Can I start by saying that being concerned about Islamic terrorism does not necessarily make you a racist. However it is also no excuse for making statements that further the efforts of the same terrorists you are scared of.
Sonia Kruger’s comments about stopping Muslim migration because she wants to feel safe surprised me for a couple of reasons. Firstly I am always surprised when Andrew Bolt’s verbal diarrhoea is a topic for conversation, as it amazes me that anyone reads his rubbish. So for a national program to think it is worthy of discussion was surprising in itself.
And then for Kruger to endorse the position, citing Japan as her example of a country that experiences less terrorism due to its mainly homogenous religious groups. Well news flash Sonia- Japan has experienced more terrorist attacks than Australia. If you haven’t heard of the Aum Shinrikyo, you probably are not qualified to comment about Japan and terrorism.
But Kruger did anyway. Not only that, she made pretty clear intimation that the Nice attack was the work of Islamic extremists, even though this has yet to be confirmed and it has been reported that the attacker showed no adherence to any other tenet of the Muslim faith.
It is tempting (so tempting) to go ad hominem in response to Kruger’s appalling commentary but I have tried to avoid that and just spend a few moments on why her statements are so stupid.
Firstly, it may well be that the Nice attack was the work of Islamic extremists, but just because ISIS claims responsibility for an atrocity does not mean they have actually had any hand in it. They want to be feared and will claim responsibility for every attack they can to project more power. Going along with this narrative before it has been properly investigated is SUPPORTING ISIS! So is making kneejerk divisive reactions. If you haven’t watched this video by Waleed Aly please take a few minutes to do so. He explains this far better than I can.
Now terrorism tied to Islamic extremist groups is a very real issue that nations around the world are faced with. I totally get why many people are concerned about it. It is also extremely complex and I would like to devote a longer article just to it later, but for now just consider her proposal to halt Muslim migration.
Aside from any constitutional issues how would it work? Couldn’t people just not declare their religion when asked or say that they had renounced it, if it is recorded somewhere? What then? Even if it were somehow achievable, what would be the consequences? Australian Muslims would (quite rightly) feel unfairly targeted and oppressed, making it easier for them to be radicalised, potentially increasing danger not decreasing it.
Yes, Australians want to feel safe. Safe from terrorism sure. But also safe from harassment, intimidation and other forms of violence. Many Australians are Muslims and words like Kruger's increase the likelihood of them experiencing just that from the ill-informed people they frighten. You know when you find yourself agreeing with Donald Trump on foreign policy, you probably need to re-evaluate.
Andrew Bolt doesn’t need anyone to echo him, Sonia. Educate yourself or shut up!