Losing My Religion

Posted: September 19, 2012 in Media, Politics

There has been a lot of talk of the so called race riots that occurred in Sydney last weekend, some of it valid, some of it utter crap.

I read a lot of material that I find offensive, however this particular post on Socialist Alternative made it to my Facebook News Feed, and I felt I had to say something.

I firstly want to make it abundantly clear that I am a proud atheist. Being an atheist though, does not mean that I don’t respect others right to choose their own religion. Nor do I begrudge others practicing their religions, or coming out in defence of their religion.

In fact as long as it does not mean sexually abusing children, fleecing money from the vulnerable, forcing your opinions on others, strapping a bomb to yourself and heading for the nearest crowded place, mass suicide, or violent protest, I’m pretty open when it comes to how you choose to practice your religion. “Each to their own” I say.

One of the problems facing Muslims in western society undoubtedly is the image of “terrorists in the making” that has been peddled and pushed relentlessly by some sections of the media, and some of our politicians. We all know who most of them are, so no need to go and name them, after all, you haven’t got all day I assume.

Sections of our media have much to answer for, however whipping up racist sentiment, and religious fear is nothing new, Hitler even wrote a book about it, but that does not mean we should accept it lightly. After all, we all remember the shame the Cronulla riots brought on our country, the last thing we need is a repeat.

Cronulla’s Finest?
Scott Morrison’s electorate demonstrates its immigration policy

I feel for the Muslims, I sincerely do. I have friends who are Muslims, and they put up with a tonne of shit, to be perfectly blunt. None of it deserved at all.

My opinion for what it’s worth, is there are far more dangerous people that call themselves Christians in Australia, than there are dangerous people calling themselves Muslims, it’s purely a numbers game. The overwhelming majority of Muslims just want to live a peaceful life, and want their rights respected, the same as anybody else.

However, elements of the press being biased, ignorant, and irresponsible, whipping up anti-Islamic sentiment, does not mean its “open season” on the facts. To me going the other way and promoting irresponsible drivel as fact, in support of the violent protesters is just as dangerous.

This brings me to the article in Socialist Alternative with the bold headline

“Police brutalise peaceful Muslim protest in Sydney”

Does that sound like responsible reporting to you? Because it sure as shit doesn’t sound remotely balanced or responsible to me. Based on what I’ve seen and heard from both sides anyway.

A vicious unmanned police car attempts to steal a peaceful protesters milk crate?

Everybody knows that there were elements within the protest group that were intent on causing trouble. I know it, you probably know it, Socialist Alliance know it, and the police definitely knew it. In fact given the high level meetings within the Islamic community, and the statements released by Islamic leaders in the days that followed the riots, the vast majority of the Islamic community seem to be aware of a rogue element that were dead set on causing trouble and looking for violence to erupt.

Socialist Alternative just choose to ignore that fact.

In their article, Socialist Alternative claim;

“The Sydney Morning Herald has reported that “riot police, mounted officers and the dog squad were sent to Hyde Park, and later a staging post in Stanley Street in east Sydney, before protesters arrived.” So the police came looking for a fight.”

In my world, there is a difference between coming looking for a fight, and coming prepared for a fight.

Police were given tip offs, primarily from other Muslims disgusted that a rogue element were setting out to ruin their peaceful protest. These tips included text messages that were being sent by the rogue elements to stir up trouble and encourage violent behaviour. The police acted on those tip offs.

Protesting without the need for batons and capsicum spray

In fact, I would go so far as to say that the police would have been both irresponsible, and utterly stupid, not to have shown up prepared for trouble after being told what to expect by many with inside knowledge. To show up unprepared would be like a hooker rocking up to works without a pack of rubbers, or a fireman showing up to a fire without a hose. Downright dumb.

The police have not condemned any of the peaceful protesters, only those who came to start trouble, and they are right to do so. After all, it makes no difference if someone is Muslim, Christian, Budhist, or worship the giant purple fucking toad of ancient Equador, a dickhead is still a dickhead. That is exactly what these trouble makers were.

For those of you who think that Islam causes too much grief in our communities, and should be clamped down on. Bear this in mind. This is not the first time that religious nutters have reacted in violence at protests regarding films.

Some may have heard of a little known film director named Martin Scorsese, actually, Hollywood Legend would be more appropriate a title. Well, back in 1988, he released a movie entitled “The Last Temptation Of Christ” in a storm of controversy. This film brought every nutcase in town out of the closet. An estimated 25,000 attended one protest in Hollywood.

Tight-ass Tuesday at the MultiPlex

Even Monty Python caused quite a ruckus when in 1979 they released the epic tale “The Life Of Brian”. At the time this classic comedy offended virtually everybody that had ever even walked past a church.

“He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy…”

Both of these films resulted in protests, not just in Sydney, but across Australia. Most involved a police presence, and many involved violence from a rogue element.

Takin’ it to the streets…

Some may even remember Mel Gibson’s “The Passion Of The Christ” copping some flak, and seeing its fair share of protests.

It’s quite simple really, I know the latest Justin Bieber single will offend my ears, and may send me into an insane rage, so I won’t listen to it. I suggest violent movie critics do likewise.

Anyway, the Socialist Alternative article was followed up by another which tried to defend the papers backing of the bad guys, and failed I might add.

Yes there are valid reasons for Muslims to be angry, yes they are treated poorly in this country, yes they are overwhelming good and decent people, yes they have every right to protest, but no, they don’t have the right to turn violent. Sorry, but they can work within the law, not above it.

Some may be surprised at my opinion on this, backing the mainstream and the police makes me an easy target I guess. Most would assume I would be coming out swinging for the little guy.

But you see, I am swinging for the little guy. In this instance, I think the little guy that is being taken for a fool is the readership of Socialist Alternative. After all, the papers distortion of the facts, in order to demonstrate against the mainstreams past distorting of the facts, is at best hypocritical, and at worst downright dangerous.

The original article finishes with this bold statement;

“Regardless of your religious views, any decent anti-racist and left winger in Australia needs to stand on the side of the Muslim protesters and their right to protest to defend their religion against the racist abuse meted out for over a decade, and against the outrageous brutality from police.”

I consider myself decent and left-wing. I support those protesters who attended the rally with the intention of being seen and heard in a peaceful manner. However, I also support those police who did their best, at risk to themselves, to save others from the outrageous thuggery of a few trouble makers.

Being decent and left-wing, I also stand on the side that spits at sensationalist excuses for journalism, doing nothing to extinguish the fire, instead only serving to fan the flames of discontent.

Hate breeds hate, no matter which side it comes from.

Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    But there is zero evidence of violence from anyone but the police old son. It was the cops who as usual went in with weapons against unarmed people, that is not fair nor reasonable no matter how you cut it.

    NATO blasting another group of Afghan women collecting wood in their own country hardly gets a mention though over one frigging police car having a window smashed.

    Our cops are largely racists and they face worse violence every night of the week in Kings Cross and I still remember the racist federal thugs at Baxter refugee prison bravely bashing people and bursting red balloons while inside the prison refugees were being attacked with batons and tear gas.

    I am only surprised that muslims are not more violent all over the world with a dozen of their predominantly muslim nations under seige.

  2. maureen butterworth says:

    Well said, every religion cops its fair wack of outrage and contempt and we have seen the results throught the centuries. I’m sick of religious wars and uprisings because the nutty extremists can’t take criticism. The police have an obligation to defend those that are under seige. Better that than driving their horses into a picket line…..Cheers….

  3. llordlloyd says:

    Sorry Marilyn, I disagree. Yes, state governments have developed a default approach to protests, seeing their police force like Robert Mugabe sees his. This has become locked in since September 11, but we were already well down the path in the 1990s. Police across the Western World decided any peaceful protest against the most powerful individuals in the world, as they attended their WEF jaunts, should be treated like medieval sieges.

    I attended an anti-globalisation protest in Sydney in 1999. The police reaction was rather heavy-handed: few had name tags, mounted police were called out (and then had to be defended by rings of foot police), heavy-handed and fairly random arrests were made. Those arrested- and they were only arrested to ‘thin out’ the protest lines- were treated to a few hours in an overcrowded paddy wagon. Fortunately it was an age before tasers, capsicum spray and lightly-built police who cannot defend themselves physically and thus have to resort to these weapons.

    None of what happened to us can be characterised as ‘brutal’ nor even ‘violent’ unless one takes a pretty sooky view. We protesters could have charged the police horses and brought them down with ease, some police were spat on (certainly not by me) but nothing worse. No police vehicles were smashed. The vast majority of the protesters I was with were obviously incapable of violence: lightly-built uni students, grandmothers and the like. The most ‘dangerous’ were a few teenage ‘anarchists’ who made Rik from the Young Ones look like Carlos the Jackal. The police acted like it was World War III, and we didn’t oblige them.

    Sunday’s protesters were mostly young males, alienated fro society like many young males are, and who have adopted a preposterous and extreme version of Islam to validate their alienation. I cannot credit anyone could be genuinely offended enough by an obscure fringe movie in the US to be moved to protest in Sydney. They were simply young males lashing out, and when young males lash out, society wants them dealt with. Whether its dickheads who think Mohammed needs them to bust a police car, or the teenage bogans where I live smashing windshields and war memorials, I want the police to go and provide some appropriate consequences.

    • Marilyn says:

      Not true, jesus there was so little violence that one car was damaged and a few people were arrested.
      No-one was glassed or king hit to death and no protestor hunted down people to beat up like they did in Cronulla.

  4. owen says:

    once again Peter, i agree with almost everything you assert … i agree entirely with your attack on radical elements (Christian, Muslim, or Ecuador Purple-Toadian) … i went looking for protest from the art exhibit which included ‘Piss Christ’ for past Christian protests that got out of hand.

    the great irony is that all religious texts invariably purport to promote inclusiveness, forgiveness, tolerance and understanding … pity such honourable traits are so rarely observed in supporters of religions (yes, all of them).

    for what it’s worth, my take on religion is that it was once an important civilising set of rules appropriate to a particular time and place. i would like to think that we have outgrown the need for such strict supervision by ‘God’ … unfortunately, the evidence is not particularly supportive of my aspirations. there is a lot pressure, particularly from mainstream media, for us to retain our childish misconceptions. we are more easily manipulated with our school-yard level understandings.

    we differ on a couple of points:
    1) i believe the readership of the Socialist Alternative most likely better able to discern bullshit than your average consumer of mainstream media. not that i offer this a a reason/excuse for the skewed reportage – however, to my mind the greater disgrace was the dis-proportionate allegations and finger pointing from the mainstream media, who has a greater readership with less well armed readers/viewers/listeners – and therefore able to cast a greater negative shadow on the bigger issue … entrenched racism (or is it religionism).
    that does not excuse the Socialist Alternative – it would appear as though we both expect better from a publication with such a title, however, sadly, it would appear as though that is not the case.
    2) i believe that you are personally a left-winger … however, you are a member of the ALP which unfortunately is now not much more than a populist sell-out shadow of a no longer left-wing party (even when compared with the coalition). i wish it were otherwise – it’s not.

    Peter, i would be delighted for you to represent me at any level of politics. you have passion and a fearless, tireless commitment to what we both believe to be good causes … but the ALP is a machine … genuine good guys – like yourself – are pulled (albeit kicking and screaming) into the party-line or knifed for not following the party-line … and that would be a waste of great representation, and therefore a wasted vote. run as an independent Peter … the people will vote for you … the ALP is your millstone.

  5. Jarl Ragnvald says:

    Interestingly Wixxy, yours are the first comments I have read that uses the description “Race Riots”. I have examined numerous media reports and politician’s statements and they appear to have studiously avoided using the term “Race Riots”. Not that I disagree with such a description because that is what they clearly were.
    I note also that the “Blame the police for the riot” element have been out quickly with their outrageous and twisted perceptions of events.Were the police supposed to allow this mob to go on a rampage through Sydney just as occurred in Tottenham a short while ago?. How much force is too much force to quell a riot?. How can the level of violence of an uncontrolled mob be predicted and the `appropriate’ amount of force be used?. Armchair experts abound after such situations, as long as they are not the people charged with controlling such violence.

    • Marilyn says:

      Race? Really? Islam is not a race.

      • wixxy says:

        I am well aware Islam is not a race, I was refering to the terminology used by other sections of the media, including the Socialist Alternative, who in their first sentence write “racist insults to Islam”

        “Race Riots” was a term used by many in the mass media, and it is why I said “so-called race riots” in my very first sentence.

        In your first comment on this post though Marilyn, you do not refer to the police as anti-Islamic however, you refer to them by saying “Our cops are largely racists”

        Just saying….

  6. StJohnSmythe says:

    So the gentlemen throwing bottles at the police were just offering them a drink were they Marilyn? I think you should also withdraw the remark about our cops being largely racist. Understandably, you don’t like the people in your pet topic being pigeon holed, but you seem quite happy to do it to others.

    • Marilyn says:

      And the police with batons, dogs and capsicum spray who started the violence? The problem with bigots is they see only what they want to see.

      • wixxy says:

        That saying works both ways Marliyn….

        Capsicum spray and batons are part of standard police equipment, I suppose the cops threw bottles at each other, gave themselves injuries, and smashed their own cars up too?

        Anyway, you see it how you wish…

      • wixxy says:

        I do not claim to have been there, and I am aware of what can happen during protests, I’ve been to several where police have been aggressive

        In this case however much of the finger pointing at the rogue element is being done by the Islamic community

        Some people seem so determined to see discrimination, and police conspiracy, that they are willing ignore the views of the vast majority of Muslims and the Islamic Leaders. Including most of the Muslims who were there, instead, taking the word of some idiot reporter who not once says he was there.

        That sounds a little like discrimination to me

  7. Reblogged this on DarinSullivan.net and commented:
    Solid analysis….

    • Matt says:

      The guy dragged out bleeding and arrested is photographed lunging while throwing a closed fist towards the head of a police officer on the front line. I hate seeing peaceful people sprayed, but not these ‘protesters’, I was happy to see any aggression crushed. My only problem, is apologists, in our media and leadership. There is absolutely no reason to talk about how great islam is, and how disgusted they are with the film, BEFORE condemning the violence. There is also absolutely no reason to say it AFTER condemning the violence. All they are doing, is validating the outrage of the extremist element – “See, they know how much we are offended, why do they not silence(behead) our critics?”. The community is not served by appeasing bullies. The point needs to be reinforced, the movie is not illegal, making fun of religion is not illegal, despising religion is not illegal. The law does not require religion to be ‘respected’, it requires it to be tolerated. BIG difference. Violent unapproved protests and calling the for beheading of people IS illegal. We do not respect or tolerate it. It is as simple as that.

      I think you give the Socialist readers far too much credit Peter. They lap that kind of crap up, because it gives them a whole bunch of propaganda lines to go around spreading, without having to strain their brain coming up with original thought. Actually it is more a fear that using their own brain will result in a departure from the highly emotional agenda they have aligned themselves with. The only effective difference between these extreme left wingers and extreme right wingers is a shower and the number of digits in their bank balance.

      The implication from the Socialists is that every camera at the protests(which also includes the camera in the phone of just about every protester and person who happened to be in the city that day) are all in some kind of conspiracy to suppress these violent images of police brutally ripping off head scarves and the like. Also, all that footage of violent protesters spoiling for a fight must be doctored. They must think everyone is as easily misled and uncomfortable with the truth as they are.

      I’m not an atheist, for the simple reason I find it as presumptuous as religion, and many of its proponents just as offensive in their desire to enforce their beliefs on others(not saying this is you Peter!). I also find religion to be a more creative and colourful vision than the ‘there is nothing and you die and you are gone forever’ mentality of atheism, and therefore more entertaining and mentally stimulating from a cultural perspective. The only stance to me that can be honestly, rationally argued is agnosticism, though I consider myself an animist by practise.

      Peter, I also have to say, while there have been clashes at other protests, I did not see any signs in your images of the nutty christians calling for the killing of people. I’m sure there were those amongst them who would gladly see Scorsese et al cop a lightning bolt or be turned inside out during the ‘rapture’, but they manage to keep a tighter lid on their looniness. In this regard I don’t care about the reasons for their actions, I only care that they are made to understand in no uncertain terms that such violent outbursts will be put down immediately. Cronulla made me sick to my stomach, but I don’t understand how whenever we look back at that situation, no-body seems to want to mention the violent, retaliatory counter-attacks made by aggrieved youths of middle eastern extraction. It is as if this behaviour is shameful and not to be accepted from ‘white’ people, though it is expected and tolerated (some would even say encouraged) from others.

      • Marilyn says:

        Really, how about kill the fucking lebs chanted in Cronulla.

      • wixxy says:

        Cronulla was completely different, I don’t look to Cronulla and use it as facts for these riots

        I agree 100% that the riots there were the fault of racist rednecks, that does not mean police are to blame here though

      • Matt says:

        Sorry Maz, could you please enlighten me on which particular church group(s) were represented at the Cronulla riots? I realise that you try to read your agenda into absolutely everything, but my words were quite clear.

        And I’d wager that in your mind, the random reprisal attacks from muslims against anglos was justified. Whereas normal, sane people condemn both.

  8. Jarl Ragnvald says:

    “ The weekend protest took place in the lead up to a national conference being hosted by an Islamic group called Hizb ut-Tahrir (HUT) in western Sydney.
    The conference, called Muslims Rise – Caliphate Imminent, encouraged the establishment of a global Islamic state and sharia law.
    One of the keynote speakers was Taji Mustafa from the British arm of Hizb ut-Tahrir, whom the Opposition has described as a “hate preacher”.
    Opposition immigration spokesman Scott Morrison says Mr Mustafa should not have been given a visa to enter Australia.
    “I am concerned about an organisation that has called for the military destruction of Israel,” Mr Morrison said.
    “I’m concerned about an organisation who believes in the restoration of the Caliphate.
    “I’m concerned about an organisation that has condoned the killing of Australian troops in Afghanistan.
    “I am concerned about an organisation that says democracy is forbidden.”
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2012-09-17/non-citizens-face-deportation-over-protest/4265634?WT.svl=news1

  9. Shelly Robertson says:

    Thanks Wixxy, good job.

  10. Lord Boofhead says:

    So the ‘Socialist Alternative’ or what ever they are calling themselves today are trying to make out the Violent Muslim protesters out as ‘Peaceful’ but of course they are on their side, they are probably one of the few groups in Australia with the same amount of raving anti-Semites as the SA..

  11. OscarJones says:

    I’ve come to never believe a media report on a so-called ‘riot’.

    As a teenager I attended Ban The Bomb marches and the infamous LBJ protest in Sydney in the 60s when we (me almost at the front} supposedly stormed LBJ’s car and that old crook Askin reportedly said “run over the bastards”.

    Who the 2 “hippies” at the back with the beards and ridiculous strands of beads around their necks were- who agitated and the began pushing , we never found out. They were recent arrivals and were most likely police agitators.

    And thus since the media has lied and exagerated and mis-reported ever since. Unless you can point to some historic media report that actually does the opposite. I wasn’t there so I don;t know the truth but then I doubt most commenting were. I do know the amount of B/S spun about some kid with a placard- as if it bloody well matters- did a great job with a lunatic MP demanding the child be removed from his family and so on etc etc blah blah and Islamists were blamed en masse.

    Yet as we saw with the APEC demos in Sydney when police illegally removed their ID badges and brutalised tourists and innocents like the worst bunch of thugs that would make a tinpot banaba republic proud, those bastards barely get a mention.

    I wasn’t there so I do not know but I don;t see why the Socialist Alternative is not a credible a source as the moronic TV news, the criminal organisation News Corp (mafia-like according to British MPs) and the sad Fairfax and ABC outlets.

    • Matt says:

      If I was in a unarmed car and a mob descended on it my first thought would be “drive straight through them”. You are presented with a choice, use the car as a weapon, or leave yourself to the mercy of a mob, in which case it may well be your coffin. In a sedan you are lower than a person standing, and so can not see the extent of the mob, what weapons they may or may not be carrying, the overall flow of people etc. You can’t see anything beyond the ring of people threatening you. Maybe its just me, but I was always brought up to understand that a car can hurt you, and if you don’t want that to happen, don’t put yourself in its path. Especially if your intention is to try to stop it. Physics dictates this is a very bad idea.

      And police agitators pushing? I say big deal. If people are so easily revved up it is not the fault of two pathetic cops. It means they came looking for trouble and just needed any flimsy excuse. Geez, the amount of times a cop has tried to rev me up during questioning, or plain clothes trying to entrap me at a social gathering, but yet I’ve never bitten. Funny that, I also don’t align myself with protesters. I accept their right to protest, they just never seem to be coherent. All emotion no rationality.

      It is true that overall the police in this country are openly discussed and used as paramilitary organisations by all levels of government – something I think is an abomination. However, these bloody 6th pillar fkwits and their antics only serve to reinforce such policies.

  12. OscarJones says:

    I’m also a bit disappointed you believe things you see in the media as well Wixxy.

    We have no idea who texted people and the reasons they did so. It could have been for the reason to de-rail a protest and create violence and may have come from a non-Muslim source,

    And if you think coppers don’t over react, psyche themselves into seeing trouble when it isn’t there, you are naive. They can be as hot-headed as the next person.

    I suggest taking horses to any demo is provactive,

    • wixxy says:

      I don’t agree with everything I read in the press, far from it. However I don’t believe that everything is a conspiracy either, and believe some of what I read.

      In this instance, I assume that the police did not give themselves injuries, the photo in the blog of a protester smahing the windscreen of an unmanned police car I assume is not a cop disguised as a protester, and I think I’m safe in assuming that they were not throwing bottles at each other.

      When eyewitnesses, police, and the vast majority of the protesters, and Islamic leaders all tell the same story, I tend to think it carries more credibilty than a publication that seems to only be interested in promoting more anger.

      I am sure that there were elements within the police force who were heavy handed, and perhaps racist, but that does not take away from the fact that there were also those who showed up to cause trouble.

      It would be natural for police to anticipate trouble after being warned that it was coming, it would also be natural for them to be a bit edgy.

      I would suggest that texting around trying to cause violence is proactive.

      Maybe it’s me, but I think the angry mob hurling bottles and smashing police cars didn’t seem to bothered by the horses, anyway, I would be far more concerned about a man with a gun, a taser, capsicum spray, and a baton then I would be by a horse.

      I will stick up for the rights of Muslims every time, and defend them from injustice when necessary.

      I will not however, try and justify the actions of a group of dickheads out to cause problems and make life even tougher for those Muslims who just want to be respected and live a normal life.

      As for that poor kid with the stupid sign, I weep for his future

  13. Matt says:

    The use of a horse in these situations is not just intimidation. If intimidation fails, a horse is huge and heavy and strong and can ‘disperse’ a mob or break a line simply by walking through them. Much easier than boots on the ground, with generally less injuries to all involved compared to being struck with batons and other ‘less lethal'(pisses me off when they say non-lethal) weaponry in the police arsenal.

    The kid with the sign was just the icing on the cake, it is the fact there were so many of the same signs, held by angry people. Calling for the child to be removed from the family without knowing all the facts is premature. However, having DOCS investigate and record the matter is proper.

    Cameras these days are ubiquitous. I find it particularly naive to take the word of the socialist alliance. Where is some footage to back up their claims? Are they all completely incompetent? Not carrying camera-phones? Or perhaps there was nothing of the sort to film?

  14. Tess says:

    Just happened to be watching a u-stream “Pirate Party” public meeting (only about a dozen attended) live from Hyde Park on Saturday at about 1pm when all this unfolded live.

    Ironically the thing I was watching was about police misuse of surveillance to further a ‘law & order’ agenda (well worth tracking down the details – a guy from Woolloongong Uni was talking about how the police used Essential Media just before the NSW elections to beat that drum and how they misrepresented CCTV footage to make it look like Woolloongong’s CBD was a roiling pot of violent drunkenness 24/7).

    Anyway, on the u-stream there was suddenly a lot of noise and a scary amount of cops in their bizzo gear all around the “Pirate” guys! At first I thought this was insane overkill for a few people questioning the idea of a militarised police security state – but then it became clear the cops were there for “angry muslims” and they told the “Pirate” people to clear off.

    You can find bits of it here:

    http://www.ustream.tv/channel/sawc

    The point is, thanks to this guy and his video, I was able to watch it all live before any violence had happened. The police had dogs on either side of the crowd (about 400) and “kettled” them between George Street and another street (Pitt?) with some police vehicles at one end and shoulder to shoulder riot squad cops at the other and proceeded to squeeze.

    I have no doubt that a protester at some point had a go at the cops – but I didn’t see it.

    The protesters went back to Hyde Park and prayed and then did a bit of a sit in and refused to move for a while. It is important to note that by this time they have already been pepper-sprayed and suffered some casualties and have told the women and kids to go home because of that. By now it’s about 3:30 or 4pm – No property has been damaged but the police are getting a bit cranky.

    After that I lost the u-stream but I note the milk crate photo was taken at 4:40 by a “media” outlet (ie: News Ltd) and according to twitter it was “on again” with the police driving the protesters from Hyde Park by that time.

    Apart from that observation, yours is one of the more balanced opinion pieces on this whole thing. But I share the reservations many of the other commenters above have made.

  15. societyoscar@gmail.com says:

    Wixxy – of course the police didn’t injure themselves and violence must be condemned.

    Again : all I know from this day is what I read but I still have trouble discerning the truth.
    The police are notorious for fudging the truth in these matters : they’ve always fibbed about marches I’ve been on whether it’s a simple matter of mis-reporting numbers to who actually causes a commotion. Why, I do not know. Police conspire all the time and they are doing so currently to try to force the government to handover more intrusive controls on our net usage.

    I remember the anti-Iraq invasions before we invaded a country who had never harmed us : in Sydney the cops in charge were quite simply bastards : they refused marchers to do down a route they had lawfully agreed upon and completely intimidated by their sheer numbers. And this was all about peace !

    Islamic leaders are in a difficult position and must tread very carefully politically.

    • wixxy says:

      I know, the police have often instigated trouble and later lied about it…

      However, on this occassion, it seems that every side agree’s with their version except the small element that seemingly went looking for trouble.

      I think that Islamic leaders face huge challenges, but more with the media than the police. they are being painted as something they are largely not, and it has been allowed to frame the publics perception of Islam.

      Every religion has its good and bad, there are even a couple of bad athiests out there I’m sure…

  16. Good post Wixxy
    But the problem of how to deal with the disaffected boofheads who came to the demo intent on mayhem is tricky. There is no alternative but to put those the cameras caught out on trial but this will guarantee them status within the little world they seem to inhabit. It promotes the expansion of the hateful corruption of Islam that apparently gives meaning to their lives. I doubt it matters a jot to these guys that their action is condemned by the majority of Australian Muslims. They have the support (overt or covert) of the minority of bigots within the wider Islamic community whose approval they crave. I don’t envy the Islamic community leaders the task of, on the one hand, managing the fundamentalist hate-mongerers and, on the other, managing the generally ignorant, sometimes xenophobic, racist contributions of the msm.

    • Stratton says:

      All this arguing back and forth while the elephant in the room is ignored. Howard gave millions of taxpayers’ money to religious schools thinking he was bolstering up his base in the christian education system. He forgot that it was the thin edge of the wedge and all religions could henceforth claim government money. We’ve seen religious schools grow exponentially since then but is there any oversight when it comes to what they are teaching? Christian, Muslim schools etc now have the capacity to influence young minds that are not fully formed and thus are not in any position to make mature judgements. If governments are going to fund these institutions it must come with obligations or Australia will be regressing to a very bad place.

  17. Marilyn says:

    Actually it is the way we treat asylum seekers that allows lies and brutality against others.

    Letter writers and assorted racists blame everything on boat people.

  18. Matt says:

    And crazy old dingbats blame everything on racism.

    • Shelly Gale says:

      I wish this had a *Like button

    • Marilyn says:

      You are the moron calling it a race riot, not me. I didn’t see any riot, I do know that Scippione lied again by pretending to know nothing about the protest when he was warned by other muslim groups that a small minority was going to make trouble.

      The cops went out in force and brutalised everyone.

      I have had a gutfull of it – muslims are people too.

      • wixxy says:

        As I said, “so called race riots” quoting others words. It is a relatively simple concept Marilyn, I’m surprised you can’t seem to get your head around it…

        Muslims are people too, you are right Marlilyn. With that in mind I would suggest you listen to the vast majority of them, who probably know more about how they feel than you do.

        Then maybe, just maybe, you could start directing your anger at those who seek to continue the anger by writing articles that attempt to incite more trouble.

        Not everything is a grand conspiracy, take the tin foil hat off, listen to the overwhelming majority of Muslims whose opinion you are choosing to ignore, and hopefully common sense will prevail.

        Your views are possibly the most bigoted I have heard on this subject yet.

        99% of the Muslims agree with my views that there was a rogue element that caused the trouble.

        Your backing of the 1% who are being arrested as I write this, shows nothing but your bigotry against not only the police, but the vast majority of Muslims.

        Once again, this sounds like discrimination to me, maybe even religious persecution

  19. Marilyn says:

    OH my god, Peter comes down with a ýou are with us or against us rant.

    I have not defended anyone in particular but believe that the cops were in the wrong with their weapons and brutality to demonise people.

    They are still demonising people, look at Melbourne – 15 people with nazi insignia are told politely to move on.

    I would suggest I know more muslims across the spectrum than most of the bigots here, they are just people.

    Remember the riot in the ACT didn’t happen either but the cops did bash a lot of aborigines, there was no riot at Woomera but the cops teargassed and bashed a lot of people, the cops are driving the hate with their middle eastern gang groups and discrimination on every level.

    In spite of your normal good work you often sound like Dubya.

    • wixxy says:

      I don’t know about Nazi’s in Melbourne, but I am with you on the other protests you mentioned.

      However I believe that in this particular case the police were right to react.

      These are not police beating someone indigenous to death in a police cell, these are police trying to contain a rogue element attempting, and succeeding, in causing trouble.

      Whether the police reactions were extreme or not is another debate, however the police will always engage with the purpose of winning, otherwise what would be the point?

      My issue is the way the report deliberately misled its readers, and had the intent of increasing anger towards police. In claiming to be on the side of the protesters, it ignored the views of the vast majority of them.

      The only point of view it seems to share is that of the 6th Pillar group. A group of extremists seemingly named after their collective IQ.

      I for one am on the side of Muslims. However, these idiots like the 6 Pillocks, are not Muslims in the true sense, they are extremists looking for a cause.

      They wave their flags, and show off their Al Queda tattoo’s to get a reaction, and yet cry like babies when they get it.

      Today the police commissioner praised Islamic leaders, I know that won’t fit in with the extreme leftist theme of rags like the Socialist Alternative Reality, but I think it’s worth mentioning

      • Matt says:

        Marilyns problem is she sympathises with their agenda. The rest of us don’t as it is the agenda of al-qaeda and the taliban, the very people who persecute the hazara. The mulsim ‘community leaders’ (I have never been comfortable with that term – in relation to any group) represent only a fraction of the community, and that definitely does not include the radicals. They have their own role models, preachers, and values. All they are doing is damage control PR, it has no effect on extremists.

        And I think this must be the “nazis” marilyn refers to: http://www.news.com.au/national/group-of-protesters-condemn-islam-on-the-steps-of-the-state-library-in-central-melbourne/story-fndo4cq1-1226479705006

        A small group of bogans in surf and sports gear waving the flag(gotta love monkey-face brandishing the phone in the top pic.) and a handful of atheists. No swastikas anywhere. While the odds are that the bogans would lean towards racist tendencies, they were hardly militarised like nazis – or islamists.

  20. Marilyn says:

    Gee Matt, name one place I have ever supported the taliban or Al Qaida, you really are the stupidest little twerp.

    The government supported the taliban though from the time it was formed and now works with monsters even more brutal than the taliban ever dreamed of being.

    Not supporting attacks on foreign countries is not the same as supporting the monsters but in Australia we never, ever stop to think that maybe we are in the wrong here.

    No docos. few books written about Iraq or Afghanistan, no nothing but we will suck up to the US>

    WE still prop up some of the most brutal dictators on earth in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia in the name of the US, we prop up the communist regime in China and Vietnam, we grovel to the US just like Menzies did when he invited us into Vietnam.

    Grow up Matt, when you are as old as me instead of some silly boy we will discuss it.

    Muslims made this country, they have been here since the first fleet and will be here when the nation implodes with climate change. They built the telegraph and railroads in places horses could not go, old mosques are all over the country, we have muslims here from every corner of the globe – we have no respect for them at all – even on Nauru the bigotry of our federal police is seen.

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/national/islands-residents-may-add-muscle-in-unrest/story-fndo317g-1226479474639

    Commissioner Britten said all asylum seekers would be treated equally under Nauruan law but some nationalities were “more boisterous or overbearing” than others. He used last weekend’s mob violence in Sydney after an anti-Islamic video was published on YouTube as an example of how situations could be escalated by a small group of troublemakers.

    “Obviously Sri Lankans are generally very quiet but it’s just a case of adapting to each of the nationalities and managing the differences,” he said.

    Now, there is no Nauruan law for refugees, and why would some refugees dare to object to being trafficked by force to a mound of birdshit, especially Iraqis.

    What sort of cretin nation are we that morons like this cop are allowed to be in charge of a chook house and since when is Nauru Australian?

    Peter, along with Pru Goward, Barry O”Farrell and everyone else condemned that poor mother because her little kid found a sign and held it up, they sent the cops to her house, they screamed out that he should be taken from her.

    But she did nothing more than not be able to read and comprehend English, being how she is from Jordan.

    • wixxy says:

      I hear what you say about the boy, and i assume what you say is correct, and that is sad for his poor mother.

      I agree that Muslims are fine people, I am friends with many and have never seen any reason to judge them as anything other than great Aussie citizens.

      I agree that US foreign policy leaves a lot to be desired and we seem to follow suit.

      Bin Laden was a hero when he was killing Russians, Hussein also was a hero when he was killing Iranians, the US couldn’t give him enough chemical weapons then…

      Things go in circles as US interests change… So it would seem anyway.

      My fear is that the Cold War we had against communism last century is turning into a war against Islam this century.

      However, it is behavior of the type that we saw from the rogue element, or 6th Pillar group that encourages this…

      Any fight should not be against any religion, it should be against extremism, on either side of the fence.

      The issue with asylum seekers, in my mind, is nothing to do with Islam, that these people are Islamic is just a current trend.

      This issue has been going on for decades, when I was young it was the Vietnamese that were being persecuted, they were not Islamic.

      People are bringing religion into the debate because the population seems to have a fear of Islamic extremism, despite it being such a long bow to draw to any asylum seeker. We should not allow it into the debate or we debate on their terms.

      The Asylum seeker debate is partly down to racism, but mostly down to greed. Those on the right have mounted a successful campaign that has made people fear that these people are coming here to take what is ours. It is crap, but it has worked…

      We should not condemn our law enforcement however when they do the right thing, as it dilutes the impact of any criticism when they do the wrong thing.

      That’s just my view though…

      • Matt says:

        Marilyn, you(and most others familiar with you) know full well you support elements who hold the same goals, like these sydney ‘peaceful’ protestors. Asylum seekers are a secondary issue to your main motivations. Hence why you don’t wan’t to spend any effort being an effective advocate, you just use it as a platform to spew hate. You are basically a professional antagonist, which gets you nowhere with the target demographic(rather it takes the cause backwards), but you like to ride high on the shoulders and take the credit of those who do, thinking your abuse and lies influences people(it doesn’t). You might want to brush up on some primary school english comprehension though, as clearly you have difficulty reading even the most simple of things correctly.

        Peter, there is no point telling marilyn there is more to peoples fear of asylum seekers than their race. Many others have pointed this out. Yet she still falls back to her shrill racist calls, as she doesn’t wan’t people to come together, and address the problems and misconceptions. She just wants to fight and scream vitriol and dreams of the day she gets to see the people she hates suffer. I would not like to have her as my advocate. When most people do something for a long period of time they get better at it. Why doesn’t marilyn? She has no real desire for change.

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