Media Files

Jun 4, 2018

Media Files: Press Council clears Akerman’s Yassmin Abdel-Magied column

Piers Ackerman has been cleared by the Press Council for a column on the "failed concept of multiculturalism".

Emily Watkins — Media reporter

Emily Watkins

Media reporter

Piers Akerman cleared to call Yassmin Abdel-Magied a "silly Muslim woman". A stray mouse cursor got into the printing press. Fairfax and News Corp redefine "exclusive" once again. Plus, other media tidbits of the day.

Piers Akerman column cleared. The Australian Press Council has cleared a Piers Akerman column that called engineer/author Yassmin Abdel-Magied a "silly Muslim woman". The piece was about the "failed concept of multiculturalism" and focussed on Abdel-Magied. The Press Council was investigating a complaint that it was unbalanced and caused offence while not in the public interest; but found that, as an opinion piece, it was based on explicit and implied opinions so was not unfair. "The columnist's opinions are likely to offend many," they said in a statement. "But it is in the public interest in freedom of speech that vigorous public debate be permitted, even when expressed in extreme terms, as is the case here."

Free Trial

You've hit members-only content.

Sign up for a FREE 21-day trial to keep reading and get the best of Crikey straight to your inbox

By starting a free trial, you agree to accept Crikey’s terms and conditions


Leave a comment

15 thoughts on “Media Files: Press Council clears Akerman’s Yassmin Abdel-Magied column

  1. blindphoton

    We on the left have got a real problem here.
    Akerman is a bigot and a fool and continually exudes a kind of toxic bile not unlike the clowns behind the Ramsay College fraud (for an salient analogue remember the Lomborg/UWA clusterfuck where Abbott (again) tried to purchase intellectual respectability for a bunch of dead ideas).
    However, back to the main issue: Many of Akerman’s points resonate with reasonable people and this is a massive problem for progressives. The hard fact is that the head dress of Muslim women is also a massive problem – it is integral to a broader set of social conventions (designed and enforced by men) fundamental to the subjugation of millions of women in Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, etc, who have no choice as to the nature of their uniform unless they wish to endure the wrath of their fathers, brothers or religious police.
    Now, lets see if the regressive left unravel is a sea of Akerman-like bile. Please try and comprehend that islam is an idea, a philosophy of living. It is not a race. As such criticism of islam is not racism. As for Islamophobia, I actually suffer from catholicophobia, and more generally, religousophobia).

    1. 1984AUS

      Excellent comment.

    2. AR

      The wanker brigade refuse to acknowledge that simple fact.
      I am not an atheist but an antitheist.
      Religion is a blight on democracy and those so deluded should keep it behind closed doors to suit their minds.
      Freedom from religion should be the default position.

    3. Jim Egan

      Jasmine is one of the ABC luvvies like Mrs Walid Ali. The ABC and SBS (and the Project) trot them out to enrage the mainly centre-right population with loud mouthed opinions from women who have no idea what it is really like to live as a woman in a repressive muslim country.

      What they really need is the stiletto argument of sadly departed Chris Hitchins to expose their facile nonsense, and even better; to be scared sh**less by a lived experience such as that of a real hero of our times Aayan Hirsi Ali.

      1. AR

        Pity about her moving to the Benighted States – understandable given her treatment by the Dutch – but marrying Niall Ferguson?

      2. 1984AUS

        I have read a lot from Aayan Hirsi Ali and have a lot or respect for her.

        Hirsi Ali’s central argument is that the liberal, democratic west, especially its political leaders but also western Muslims, have made a dangerous mistake in insisting, for well-intentioned reasons, that the rise of Islamist terrorism has nothing to do with Islam.

        She rejects the notion that the “root causes” of Islamist violence are issues such as poverty and corrupt governance and argues that its key tenets are derived from the foundational texts of Islam. She points out that many Muslim-majority countries, such as Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, insist on a rigid and misogynist form of sharia law, incompatible with western notions of individual freedom and religious tolerance.

        She now distinguishes between “religious” Islam – the ordinary practices of the faithful – and “political Islam”, an ideology that seeks to spread it tentacles, including to the west. She is not the only one to say this, but she says it bluntly and often provocatively: Islam needs wholesale reform and western Muslims should play a key role in it.

        1. Jim Egan

          spot on 1984AUS

    4. blindphoton

      Unfortunately a bunch of trolls have found my personal email address and have subjected me to a vicious and expletive riddled ad hominem attack whose central theme is that I’m racist pig for having the temerity to indirectly comment on Yassmin Abdel-Magied’s headdress. The attack has also been extended to my wife. While I expected such behavior, I thought it would be limited to this forum – I find it extremely disconcerting that someone has gone to the trouble to uncover personal details and then propagate them to a bunch of semi-literate nuts.
      RE islam and racism: As I pointed out above islam is a human invention and a philosophy of living. It is not a race. Would these trolls be daft enough to label criticism of the salvation army uniform as racist behavior?
      As inferred in my previous post, the Regressive Left present a major dilemma to progressives – these suckers have gone full circle; they are intolerant of much of the broad liberal agenda and in particular have little tolerance for free speech. This fact provides a wealth of ammunition to conservatives who can easily negatively caricature the left on the basis of the actions of a few nutters. Do yourself a favor and have a read of Quadrant if you need convincing (and for a good laugh).
      For an illuminating rundown on “Regressive Left” see its Wikipedia entry.

      1. 1984AUS

        And that is why there is so little criticism of Islamists and Islam compared to the open slather criticism that no longer incurs death threats when directed towards Christianity, Catholicism, the various sects such as the Hillsong sect etc etc.

  2. 1984AUS

    In the words of former Member for Lynee Rob Oakeshott:

    Monday, 2nd June 2014

    Passionate, vivid and immediate, and full of insights, The Independent Member for Lyne is Rob Oakeshott’s honest and real story of life in Australian politics. In this extract, he tells what it was like to be in News Ltd’s bad books.

    “If you are in the News Ltd good books, you’ll be described as “The tireless Member for X”, or “The hard-working MP for Y”. If you are in the bad books, you’ll be described as disloyal, verbose etc. as I was by opinion columnist Piers Ackerman and others. Loaded adjectives seems the key to News Ltd reporting.”

    And thanks to Team Xenophon who removed the last barrier to Murdoch’s ascendency over all media genres, we now have further entrenched the nation into the cesspit that is Murdoch.

  3. 1984AUS

    Press Council clears Akerman’s Yassmin Abdel-Magied column…

    I quote Richard Ackland’s assessment of the Press Council:

    “The Press Council itself is a conflict of interest, riddled with tired hacks representing their paymasters in the media. Conflict of interest is at the very heart of this outfit and always has been; …

    The Moloch rags and others would be incandescent if the complaints arbiter was akin to an independent statutory body. …

    This unattractive episode makes the APC look like a lickspittle and that McGrath’s removal really has been at the behest of the low-rent bovver boys at the House of Moloch.

    This was written in response to as Ackland describes it: “The press “regulator” is in the process of rissoling the Indigenous woman Carla McGrath as a public member of the council, on the feeble excuse that her position as deputy chair of GetUp! creates a conflict of interest.”

  4. 1984AUS

    The Press Council are to be condemned for their deliberate cultivation of racism, sexism, fear, smear, xenophobia, masquerading as:

    ” the public interest in freedom of speech”

    This is the same excuse to justify deliberately cultivating hate and fear that Murdoch uses in America and what we are seeing here since Andrew Bolt was found by the courts to have committed an offence which then resulted in the IPA’s push for a vilification free for all. It must be remembered that the print media is not held to the same albeit also shocking standards of the other media genres.

  5. AR

    Sebastian’s face seems to indicate that he already knows what he’s been landed with – parent wise.
    Poor kid.

    1. 1984AUS

      Milking machine?

  6. blindphoton

    why has my latest contribution not been posted?

Share this article with a friend

Just fill out the fields below and we'll send your friend a link to this article along with a message from you.

Your details

Your friend's details