Islamic Protests: spitting in the face of Australian multiculturalism

I’m writing this entry today out of pure fury.

We value multiculturalism in this country. Our constitution prohibits our government from any interference with the freedom of religion. We value freedom of expression. But when chants such as “Obama, Obama, we love Osama”, and signs projecting discriminatory thoughts such as— “behead anyone against Islam”, fill Sydney streets. Enough is enough.

It needs to be asked. Where the hell do we draw a line between what is acceptable, and what is disgusting? These protests are insulting to anyone who values the freedom of religion, and the freedom of expression.  It gives the substantiation of these values a black eye.  It spits in the face of our society, and every value that we stand for.

The Islamic protests in Sydney yesterday crossed the line. Basically, some film was made in America, insulting the Islamic prophet. As a result of this amateur film many Muslims gathered in the CBD… not peacefully. Violently. Rocks were thrown at police officers, people were injured, property was deliberately damaged, and not to mention those disgusting chants. But was it really about the video? Or was that just an excuse to project utter hatred?

What the hell is going on? And what were you trying to achieve?

As Peter FitzSimons said in SMH:

  • “Do you have the first clue as to the ramifications of your actions?”
  • “Do you not understand that the net result of such irresponsible, appalling action is to give ample fuel to every racist in the country to reinforce every bad stereotype they have ever had of you?”
  • “And that will affect badly the hundreds of thousands of other peaceful and law-abiding Islamic Australians?”

As I said these protests crossed the line. I’m all for religious freedom. But may I just point out; while such freedom is protected by law, and by international conventions, there is something else that is protected:

International human rights law also protects people against the promotion of religious hatred which amounts to incitement of discrimination, hostility or violence (ICCPR, article 20).”

This was nothing but a protest fueled by hatred and ignorance. It breeched the above article. What we do not value in this country is racism, this protest openly projected racism towards those who are not inside the Islamic faith. I’m sorry… but I have a freedom too. Do not for a second think your freedom is more important than mine.  Do not for a second think that you can cry ‘freedom of speech’. You crossed a line. You breeched my right to be protected from discrimination, hostility, and violence.

Peter FitzSimons articulated what the vast majority of society likely had on their mind:

  • “Get this straight, and quickly: some of you may be from countries where this kind of thing is acceptable. But it is NOT acceptable in this country.”
  • “Racists have said for years, “If you don’t like the way we do things here, go back to where you came from. The net result of your actions yesterday is that – for those people specifically disgracing themselves in the CBD yesterday, not the vast bulk of Islamic Australians – much of the country now feels the same.”

It’s a sad day for multiculturalism.

Photo by James Brickwood- Sydney Morning Herald

 

Premier O’Farrell maintains, ‘‘Episodes like yesterday really do attack what is one of the great foundations of our success which is our multiculturalism.’’ OK O’Farrell, then i ask, and i am sure many others do too. What are you going to do about it? Are you going to make an example of these people? Are you going to stand up for our rights? A statement merely projecting your in-acceptance is not enough. People are angry, people are frustrated, and frankly, people have had enough.

Check out this video, and let us know what you think:

SMH Islamic protest coverage

Read more: http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/an-open-letter-20120915-25ziq.html#ixzz26b0rGXNB

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