Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Muslims and me

On the 28th August 2006, I posted this to Yahoo 'Top Stories':

I've generally taken some pride about not being prejudiced on the basis of culture or religion. The girl at my local fish and chipper is Arabic and she's a delight. My current dentist from Afghanistan got me out of intense pain when previous dentists had failed. I have no trouble assessing Muslim job applicants on merit.

Yet last night I was sitting in a bus, saw an Arabic lad with a backpack heading in my direction and had the unworthy thought that I hoped he wasn't going to get on my bus. And that is a huge problem. Muslims can tell us that Islam is a religion of peace till the cows come home, but we know of a spate of atrocities by Muslims around the world against civilian targets. Spain, New York, Bali1, Bali2 and many others. And of course the many foiled attempts - USA, Britain, Australia, the Philippines and again many others.

Of course, it isn't fair that a religious group should be judged on the basis of a small number of psychos. But neither is it fair that we should be under constant threat of attack from Islam’s lunatic fringe.

And my perception is that the Muslims of Australia have not tried hard enough to condemn these atrocities and attempted atrocities. Any time a Muslim cleric gets TV time and shows even the faintest glimmer of understanding towards these evil people it drives another nail into the coffin of East-West multiculturalism. If they're serious about living in peace I believe the Muslims are going to have to find many more ways to show it than is expected of non-Muslims. That isn't fair. But I'm dashed if I can see any alternative.

On the 3rd of September 2006, Peter Costello stated that there was
a need for the Islamic leadership of this country to stand up and contend unequivocally that terrorism is never justified.

Then on the 8th of September 2006, Jim Schembri published a column which starts:

Should I move? I'm just sitting here, on my way to work, reading my magazine and stealing furtive glances at the legs of the young lady on other side of the aisle. Then he arrives. He's a pleasant-looking guy, young, with a Middle-Eastern complexion. I make room so he can take the seat opposite. He smiles a "thank you". I smile back. In his lap is a backpack. On his head is a beanie that reads "Australia". In his hand is a mobile.
Probably a uni student on his way to a lecture. Or an office worker. Or off to meet friends for a coffee. Or somebody posing as a normal citizen preparing to make me Australia's first suicide bombing victim.

Hmm ... interesting coincidences. Who knows? And it's no big deal. Only, I'm not even sure that my original post represents how I feel. I was just making conversation.


Anonymous angel said...

Hi True Blue,
Its a sad fact in todays society that no matter how desensitised to prejuduce we work to be, we still have to consider possibility. Sadly these are the things we need to look out for, they are protective behaviours. Completly normal yet still very foriegn to those of us who grew up in the 60's, 70's & 80's. You mentioned "we" in an "us and them" context & wonder if you were thinking of us as the non-violent types or just the Muslim types and am guessing the former. I think if we are going to categorise, we need to be specific. Too many wars have been waged in the name of Religeon in our history already. Hope you are well Mate, we have missed you over at SOS. Cheers, angel.

10:05 pm, September 28, 2006  
Blogger True Blue said...

Good question, Angel, about the "us" and "we". From context I'd say that I was referring to we non muslims. But you're absolutely right - there are well over 300,000 non-violent ordinary law-abiding Muslims in this country, and they of course have just as much to worry about from the whackos as any of us.

re SOS: thanks but not yet. I had a look a few days ago but still felt the same way.

11:17 pm, September 28, 2006  

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