Jun 25, 2014

Crikey Clarifier: what’s so dangerous about Uthman Badar?

The Festival of Dangerous Ideas has scrapped a lecture on "honour killings" -- murder of women said to have brought shame on their families. The talk's author now says the cancellation was due to racism, and he would never defend honour killings. Crikey intern Rachel Clayton looks at the facts.

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Some ideas are considered too dangerous even for the Festival of Dangerous Ideas. After widespread condemnation, the Sydney Opera House has cancelled Uthman Badar’s planned controversial talk “Honour Killings are Morally Justified”, which was to be presented at FODI in late August. But Badar now says his talk was cancelled because of racism and Islamophobia. What’s the story here?

What was the talk supposed to be about?

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14 thoughts on “Crikey Clarifier: what’s so dangerous about Uthman Badar?

  1. Chris Hartwell

    “My sky-fairy said THIS therefore I don’t have to listen to anyone else!”

    Yawn. God-botherers of any stripe need a new line.

  2. Mark out West

    Reasoned questions to this type of Religious based idealism and posting that on the net is the best way to disrobe the King.

  3. AR

    Religion ceases to be a personal pathology when the sufferer demands, not just the right to be deluded, but that others conform to their delusion.

  4. Irfan Yusuf

    “Badar is a spokesperson for Hizb ut-Tahrir, a political group whose aim is to resume the Islamic way of life and establish an Islamic state.”

    With respect, this is just plain wrong.

  5. AR

    Irfan – with no respect, how about ‘apologist’?

  6. CML

    If you believe in free speech, then you should believe in it for everyone.
    Besides, isn’t it better to know what nonsense these fundamentalists are sprouting in our society, than not?
    Also agree with leon knight’s comments.

  7. fractious

    Badar describes the cancellation of his speech as an example of freedom of speech being nothing more than a tool of power

    Leaving aside his assumption that “others” are suppressing him and his point of view, I think he’s right to be quite pi$$ed off at the way his proposed discussion has been treated. After all, he may be right that he didn’t choose the title and that the thrust of his did not support “honour killings”. He may well have conducted an intelligent discourse that challenged the preconceptions of most of us on Islam, including those who think of themselves as being as far from bigoted as it is possible to be.

    But now, thanks to the Opera House and the FODI mounting a volte-face, we’ll never know. At some point in the recent past, both the SOH and FODI must have read Badar’s proposal, assessed it and thought it both worthy and appropriate. But now, “OMG public reaction! Questioning!! WTF!!!”, and I sigh and wonder: what is this a festival of if the instant a real “Dangerous Idea” presents itself the organisers suddenly fight shy? If the intent is to hold a series of lectures and debates that challenge assumptions and preconceptions, then it cannot be beyond the wit of the initiators and organisers to realise that the whole gig will create a lot of heat, Shirley.

  8. fractious

    Oh . Moderation again? Why? Where’s the offence??

  9. AR

    Fractious – and, even IF there were offence, so what?

  10. fractious

    AR, it’s becoming more than a little what Kafka wrote about, not to mention a thing not entirely unlike Matryoshka dolls. If Crikey wants to start articles like this up it should not be beyond their capacity to imagine they might attract comments, some of which may question assumptions made. Yes, litigation, I know…

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