Last weekend Australians opened their bleary eyes on a sunny spring morning to the startling image of a boy holding aloft a placard calling for the beheading of those who insult his religion. Hours later, an even sweeter-looking eight-year-old girl performed a well-rehearsed and impressive presentation up on stage in front of a large crowd. Presumably her parents beamed with pride as dad nervously clutched his video camera. Yet this was no cute Eisteddfod or poetry recital. ‘These uprisings have demonstrated that this Ummah is alive and well, her love is for jihad… and she yearns to once again live under the banner of [the Islamic state],’ the young Aussie intoned.
Deliberately fostering hatred in the innocent hearts of children, or a thirst for revenge killings and martyrdom, is child abuse. From the vile atrocities committed by Joseph Kony and his child soldiers (known to butcher their own parents) to the sickening brainwashing of kids throughout the Arab world by dehumanising Jews, the teaching and preaching of intolerance, particularly to the young, poses an insidious threat to our freedom of expression.
Our society is built on the premise that all cultures, religions and political points of view are valid, provided they do not impinge upon the legitimate rights of others, or incite hatred or violence. Yet clearly, what might be called caliphatism — the desire that the Muslim world be one state under enforced Islamic law — is anathema. Why? For the obvious but often overlooked reason that to the jihadist mindset the ‘Muslim world’ includes any society in which Muslims happen to live, ours included.
Although all religions, particularly at the extremes, struggle with modernity, it is self-evident certain aspects of Islam remain incompatible with a secular democracy. That many Muslims in the West succeed in finding their own personal balance between religious observation and contemporary values is encouraging. However, as long as Muslim apologists and the Left continue making excuses for Islamic extremism — from Clover Moore’s ridiculous assertion on Q&A that the CBD riots were no worse than any Friday night ‘down the Cross’, to the dangerous notion that Islamic sensibilities somehow deserve special consideration denied to other religions — then we will continue to witness unacceptable acts of aggression against those provocations (cartoons, badly-made B-movies, girls in miniskirts) that violent extremists decide are not to be tolerated.
Islamofascist intolerance is a dangerous creature lurking in our garden of enlightenment. Through the fair and equal enforcement of our laws, through the bravery of those prepared to speak out against the jihadists and caliphatists, and through the passionate defence of our hard-won individual rights and democratic values, we must defang this poisonous serpent.
Mr Cowardice meets Mrs Virtue
John Ruddick, a candidate for the NSW Liberal party presidency, has written a very entertaining argument in favour of an open ballot for the preselection of future Liberal candidates. Imagining the blue-ribbon electorate of ‘Howard’, he reveals how factions manipulate the selection of candidates. Drawing upon a cast of characters who sound as if they’ve stepped out of a game of Cluedo (the protagonist is a Mr Cowardice, a delegate who is forced to switch his vote from Mrs Virtue to Mr Schemer thanks to the less-than-subtle persuasions of the unsavoury Mr Stand-Over), Mr Ruddick shows how the process has become distorted.
‘The Liberal Party was founded on a belief in promotion by merit… so it simply didn’t occur to our founders that small but well-organised groups would manipulate the delegate system resulting in too many delegates owing greater loyalty to a faction — a “party” within the Party,’ he argues. ‘We need to cut out the middleman and let everyday party members have a direct say in candidate selection. The more power members have, the more good members we will have.’
Mr Ruddick believes that the Liberal preselection of candidates should be similar to the UK plebiscite system, under which all local party members have a vote in candidate selection. There is a great deal of merit to his argument. The Labor Party has demonstrated beyond doubt the dangers of allowing ‘faceless men’ to hijack the democratic process. In the Liberal Party, even more so than elsewhere, democracy and individualism must trump centralised control.
Mr Ruddick is not alone in holding this opinion. ‘The Liberal Party should fully embrace the plebiscite system for candidate selection. This is likely to deliver a more representative bunch of future candidates,’ wrote one passionate advocate of reform. The name of this radical? John Howard.Tags: iapps