than the ALA) that was prepared to address their concerns frankly, and with an even brutal directness. Hanson is not the cause but the consequence.
As for media coverage, Soutphommasane – whose authoritarian streak was distressingly obvious when he helped to organise a lynch mob against the cartoonist Bill Leak – should consider what he’s actually suggesting.
In fact not a week goes by without Hanson being mocked, attacked and criticised by the ABC, the country’s biggest media organisation, as well as by SBS, Fairfax media, the Guardian, the Daily Mail and various News Corp commentators and journalists. She also has had Soutphommasane himself, dangerously armed with state power, attacking her and her supporters. Academics attack her. Comedians vilify her. Leftist gangs heckle her in public and try to stop her speaking.
Meanwhile, the most extraordinary effort has been made by the media to present Islam as safe and its critics as racist. The ABC, for instance, has presented a stream of pet Muslims to assure us the faith is benign. Waleed Aly is lionised, and both he and his wife given gigs on the National broadcasting organisation. Not a month goes by without Q&A featuring a token Muslim on the panel (token Buddhists or Hindus are deemed unnecessary). The Prime Minister hosts a Muslim dinner. The Labor Party noisily selects Muslim candidates. Aly is give a Gold Logie TV Award and made a board member of our Australia Council, in charge of funding our artists.
Most disgracefully, of course, even the former Abbott Government agreed to keep restrictions on our free speech to stifle criticism of Islam. The ACT parliament last month passed new blasphemy laws, specifically citing the need to protect Muslims from offence-causing criticism or abuse – which in fact includes legitimate criticism of the faith itself.
It is farcical to suggest that the media and the political class has not done its best (actually worst) to make Islam seem safer than it actually is. I wonder what more Soutphommasane wants: a media ban on Hanson? Prohibition of debate? In fact, ABC presenter Jon Faine has already mused on air whether the proper response to Hanson is to “boycott” her – as if it were legitimate for the nation’s massive state-funded broadcaster, obliged by law to be impartial, to deny access to the country’s fifth biggest political party.
The reason they have insisted on this, and now back a ban on Muslim immigration, is not because Hanson inspired them. It is because every terrorist we have jailed is Muslim. Because almost all the terrorists we’ve jailed were born overseas or to parents who were. Because we had a Grand Mufti, imported from Egypt, who called suicide bombers “heroes” and September 11 “God’s work against oppressors”. Because the next Grand Mufti turned out to be a supporter of Hezbollah, which has a terrorist wing. Because the current Grand Mufti blamed the Paris massacre on the sins of the West, not the sins of Muslim terrorists. Because the head of the national imam’s council says the Koranic punishment for gays is death and Christmas carols are the work of Satan. Because the last three terrorist attacks here were all by Muslim refugees, Because the jihad-minded son of Bangladeshi migrants has now been charged with stabbing a grandfather walking down his street. Because two Australian journalists have had to move homes after Muslim threats to kill. Because more Muslim Australians have signed up for the Islamic State than serve in the Australian Army. Because Hizb ut Tahrir warns that “even if a thousand bombs go off in this country, all it will prove is that Muslims are angry and have every right to be angry”. Because a Muslim mob rioted in Sydney over an Internet clip from the U.S. mocked their faith. Because women are dressed in sacks and some girls are now sexually mutilated. Because gun crime by Middle Eastern families in western Sydney and northern Melbourne is shockingly high. Because NSW police need a dedicated unit to investigate Middle Eastern crime gangs.
Events, not sermons, speak loudest to Australians. A gun shot says more than a lecture from Bill Shorten. That is why Australians worry about Muslims in a way they don’t about Buddhism, another imported faith and just as numerous. This isn’t about racism but about fear of being killed or made too scared to even speak or draw a cartoon.
Given Islam’s record here, how can the political class keep assuming that only the mad and bad – only racists – can want no more Muslim immigration? And how can they think that abusing half our citizens as racists or ill-informed will help them win their argument?
How can they even contemplate that what’s needed is even less debate than they once allowed? It is exactly that refusal to admit the truth that produced Pauline Hanson. Heed her or prepare for worse.
Andrew Bolt writes for the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and The Advertiser and runs Australia’s most-read political blog. On week nights he hosts The Bolt Report on Sky News at 7pm and his Macquarie Radio show at 8pm with Steve Price.