The general level of Islamaphobia is something I guess I would expect (but in no way find acceptable) after the Paris attacks, but what really amazed me was the sheer level of ignorance that went with it. Not a second was spent fact checking before posting this- and I hate to think how many others reposted it without doing the same.
Firstly, this is not a badge of the Australian infantry or any other combat corps. It is the corps badge of the army chaplains, who have a non-combatant status. Chaplains also carry the rank of captain or higher, while the term ‘diggers’ is only used as a synonym for ORs (other ranks- referring to those of lower rank than officers.)
Secondly, after chasing down the article that had spawned this post (which I found in the highly balanced and not at all sensationalist Courier Mail) the statement that the badge was even being changed so as not to offend Muslims was also incorrect. A defence spokesman clearly said this was not related to Muslims. In a later sentence the article states, “Army Chaplains are understood to have pushed for the change.”
Now if you are the person who posted this photo or someone who shared it without fact checking, I typed that bit extra slowly so you could keep up. The chaplain corps decided for themselves that their motto was outdated and then pushed to change it. This was not handed down to them by a leftist politician or pressure group (sorry if that doesn’t fit the narrative, but when do you guys let facts get in the way).
The only person claiming it was anything specific to Muslims was a former officer who was terminated last year for his outspoken (I read that word to be a synonym for bigoted in this instance) views, which means he would have had no actual connection or knowledge to the circumstances of this change. He shouldn't have even been asked for comment, as he appears to be just grandstanding to get a headline, which makes sense when you read he is now standing for preselection for a right wing splinter party (and you have to wonder about your perspective when our current government isn’t far enough to the right for you).
I feel like I am stating the obvious. Unfortunately I feel like that is required a lot at the moment. This is not the corps badge that Australian diggers have worn whilst fighting to defend our freedom. This is a badge that a select group of non-combatant officers (who I greatly respect nonetheless) have worn and who have decided for themselves that they would like to change in order to better reflect our modern army. There are many things to get angry about at the moment (such as the stupidity of some of our fellow human beings) but army chaplains choosing to change their own corps badge is not one of those things. If you need to prove how patriotic you are, do it by showing how much you care for all other Australians, not by showing how blindly hate anyone that doesn’t meet your definition of a ‘real Australian.’