Yesterday I got into an internet conversation about the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” at the Sydney Opera House, and the decision to invite Hizb ut-Tahrir to give a talk justifying crimes of honour.
The Daily Telegraph gives an example of what crime of honour means:
…the murder of a woman by relatives who feel she has dishonoured the family by, say, being raped...
“Have you read what Wikipedia has to say about Hizb ut-Tahrir?” asked TO’s cousin. I dutifully read it, then threw up.
For the sake of readability [not to mention spellability] I’m going to call this “branch of Islam” “hizbull”.
While the content of the Daily Telegraph article matters, the first thing I noticed was that Miranda Devine [the female Andrew Bolt] was the author... Sure enough, the first comments on the article reflected Miranda’s two favourite mantras:
1. why are the feminists silent?; and
2. why don't moderate muslims speak out ?
Maybe a clue to the feminist angle can be found in the headline "Trendy lefties giving a voice to barbaric crime". Is the expression “trendy lefty” meant to be a tautology? Subtext: ALL feminists and/or leftists are so stupid they support a mysoginistic ideology rather than be oppressive of others.
As for moderate Muslims speaking out, to do so they would have to have a voice. Do media moguls make money out of asking for – or even passing on – what moderate Muslims think?
Even journalists who care about representing the moderate Muslim viewpoint all seem to have Waleed Aly’s name and number at the top of their contacts list, and no others underneath it. Bolt says Aly was once a spokesman for the Islamic Council of Victoria, but the last time I went searching for other contacts I didn't have a lot of success. [Maybe I should be paranoid and wonder why they don't want me to find them?]
I have a lot of respect for Waleed Aly. Unfortunately, like every other human on the planet today, there is nothing he can say that can’t be turned against him. Quite simply, we live in a world of snippets and rarely get to hear what someone has said in its original context. Here, for example, is a Boltism:
Aly protects the media class from having to confront the difficult: is Islam a threat?
I wonder if Waleed ever gets sick of it. The quality of the following clip is not the greatest, but it speaks volumes in just 41 seconds:
Decent Muslims struggle to distance themselves from so-called “Islamic” terrorists just because the name of their faith has been co-opted, so I’m going to re-brand hizbull and the like: Forget fatwas, from now on I’m going to call these pseudo-Islamic terrorists pwefbas – piss weak excuse for being assholes.
--------------Freedom of speech is one of those issues that leave me conflicted. It’s a right and a good, but something that lends itself to abuse. Yes, there are laws about libel and slander and inciting hatred, but nothing can stop people from saying naughty things in a whisper. In any case, technologically speaking the horse has bolted. We can’t silence these pwefbas completely, but I’m not sure we should be actively promoting or supporting hate-mongering sessions.