The threat is not Islam but those who seek to undermine our rights

By Jim Hayes

The Coalition remains bent on promoting division and diversions to push through its political agenda. One method is to continue fanning the Islam scare and the other one is to build a law and order campaign.

This is why young Africans in Melbourne have been targeted, and why the terrible attack Bourke Street in Melbourne has been tied to the so-called Islamic terrorist threat. In its typical fashion of putting out the big lie to make a story, Murdock’s Herald-Sun mirrored this in its front-page heading. The tycoon and his empire have a lot to answer for.

No evidence has been put forward that connects the attack by Hassan Khalif Shire Ali to political or religious motivation. But why let this get in the way of good story? Could it be that the man has mental health issues? Those who know him have said this and some have mentioned that he has had substance abuse problems. He is not a practicing Muslim. He is of African appearance and vulnerable to be set up as a target, by those who wish to whip up racial hatred.

The state of his metal health was explained in a letter sen to Channel 9 by Ali’s family. It was a plea to stop the incident being used for political purposes. Cafe owner Sisto Malaspina died and two others were injured by knife wounds. Hassan died from a gunshot wound.

Family letter sent to Channel 9

Still, News Corp and much of the other major news outlets persisted on peddling rumours and hearsay, showing no regard for finding the truth. It reveals just how far the quality of our media has descended.

This locks in very well with the election campaign going on in Victoria. Liberal Party leader is Matthew Guy is putting himself forward and the champion of law and order. He falls in with the Murdoch claim that crime is running rife. No matter that this is not true and police data shows that overall crime is on the decrease. But again, why let the facts get in the way of the story?

Over it all, is the assertion that our society needs more policing, and those making it, hope that enough people will buy it, at least until it’s put in place.

All fair-minded people must call pout the lie for what it is.

This is not a Victoria only development. Scott Morrison is hitting the stumps and has joined in with his attack on “radical, violent, extremist Islam that opposes our way of life.”

Most of us would agree that there are certain terror groups that should be taken on.  But this does not justify an assault on Islam. There are also certain groups that stand for Christianity and race hate. This should not justify an assault on Christianity either.

And what does Morrison mean by “our very way of life.” He belongs to a fundamentalist religious group and most Australians would not consider this as equating with their way of life. More importantly, he shares an ideology that has much in common with people like Pauline Hanson and white power groups. Do they stand for the Australian way of life?

On this note, Morrison has warned Muslim leaders to turn in radicals in their community, whatever that may mean. Note that he did not say for committing acts of terror, but because they have thoughts that are not sanctioned by people like him. There is an implied threat in the warning.

This is not what our forebears fought for. When those who call themselves, our political leaders promote this sort of prejudice, they are on a slippery slope. Unless the rest of us come together and push in the opposite direction, we are all in a lot of trouble.

We must work to build community cohesiveness, stand against those who would take our hard-won democratic rights away from us and build a genuinely democratic future, where all have an equal right to take part.

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