Visiting Israeli Professor Raphael Israeli presents different faces for different audiences. Sometimes he says his target is only “Islamists”, ie, those Muslims who want to impose a political version of Islam on secular democracies. Certainly this is what he said in a letter to The Australian. Yet he wrote an almost identical, though more virulent (and need I say honest) letter to the far-Right polemical JihadWatch website. In that letter, he made it clear he was talking about “the Muslim thugs”, without differentiation. In other words, his attitudes are directed to all Australians who happen to tick the “Muslim” box on their census forms.  Regardless of where he stands, we’d be living in denial if we insisted Israeli’s attitudes to that nebulous Arab/Muslim/Islamist/Middle Eastern “them” aren’t gaining some hold.  Why is this so? Who is responsible? And what is being done about it? Journalism professor and veteran reporter Peter Manning believes that skewed reporting is largely to blame. His research of metropolitan Sydney newspaper reporting pre and post-September 11 shows that the prejudices have pre-dated the emergence of al-Qaeda. Experts like James Jupp argue cogently against Israeli’s central thesis on limiting immigration for a particular religious group. I think much responsibility rests with Muslims themselves, especially with religious and organisational leaders who are largely first generation migrants who regard Islam as a relic of their lives “back home” and are generally disinterested in communicating Islamic theology to the broader community. The ethno-religious nature of the Muslim religious establishment is the biggest reason why Israeli’s claims simply don’t apply to Muslims here (if they apply anywhere else). On Radio National Israeli  said that “in Islam, secular Islam, or secular Muslims, is a contradiction in terms”. He also said that there is only one Islam, and that Muslims either adopt it or they don’t. This is the weakest link in Israeli’s argument. Australian Muslims come from over 60 different countries. Australian Islam is more ethno-cultural than religious a phenomenon, reflected in Muslim community leadership drawn from ethnic-based mosques. To say there is one Islam means there is one Muslim community. But the fact is that Muslims cannot even agree on holding festival days. Israeli says that a growing monolithic Muslim community in Australia is a threat. This Muslim community doesn’t exist down under.