Okay, I confess that there are many one things I can't stand, but for today intolerance is the one.
Some of you may be familiar with this face. He’s a hateful twat named Abdul Nacer Benbrika. Currently he’s in jail. As Imam of one mosque in suburban Melbourne, he has discredited our Muslim community by preaching a warped form of jihad – and especially by insulting Australia[ns]. Not nice, mate.
How do fundamentalists and extremists recruit followers for their disgusting causes?
It starts with a gap between rich and poor; with unemployment; with minimal education options; with rapid technological change [or structural adjustment] and with national debt.
Hateful people, if persistent enough, can identify of a group to be scape-goats. This is also sometimes called racism.
Would-be leaders can easily use the right combination of social conditions to feed their own megalomania, uniting people who feel alienated from society by making them feel special, and providing an outlet for frustration or despair.
No one can live very comfortably for very long with feelings of powerlessness. If reason or a sense of responsibility cannot eliminate feelings of powerlessness, faith in a god becomes a necessary source of solace. Leaders can tap into this faith to lend authority to their proposed solutions.
No, I’m not describing Australia – some of the conditions that helped Hitler to power are still missing. Dare I say, ‘thank god’?
And despite Australia’s slide into some of these preconditions, the haters in this country are not being alienated by others or by ‘the system’ – they are a minority, and they are alienating themselves.
Yesterday’s Age provided some good news.
“Convicted terrorists are receiving intensive religious and welfare counselling in jails around the state in a program aimed at … prisoners with extremist Islamist views.
This is good news, because religion cannot, on its own, become an excuse for evil nor even encourage it.
After the disgraceful violence at an Islamic protest in Sydney’s Martin Place yesterday, it would be easy to become focused on Islam as a problem. This would be wrong.
Much as the exploitation of children at protests makes me feel quite ill Muslims do not have a monopoly on this unforgivable shit. Nor do they have superior ways of expressing hate. Extremist Muslims are simply more transparent, or less deluded about the fact they hate.
This clip is almost as good as any AFL grand final - Islamic protesters v Atheists at a Melbourne convention this year.
If it’s shocking to see placards calling for the beheading of those who insult Islam, or hear threats of hell, how about these Christians at the same convention?
If all this crap is as tedious for you as it is for me, you could get straight to the nitty gritty on this at 1 minute 08 seconds.
Well, it’s probably just sour grapes because they didn’t make the semi-finals, but for some reason their exhaustive list of people who will burn in hell somehow seems less threatening.
BTW, this tape suggests god hath no fury like a reformed sinner, don’cha think?
[In this case a cured homosexual.]
[There are two other clips about Global Atheist Conventions on YouTube if you are interested. One shows two blokes pashing for the benefit of the religiously fervent, and the other is one of those “Hitler” clips to which I must confess I am addicted.]
Dumb, Drunk and Racist was a warts-and-all show. You’ll see most of the warts if you just look at this clip between about 5:30 and 7:00. It’s footage of a demonstration by the Australian Protection Party outside the Villawood detention centre.
I’m really quite hopeful the prison program being run by Sheikh Abdinur Weli from the Melbourne City Mosque can make a difference. By sharing a more decent and more representative version of Islam and combining this with a little social work, maybe they can help prisoners find a better way to replace their sense of alienation with a sense of belonging.
The general understanding of ‘jihad’ is the struggle to live a good and ethical life according to the teachings of Islam. The word ‘Islam’ is derived from the word salam, which means peace.
Sheikh Abdinur Weli
It would be nice if some of the Christians over-compensating for their own sense of alienation would turn to a more representative version of their own creed, as well.
Whatsoever you do to the least of my people, that you do unto me.