Sunday, December 13, 2015

Islam is the problem

By South Australian Senator Cory Bernardi

Five years ago I was excoriated by colleagues and the media for daring to utter the following sentiments through my blog and a radio interview.

“The fanciful idea that allowing communities of people to isolate themselves from their fellow citizens somehow builds a better nation is rapidly coming to an end. Across the world there have been new waves of migrants who have decided that their greatest allegiance is to the religious and political ideology of Islam rather than their adopted land.”

“Islam itself is the problem. It’s not Muslims. Muslims are individuals that practice their faith in their own way but Islam is a totalitarian, political and religious ideology…It has not moved on since it was founded and there are these extremists that want to see fundamentalist Islamic rule implemented in this country. They are continually trying to change our laws. They’re seeking special accommodations to indulge in it and unfortunately this Government is allowing them and encouraging them, in many instances, to get away with it.”

The response was visceral.

An anonymous ‘senior Liberal MP’ told the media my comments were ‘a disgraceful and low way of reigniting the race debate’ (they obviously couldn't work out that Islam is not a race).

Amanda Vanstone and Julia Gillard said I should be sacked, whilst some of my South Australian colleagues were privately lobbying the Liberal Party to have me expelled.

Chris Bowen said my comments ‘…do a great disservice to this nation’, whilst Ed Husic said I ‘continue to cloud common sense and decency’ and called for Tony Abbott to ‘kill off the extremism within his ranks.’

It is worth noting Ed Husic didn't call for killing the extremism that threatens our way of life; only for the curtailing of honest discussion that actually dared to identify the problem.

My own team wasn't much better, anonymously feeding a press pack calling for my scalp. It was a media pile on led by Phillip Coorey, Andrew Probyn, Chris Kenny, Lenore Taylor among many others.

Five years later I stand by my comments and am prepared to call out my critics as being wrong. In fact, because of their actions I think they actually owe the Australian people an apology.

If we had been able to have a sensible discussion about the authoritarian nature of Islam and its undeniable link as an inspiration and justification for the barbaric actions of terrorist acts then things might be different today.

Unfortunately, the suppression of that important conversation under baseless accusations of Islamophobia, racism and dog whistling has done the entire Australian community a disservice. The media solicitation and sanitisation of the extremist history of people like Keysar Trad and other so-called Muslim community leaders has been an abrogation of accurate news reporting.

Despite the denials, since then, many voices within the Ummah have called for reform of Islam and many Islamic commentators have confirmed that one cannot disassociate the religious links from Islamic terror attacks.

A former radical with Hizb ut-Tahrir, Maajid Nawaz, said: “It's incorrect for we, as Muslims and generally those on the left of centre in this debate, to insist that Islamists and jihadists have nothing to do with Islam. That's actually an exercise in dishonesty. Of course they have something to do with Islam.”

Yet our political leaders still daren’t mention Islam and terrorism in the same sentence for fear of causing offence.

Some perpetuate the falsehood about the ‘religion of peace’ – either through ignorance or by wilfully ignoring the bloody history of Islam. Too many are in denial about the political and legal ideology inextricably entwined with the religious elements, so much so that there is no separation of church and state within Islamic doctrine.

And shamefully, too many of our political leaders have distanced themselves from the obvious problems in overseas Western nations and blithely stated that ‘they won’t happen here’ – even when they were already evident.

Unlike others, many years ago I chose to fully inform myself by travelling to Western Europe with open eyes to see what was going on. I saw politicians in denial there too, ignoring the concerns of their citizens and the resultant rise of nationalist movements and political parties.

I visited ‘enclaves’ where the rule of sovereign law had been effectively replaced with Sharia or Islamic law. I saw demonstrations involving thousands of people calling for the beheading of those who insult Islam. I met with experts and politicians who documented to me the impact on their nations. For my efforts I was condemned by media and colleagues alike.

Now there seems to be a growing awakening to the issues arising from the denial and intellectual cocoon that too many have sought to comfort themselves with.

Columnists like Henry Ergas and Janet Albrechtsen are joining Andrew Bolt, Miranda Devine, Paul Sheehan and Piers Akerman in daring to speak up. A few more politicians are finally finding their voice.

Unfortunately there are far too few.

If we are to beat the scourge of Islamic radicals seeking to impose the global caliphate and all the barbarism it entails on Western societies then we need to be able to speak frankly about the underlying problem. That problem is Islam itself.

We are very fortunate that most Muslims are law-abiding and respectful people who practice their faith in a personal and private way. They have no time for the political elements of Islam and only seek to be a positive part of our communities.

However, that doesn't negate the need for reform.

The purported words of Allah and the example set by Muhammad in the 7th century need to be adapted and contemporised for the modern world, as mentioned by Maajid Nawaz: “we have to find some way to carve out a genuine respect for secularism and liberalism and tolerance and a respect for free speech above all within the Muslim world." Religious worship needs to be maintained as a private affair with a complete disconnect from the primitive penal code of 632 AD.

Such changes can only be driven from within the Muslim community.

Denying the root cause of the problem won’t cut it. Nor will throwing increasing amounts of taxpayers’ money at deradicalisation programs. In fact, stemming the flow of funds to some Islamic causes is more likely to achieve results.

The State-sponsored spread of hard-line Wahhabism needs to be curtailed in Australia and groups like Hizb ut-Tahrir need to have their financial supports removed. The halal certification rort needs to be stopped and a thorough examination of the actions of some international Islamic charities needs to begin.

Reform needs to start in the mosque and in the interpretation of Islamic doctrine. Radicalism needs to be denounced at every turn by Islamic leaders and their followers. They should be joined by every citizen concerned for the future of our country who should be free to voice their opinion without the pejorative slurs that have characterised any discussion thus far.

Former Muslim, Ayaan Hirsi Ali said as much. Today she wrote: “European leaders will have to address the infrastructure of indoctrination: mosques, Muslim schools, websites...that serve as conveyer belts to violence. European governments must do their own proselytising in Muslim communities, promoting the superiority of liberal ideas. This means directly challenging the Islamic theology used by the Islamist predators to turn the heads and hearts of Muslims...”

If we are serious about addressing the challenge that faces every one of us, it is up to all of us to start singing from the same song sheet.

Via email

Colossal government waste in Victoria

PREMIER Daniel Andrews’ decision to dump the East West Link leaving nothing to show for $1.1 billion has Victorians fuming.

Hundreds of readers have vented their frustrations in the wake of a damning independent audit of the doomed road.

Readers described the financial waste as “criminal”, and suggested the Premier should have owned up to the real costs after being elected, and then complete the road despite losing face.

$1.1 billion would pay for 1 new major hospital on the scale of the Royal Children’s; or 4 Monash Children’s hospitals (at $260m each); 41 secondary schools at $27 million each; 92 primary schools ($12 million each); 61 X’Trapolis suburban trains ($18 million per train); 2 new suburban railway lines; or 80 police stations (at $14.5 million each).

One reader, John, summed it for many when he simply wrote: “It takes a strong person to lead but a stronger person to admit when you have made a mistake.”

Another reader, Stuart, wrote: “How gullible do they think we are? Let me see if I’ve got this right.... They cancel the contracts to build a road from East to West at a cost of over a billion dollars. Then they announce plans to build a road from West to East but give it a different name so stupid people will think it is something different. A road by any other name is still a road! Daniel Andrews is a very slick liar in my opinion.”

David B wrote: “Just big kids playing political games with our money. For a start, no big projects should be approved by any government so close to an election, and Andrews should have broken the promise that it wouldn’t be built because 1.1 billion just down the drain is a disgrace. The Liberals must have thought it funny to throw a hand grenade in the door as they were departing.”

Nat wrote: “Votes driven decision making at it’s worst! I have no doubt this road will be built in the future and at a much higher cost. It’s almost criminal!”

David said: “Both sides of politics should hang their heads in shame. If Daniel Andrews had come clean after being elected and explained the real financial position, then the voters would have accepted that the EW link had to proceed. To continue down this path of financial destruction shows the true level of the Labor party’s ability to manage a budget - it’s non-existent. It keeps happening time after time.”

Jenny wrote: “Voters wanted the EastWest Link scrapped so the majority voted for labor.. Victorians only have themselves to blame. They got the party they deserve and the rest of us have to put up with it until the next election.”

Melissa said: “Scary to think this is who’s running our state???? And they were the alternative????? Doesn’t give much hope for the future.”

In the report, the Acting Auditor-General, Dr Peter Frost, says the 6.6km road was terminated “without full consideration of the merits of continuing with the project”.

And a $424 million settlement handed to the tollway consortium was made without even establishing how taxpayer money had been spent.

Despite the findings, Treasurer Tim Pallas this morning said Labor would have still won the last election if it had been upfront about the $1.1 billion.

Mr Pallas told 3AW the public would have still voted for Labor because it didn’t want to see the road built.

“We went into the election believing the legal advice which was ultimately determined to have credibility,” he said. “I believe yes, Victorians took the view that this road had no merit whatsoever.”

He also disputed the $1.1 billion figure, claiming the net value would be less.

Mr Pallas insisted the Andrews’ Government could still be trusted, despite dodging several questions about whether it would take responsibility for the blunder.

“This government does what it says. We promised Victorians we would not proceed with this project,” he said.

Before the state election, Mr Andrews, as Opposition leader, promised to dump the project, saying the contracts were “not worth the paper they’re written on”.

But Dr Frost found that the advice to the Coalition and Labor was that they did have the power to enter into the contracts. He found that planning the project cost more than $500 million, while terminating it cost a further $645 million.

This will be partially offset if properties acquired for the project are sold back for “around $320 million”.

Premier Andrews did not front the media once the report was tabled in Parliament yesterday. But earlier, he insisted: “The costs incurred on this project are all on the Liberal Party’s head.”

Opposition spokesman ­Michael O’Brien, who was in charge of securing the contract, ­returned fire. “This money has been wasted by Daniel Andrews and Tim Pallas because they lied to Victorians about the East West Link contract.  “They lied about no ­compensation being payable,” Mr O’Brien said.


Turnbull Encourages Business Fraud with bankruptcy "reforms"

As part of Turnbull’s $1.1 billion ‘everyone put your thinking hats on’ plan, the bankruptcy period will be reduced from three years to one year.

The bankruptcy system is already a government created fantasy which allows people to recklessly stink at business (or swindle other people’s money), hide the loot, take a bankruptcy breather for three years while the ‘official’ assets are handed out at cents in the dollar – and then get straight back on the horse again like nothing ever happened (or simply retire to Mallorca, take your pick).

Essentially, bankruptcy is a government wealth redistribution scheme which transfers wealth from workers and creditors to the bankrupt. That is, from the people who actually did something of value to the person that did bugger all.  The moment a trustee in bankruptcy is involved, the right to sue the bankrupt is essentially lost and replaced by a share in the left over piddlings.

The whole point of the system is supposedly to encourage people to take some risk in business (and drive ‘innovation’), knowing that they’ll get a government created clean slate in three years one year if it all goes wrong. In reality, any such scheme which takes money from the productive and hands it to the unproductive can only ever be described as welfare – and there are plenty more deserving people in need of welfare than those who have been crappy with money.

If there aren’t enough natural consequences for poor behaviour then you will get poor results. This is what happens when there is a complete lack of accountability. And all this is before you tackle the extent to which it’s fair to artificially deny a worker or creditor the full fruits of their labour. Should the slate ever be wiped clean? Or should an extended time to pay the lot (even if it takes a lifetime) be the only indulgence granted?

It’s one thing to have a three year bankruptcy period (already very generous). But by reducing the period to one year, Turnbull has now guaranteed that there will be many more innocent and needless victims. I wouldn’t be surprised if it also breeds distrust and slows down business dealings as people look to better secure themselves – the exact opposite effect of what Turnbull intended.


Dropped ALP candidate slams 'racist' party

Just another Muslim nut

A Muslim federal Labor candidate in Victoria dumped because of his strident social media posts on politics, religion and war says racist elements within the ALP are behind his downfall.

Imran Syed has been disendorsed as the ALP candidate for the northern Victorian seat of Murray after labelling world leaders clowns, blaming soldiers for heroin addictions and attacking the West for its involvement in Syria.

Dr Syed was dumped on Thursday night after numerous warnings about his social media activity, but remains an ALP member for now.

Posts on Dr Syed's personal Facebook page question the West's intervention in Syria.

Other posts describe former prime minister Tony Abbott as ignorant, and call British PM David Cameron and former PM Tony Blair clowns.

In one post Dr Syed calls Mr Blair a "Mentally Retarded Clown high on Pure Afghan Poppy which they are stealing and exporting to the world".

Labor state secretary Kosmos Samaras said Dr Syed's behaviour had "progressively worsened" over the past few months.

"He was cautioned over political views on social media numerous times," Mr Samaras told AAP on Friday.  "We had no choice but to act."

Dr Syed said he only learned he was dumped when phoned by a journalist on Friday.

"The Labor Party is such a great institution and I joined because of (its) equality for all, freedom of speech and democracy and social justice values, but there are certain elements within the Labor Party who are racist and who don't want this to happen," he told AAP.

"If you speak the truth, you have to bear the consequences."

In response, Mr Samaras told AAP: "You only have to look at the state legislative council to know that this party is not racist.  "We've always embraced Islamic faith."

Dr Syed, an Indian-born medical doctor, is a respected Muslim community leader, an Islamic chaplain for Victoria Police and AFL regional ambassador who moved from Melbourne to Shepparton in 2008.


A racist Scotsman

Australians do tend to be heavy drinkers and often seem to hit the grog particulary heavily whilst overseas so the guy was right to be cautious but he should have interviewed the woman first

AN AUSTRALIAN woman was shocked when told she couldn’t rent a flat in Edinburgh because people from Down Under were “drunks and racists”. Laura Gratton, 24, had recently moved to Scotland and applied to an ad for a $800-a-month room in the city centre.

But she was horrified when the landlord instantly rejected her request, branding Australia the most “racist nation” in the world.  The message read: “It is well known in Europe that Australians are racist. In fact around the world your people are famous for this. “Just as France is famous for wine and cheese. Australia is famous for its drunks and racists. I’m sorry I need to reject this request.”

The Melbourne backpacker protested, pointing out that the landlord’s statement was actually racist.  She wrote: “You obviously are quite racist putting such labels and speculations on a whole race without knowing the individual.

“The majority of my closest friends are from across the globe so would hate to think I’m racist. “So thank you for rejecting this email, I don’t think we would get along at all. And I suggest you actually visit Australia and realise how multicultural we are.”

The landlord sent her a link to a news item about racism in Australia. He wrote: “Hi, I’m not judging a whole race. I don’t want to take the risk. “It is fact Australia is the most racist nation, your people are so open about it as well.

“This is what you Australians are known for in Europe. I think we would still get along by the way. “Anyway, good luck.”

Miss Gratton said afterwards: “When I first received the response I thought it was just a joke but then I realised that he was being serious.

“’I was angry and frustrated that someone could think like this and say it to me just because of where I was from. “Australia is a multicultural and very accepting country.

“There are race issues like any other country — but the actions of a few shouldn’t be used to judge anyone from that country. “This was my first encounter of such strong negative and offensive stereotyping on my travels.

“I have heard the odd joke about drinking to do with Australians or Irish people but it has only ever been jokes among friends, never anything intended to hurt like this.”

A spokesman for, who advertised the room, said: “If we’d spotted anything like this in someone’s ad we’d have removed it instantly. “Dismissing a whole nation as racist is, frankly, ridiculous. “There are clear laws about discrimination when it comes to renting rooms but it’s not just about what is and isn’t legal — it’s about treating people as you’d want them to treat you.”


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