Jun 21, 2017

Reactions to London terror show language of the far-right has been normalised

The recent attack on a Muslim centre in Finsbury Park, London, had some elements of our media describing the incident as a "revenge attack".

Irfan Yusuf — Lawyer, author and commentator

Irfan Yusuf

Lawyer, author and commentator

Australian media coverage of the London terror attacks has naturally focused on the stories of Australian victims. Tabloid coverage and commentary (including our national broadsheet-sized tabloid) has also focused on the nastiness of the perpetrators, particularly on their expressed religious motivations, with repeated sideswipes at anyone who shares a similar religious background.

As Crikey reported yesterday, even the most recent attack on a Muslim centre in Finsbury Park had some elements of our media describing the incident as a revenge attack, as if to suggest the victims somehow deserved to be mowed down by a man driving a van. Despite the man’s hate-filled and murderous rant, and notwithstanding Prime Minister Theresa May’s recognition that this was a terrorist attack, most Australian newspapers humanised the perpetrator and barely mentioned the “T” word.

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11 thoughts on “Reactions to London terror show language of the far-right has been normalised

  1. Will

    Curious that D R Owen’s statement that the problem comes back to Wahhabi preachers is quoted approvingly here, when Irfun’s last Crikey article argued Wahhabism wasn’t the problem. Presumably the problem then is its teachers, or those few bad-apple types of them that take outrageous advantage of Saudi Arabia kindly flooding Muslim communities worldwide with Wahhabist mosques, madrasas and movement leaders. Or something.

    1. Irfan Yusuf

      ” … quoted approvingly …”?

        1. Irfan Yusuf

          Where was the approval?

        2. Will

          Say what? You conscripted what Owen said to support your argument (that a major rethink of our counter-terrorism policies is necessary), but you don’t approve of what he said? Well, my apologies! I completely missed that when you quoted him on the need to severely restrict the influence of Wahhabists you did so ironically. I can’t imagine where I got the idea that you were attempting to present a serious argument, rather than just a bit of good-humoured parody. Oh, the laughs!

          1. AR

            Irfan is doing what he always does, dolloping on the verbiage, always with the intent of obfuscating the issue and diverting attention from the core problem.
            Note that he claims below to have have misunderstood taqiya – the koranic dispensation to lie to the infidel.

  2. AR

    The usual, “hey, look over there!” taqiya, obfuscatory rabble-soothing.
    Current chief exponent is, as always, Saudi and the finger pointing at Qatar.
    Let’s not forget that the Saudi’s have just gifted hundreds of millions of dollars and thousands of cleric to Indonesia, presumably to teach ecumenicalism, tolerance and women’s right.
    Oh, and that democracy thangy. Very big on that is yer average Saudi autocrat, just ask his nephew & son.

    1. Irfan Yusuf

      In my ancestral twin-dialects (Hindi and Urdu), the word “taqiyya” means a pillow. I sleep with 2 pillows at night. I guess that means I am doubly deceptive.

  3. Will

    Noted, AR. Is it deception though – implying guilty ulterior motives? Or is it delusion – the pretence of exclusive access to innocent esoteric meaning? Irfan’s rather wobbly allegiance to truth seems to me to suggest something of a post-modernist strategem leaning more toward the latter.
    His defence of Islamist ideology appears to be that any criticism of it is ideological (i.e. insufficiently esoteric), and hence bigoted. The two curious aspects of this strategy are (1) it seeks to collapse the distance between Islamist radicals and the Islamic religious (by accusing any attack on the former as an ‘automatic’ insult to the latter), and (2) it relativistically extends equal legitimacy to all forms of Islamism (no matter how murderous of intent), because Islam is ‘complicated’.

    That said, I say give Irfan the stage. Let him be heard. Oh, for the love of God, let this man make an absolute fool of himself and his cause!

    1. AR

      Beautifully put, clear & concise.
      Judging by his past form, I would go with (1).

      1. Will

        Thank you, AR. It’s a pleasure to discuss and disagree with you on how many ways our subject repeatedly outdoes himself in perfidity.

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