well, happy new year everyone. i’ve been absent from posting over the summer because i decided i just needed a break from the negativity that has been pouring out from many directions, targeting muslims or islam. so i decided to just enjoy the break with my family and stay away, as much as i could from blogs, social media & even email. but i guess it’s time to start getting back into things again.
so apparently there’s some statement out about banning burqas today. whoop-de-doo. my response is pretty much the response i had to a certain mr prosser’s comments a couple of years back, which i wrote about here:
somebody says something stupid about muslims. then it has to be picked up by every media organisation who rush around for comments. of course they’ll find some muslims who will be angry and upset, given the serious stupidity of the comments. then the media report how OUTRAGED those muslims are, as well as interviewing the original culprit to give more air to his views.
today they couldn’t get the original culprit so they went for people with similar views, who then get a chance to put out more stupidity, while the interviewers put on the appropriate expression of incredulity at such ridiculouness, and continue to ask more questions designed to increase the level of such.
then you have the flow-on effect – talk-back, twitter, facebook. and that’s where the damage gets really done, and we go to have another go of the merry-go-round. freedom of speech. but what he’s saying is true. look at all these awful things muslims have done.
we go through this once every 6 months or so. if it’s not women wearing burqa’s banned from buses, it’s cartoons, it’s various politicians or authors. some little spark and “we” get to have “the debate” all over again as to whether muslims are good or bad, happy or sad. leaders of political parties get to have their faces in the news and posture about inclusiveness and to express OUTRAGE at such terrible remarks. let’s see how many political points we can score on the back of this current incident.
frankly, i’m sick of these conversations and i’m sick being used as a political tool.
but this strategy only works when the media decide that it’s a story. when they choose not to ignore the rantings of an outlier, but instead make a big issue out of it. and yes, i know the argument about shining a light on this stuff so that it can [be] shown up and countered. and yes, twitter was pretty good in terms of speaking out against these particular comments. but on the other hand, the comments on the seven sharp facebook page were not so nice. and comments in other places, and on talkback? still pretty awful. still influencing people – the sort of people who will make decisions about who will get a job or who will get a rental house; people that will be teaching our children or providing us health services. there isn’t enough light to counter the darkness caused by this stuff.
i’d much rather the media didn’t play along. but i guess it tends to be a ratings winner, it certainly gets people talking and engaged.
so what’s the answer? how do we stop political types taking advantage of our community for their own political goals? well i don’t think there’s a country in the world which has solved that problem. but at very least, we can be honest about what’s happening here, and call it out for what it is.
feeling the same way again. i don’t plan to give today’s comments any air by links or names, don’t plan to dignify them with a response. our community is being used for political gain again, and i’m not playing along. what would be really, really nice is if this time the media refused to report on the basis that another nobody calling for a burqa ban is just not news.
[image is from here]