Neo-cons and the missing Muslim turned Catholic. There’s been some hoo-haa over the Pope overseeing the baptism of an Italian ex-Muslim commentator Magdi Cristiano Allam during the Vatican Easter service. Apparently neo-Cons across cyberspace are expecting monolithically violent responses from the Muslim world, much like the response that we’re still waiting for after neo-Con Daniel Pipes revealed that Barack Obama was allegedly once a Muslim. The problem is that I haven’t found a single media outlet from the nominally Muslim world making a fuss. One Jordanian chap has labelled the baptism “provocative”, hardly a declaration of World War III. Most of the sectarian noise is being made by neo-Con sites like and National Review (and understandably from Catholic religious publications). In Australia, only Piersed Akurmen has thus far registered Allam on his radar. Still, let’s hope imbecilic and undemocratic rulers of Muslim states don’t orchestrate a repeat of the violent responses to the Danish cartoons…

Speaking out through keeping mum at the Daily Tele. The Daily Telegraph has an interesting definition of “speaking out”. Its report on the Lindsay leaflet debacle today claims the women at the heart of the incident “spoke out yesterday”. There’s just one problem: both former Federal Liberal MP for Lindsay Jacky Kelly and former candidate Karen Chijoff said absolutely nothing. Kelly even went so far as to remind the Tele that she was no longer an MP and therefore wouldn’t be talking about her private life. Chijoff refused to say anything beyond what we already have known for months – that she is no longer with her husband. As for former NSW Liberal Party State Executive member and former Helen Coonan staffer Jeff Egan, he didn’t even return calls. Now that’s what I call speaking out!

Challenging Janet (again). Janet Albrechtsen today continues with her obsessive monoculturalism, writing about stringent citizenship tests which the UK government has adopted, apparently following the UK model. She doesn’t mention whether the tests will be multiple-choice and include questions about Don Bradman or English illegal immigrant Simpson and his donkey. She also mentions reports of Somali traditional courts in the UK deciding even criminal cases, as well as FGM. All this is mentioned in the context of Rowan Williams’ comments about sharia law. Is Albrechtsen claiming the Somali courts and the practise of FGM are religiously-based? If so, how does she explain that FGM is also prevalent amongst Christian, Jewish and Animist African communities? And why doesn’t she also mention the fact that American legal academic Noah Feldman mentioned in a recent essay for the New York Times Magazine i.e. that each time Dr Williams spoke about sharia, he specifically states his remarks applied equally to Jewish sacred law? Or does Janet think Jewish sacred law has no role in our Judeo-Christian heritage?

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
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