Abbott and IS

John Richardson writes: Re. “Tony Abbott’s alliance of interests with Islamic State” (yesterday). Great job by Bernard Keane in calling-out Phoney Abbott’s self-righteous bullshit effort to once again vilify Islam, while ignoring the wicked sins of his own lot.

The champion of “Team Australia” shamelessly promotes the values of self-indulgence, greed, exploitation, selfishness, arrogance, hubris, bigotry, sloganism, fear, ignorance, militarism, hypocrisy, self-righteousness, xenophobia, shallowness and materialism; not to forget dishonesty and deceit.

If Tony Abbott and George Pell are emblematic of western cultural superiority, the voice of Islam would surely have to be the least of our worries.

Even the most bigoted knuckle-dragging village idiot understands that the “First Law of Holes” is to stop digging when you’re in one.

James Burke writes: The problem is not that Islam has never undergone a Reformation. The problem is that it is currently undergoing one. The reformers are fundamentalist Wahhabis, Salafis and Deobandis, seeking to rid their faith of “innovations” and return to a “pure” religion. In a word: Puritans. Their Reformation is often violent and provokes violence in response, much like the Christian version.

There are parallels between these Islamic “reformers” and extremist Calvinists of the Reformation era. Most striking is their iconoclasm: large-scale cultural vandalism in the name of stamping out “idolatry”. Calvinists burned paintings, smashed sculptures and stained-glass windows, melted down candlesticks. Wahhabis have bulldozed much of historic Mecca, and blown up the shrines and libraries of Timbuktu. And Daesh: well, we know about Daesh.

Actually there were Reformation forerunners to Daesh, such as the attempt to found a “New Jerusalem” in Muenster. Anticipating the Apocalypse, radical Anabaptists overturned society, outlawed private property, introduced forced polygamy, and provoked a bloody military intervention.* This was just part of a long tradition of violent Christian millenarianism that continues today among fans of Fox News.

Abbott and friends’ incomprehension — of the Reformation, of Islam, of plenty else — is a product of their infantile view of history: as one long uplift of virtuous God-fearing, English-speaking strivers making the world a better place. How could the Reformation possibly have been violent, unpleasant, or (gasp) mostly pointless? It was all part of God’s plan, and all for the best in this best of all possible worlds.

What Abbott describes as a sadly lacking national “self-confidence” or “self-belief”, is really his own wilful ignorance and pig-headed refusal to process uncomfortable facts. When we seek leaders to safeguard our national security, we don’t need more blinkered dunces like Abbott. They’ve done enough damage already.

Richard Barlow writes: So a bunch of Arabs with scimitars come hurtling out of the desert. They create a massive empire which threatens the Catholic Soviet Union in Europe which then sends men in tin suits to ‘free’ Jerusalem while slaughtering Jews at home.  These crusades open up trade with the East and give Italians a wider reading list, a renaissance of sorts. The Catholics reach optimal corruption with the Borgias and the collateralisation of salvation.  Up pop some fundamentalist zealots who have a generation long war with the Catholics which lays waste to most of central Europe. A couple of civil wars, some people get enlightened and say maybe reason is better than religion.  They reason that saying racist stuff, slavery , guillotines, and habeas corpus are inalienable rights. Then a minister fights an abortion pill, and a prime minister indefinitely imprisons refugees and lets them be raped and killed in his care.  It’s about time the Muslims caught up.


Peter Fray

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