June 16, 2004


The Herald Sun reports:

Islamic groups say [Australian] anti-terrorism laws discriminate against Muslims and should be scrapped.

Take a look. The discrimination is blatant.

Posted by Tim Blair at June 16, 2004 05:11 AM

Strange that all that legislation only mentions a couple of terrorist groups already proven to have committed crimes (and, oops, they were linked to Muslims, surprise!). Perhaps this is a case of protesting too much, hm?

Posted by: Rebecca at June 16, 2004 at 05:28 AM

By the same logic, laws against drunk driving discriminate against alcoholics.

If the shoe fits...

Posted by: PW at June 16, 2004 at 05:33 AM

Australian groups say the Koran discriminates against non-Muslims and should be scrapped.

Posted by: jafa at June 16, 2004 at 05:48 AM

Overall, this looks to be whining. Identifying groups as terrorists that happen to be Muslim is not discrimination, when you consider the non-Muslim terrorist groups out there.

Or if one doesn't want to consider that, those Islamic groups should write a letter of complaint to Osama bin Laden, and ask him to withdraw his call for jihad. That would remove some or all of the cause for identifying Muslim groups as terrorists, as they might be less likely to be terrorists.

But I have a question. From the article:

"A person, who may not even be a suspect, can be questioned for up to 24 hours and detained for up to one week without trial," they said. "This is a hallmark of the totalitarian states that many Muslim Australians fled."

I don't know about Australian law....but under most state laws in the US, pre-Patriot Act, anyone can held up to 24 hours for questioning, if probable cause exists. This is hardly news, although the authority is watched closely.

Is this a recent authority in Australia? Or just some fact twisting by these folks; I couldn't find anything in Tim's link.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 16, 2004 at 06:13 AM

Consent laws discriminate against pedophiles and should be scrapped.

Posted by: Brian O'Connell at June 16, 2004 at 06:28 AM

Discrimination laws discriminate against those that discriminate.

I'm sorry, what was the point?

Posted by: Forbes at June 16, 2004 at 06:41 AM

I don't know about anyone else, but I've had just about enough of this nonsense.

Posted by: sasmith at June 16, 2004 at 07:11 AM

I can't speak for the whole of Australia, but until recently in my jurisdiction, the police had a choice where a suspect did not want to talk to them, either charge them or let them go. Now it is a matter for each jurisdiction as to what they are prepared to allow their police to do, but for my money allowing police forces to detain suspects is a dangerous power which is liable to lead to false confessions. In years past there have been, in my neck of the woods, several notorious cases where police 'sweated' confessions out of suspects - no violence but plenty of threats, for instance to charge relatives - which highlight the problems of confessions obtained in such circumstances.

None of which is relevant, in my humble view, to the question of terrorism. The mistake which has been made in the past and many are so keen to continue is to treat terrorists as criminals. A terrorist is not a criminal, he or she places themselves at war with a state or states and should be treated accordingly. The US in treating a least some terror suspects as illegal combatants is to be commended. The difficulty is of course correctly identifying who is a terrorist and who is a poor schmuck in the wrong place at the wrong time. The appropriate way of dealing with domestic terrorists is to put them on trial and if it is proved to the appropriate standard that they are terrorists then they they should be stripped of their citizenship and then either held until they no longer pose a danger or depending on the jurisdiction executed. Harsh? Yes. However particularly for citizens of Western nations this is their choice and they should be forced to accept the inevitable consequences.

Posted by: Just Another Bloody Lawyer at June 16, 2004 at 07:27 AM

This falls into the same category as the "Brickbats" note in REASON, July 2004: "Corrections Canada won't allow prison guards to wear vests that prevent them from being stabbed by inmates. They say it sends a message to prisoners that the guards consider them dangerous." Some days you just have to wonder!?

Posted by: Frank at June 16, 2004 at 07:32 AM

Thanks for the info, "just another bloody lawyer". I agree with you, as long as the state is held to a high standard of proof ("beyond a reasonable doubt" is the rule up here) for the trial.

Posted by: The Real JeffS at June 16, 2004 at 07:40 AM

I don't know anything about your laws "down under" but I do know that the Islamofascists want to deprive me of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, so I am in favor of any law or extra-legal means that will find them and wipe them from the face of the earth.
For links to news, views, politics, and government, bookmark All Things Political.

Posted by: All Things Political at June 16, 2004 at 12:31 PM

So? If Muslims would stop committing acts of terrorism, murder, and mayhem,....

I wish these people would shut the hell up with their bloody whining about laws that are designed to protect the body politic from their "heroes." Their whole damn problem is their baseless sense of superiority. Because they are Muslim, they should be free to do what they want against the rest of us who don't want to have our butts up in the air five times a day. Because they are Muslim, nobody should stop them from killing or doing whatever they want. Because they are Muslim, nobody should say anything that is critical of them and their satanic religion.

Well, homie don't play that. If they don't want anti-terror laws, then let them return to the hell-holes they came from and leave the rest of us the heck alone.

Posted by: Helen at June 16, 2004 at 12:54 PM

Easy solution to that, all Muslims should renounce terror(all forms of armed jihad and supporting groups that use violence in the name of Islam) and agree to assimiliate in their host countries. If they are unable to do that, they should be forcibly evicted, deprived of their civil rights and/or destroyed!

Posted by: Jakester at June 16, 2004 at 01:07 PM

Nothing can do more to ridiculize the views of lets-hug-the terrorist libertarians than this account from MEMRI by Al-Nashami,the leader of the Khobar "militant " action resulting in the death of 22 Infidels. It is quite simply the most horrific example of jihadism and a direwarning to all who would heed the words of our liberals.
My condoleances to the surviviors the Aussi Swedish chef who was subjected to one of the worst attrocities.

The infidel's clothing was torn to shreds, and he was naked in the street. The street was full of people, as this was during work hours, and everyone watched the infidel being dragged, praise and gratitude be to Allah

"We entered one of the companies' [offices], and found there an American infidel who looked like a director of one of the companies. I went into his office and called him. When he turned to me, I shot him in the head, and his head exploded. We entered another office and found one infidel from South Africa, and our brother Hussein slit his throat. We asked Allah to accept [these acts of devotion] from us, and from him. This was the South African infidel. ...
"At the same time, we found a Swedish infidel. Brother Nimr cut off his head, and put it at the gate [of the building] so that it would be seen by all those entering and exiting.
"We began to comb the site looking for infidels. We found Filipino Christians. We cut their throats and dedicated them to our brothers the Mujahideen in the Philippines. [Likewise], we found Hindu engineers and we cut their throats too, Allah be praised. That same day, we purged Muhammad's land of many Christians and polytheists.
Sorru I interrupted the posts on politico rock musicians !!!!!

Posted by: davo at June 16, 2004 at 02:15 PM

"Acts of devotion"! These have to be "acts of devotion" to a demon. And 50%+ of the Saudis consent to this. They consent to this barbaric inhumanity.

God have mercy on the souls of the murdered and give comfort to their families.

Posted by: Helen at June 16, 2004 at 02:22 PM

Those that say pure Evil does not stalk this earth are not paying attention. I fear for us all sometimes. RIP to all the murdered.

Posted by: Dog at June 16, 2004 at 02:47 PM


I have read parts of the Koran. I found it a particularly violent and discriminatory document. There was no mention of 'turning the other cheek or forgiving your enemies'.
There was much about killing people weho refused to convet to Islam, except for Christians and Jews. As special people of 'the book' if they chose not to convert they would just have to pay higher taxes.
The Hamas 'hippy' that the Israelis recently assasinated said as much (following his acting debut in Lord of the Rings).
I guess that my curosory reading of the Koran reflects my superior knowledge of the religion to that of the majority of Muslims. Sixty per cent of them are illiterate.

Richard Cox

Posted by: Richard at June 16, 2004 at 05:30 PM

There's a good guide to both the Koran and the Bible at www.skepticsannotatedbible.com

Both contain some pretty strange stuff, but the Bible is a better read, just because some of its stuff is incredibly silly (and a little pornographic)

The Koran, by comparison, is as dull as dishwater.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 16, 2004 at 05:32 PM

The koran is a curse to mankind. How on earth do we deal with these muslims(the lunatics who insist on taking this laughable crap literally) other than to kill them?

Posted by: sasmith at June 16, 2004 at 06:10 PM

Muslims-Terrorist Terrorist- Muslims Spot on

Posted by: Le clerc at June 16, 2004 at 06:21 PM

I don't see too much difference between the Bible and the Koran. They're both pretty ridiculous. Try and explain to me what the Holy Trinity is all about why don't you? God is a ghost? As G K Chesterton said, how can you take seriously a religion that believes its God can turn into a biscuit?!??!

And when it comes to religious fanaticism, it's hard to beat the Inquisition which I see His Holiness has been recently trying to excuse away.

The only difference is that we in the West have managed to shake off the bonds of our religion and the Moslems haven't yet.

Posted by: narkynark at June 16, 2004 at 06:31 PM

Uh, narkynark, G.K. Chesterton was a devout Catholic. So I assume he took the "biscuit" thing seriously. I suggest you misread whatever passage of his you found that in. And gee, comparing current violent actions by one religious group to violent actions by another religious group in the past is a demonstration of a technique known as changing the subject. It's also a common technique of trolls. I ban trolls, and quite frankly, as you've never in my memory contributed anything of substance to any thread on this blog, I would have no problem banning you.

Posted by: Andrea Harris at June 16, 2004 at 07:49 PM


Chesterton converted to Catholicism and became probably its most famous and well-read apologist. And the communion wafer is a host for what Catholics regard as the Real Presence of Christ, not a biscuit.

In John 3:8, Jesus described the Holy Spirit as a wind; 'ghost' owes more to the English rendering of a concept than to Catholicism's X-Files theology. A wind powers, moves, uplifts, cleanses and invigorates. That's not so hard to understand is it.

Far from holding back the Western world from what may have been an earlier enlightenment, the Church more or less made 'Western Civilisation possible.

[Just noticed Andrea's similar point re GKC].

It's a matter of opinion I suppose. But I think the West's tendency to absolutely "shake off" Christianity represents a far graver threat to its civilisation than Islam. The cultures of Europe that have undermined Christianity most are the ones slowly falling to Islamism.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 16, 2004 at 08:07 PM

It seems that on this site the most derogatory, abusive and racist remarks about Islam and Moslems are permitted without rebuke, but any mention of rational and sceptical observations about Christianity brings down a torrent of abuse.

I have lived in Moslem countries and have found moderate Moslems attractive and civilised people. I have also lived in countries that have fanatical Christians ,some of whose deeds equal those mentioned above. Learn some tolerance and be able to differentiate fanatics from mooderates. Remember that your own religion is not free from guilt.

And recognise(and learn to accept)that there are many people in the world who find all religions equally irrelevant.

Posted by: narkynark at June 16, 2004 at 08:48 PM

I fail to see that criticisms of isalm can be "racist" as Muslims are not a race but a religion.
i also fail to see any acts commited in the name of Christianity which can rival ,in recent times, the horror of those commited in the name of Islam.
To point out the widespread abuses of Islamofascists is certain proof that we are not dhimmies condemned to stay silent about the crimes commited against us.

Posted by: davo at June 16, 2004 at 09:35 PM


Nothing I said was torrential or abusive. I trust I would never abuse someone struggling with the meaning of the Trinity.

I agree Islam needs a revolution of its own. To me, this process - ideally - would include:

* the establishment of a system of meaningful authority;
* authoritative conciliar processes;
* a Luther-like spotlight on unacceptable pre-modern abuses and worldviews;
* an absolute and unqualified rejection of violence - especially, but not exclusively, anti-Jewish actions and teachings;
* a greater willingness to see the world as a created good in which men and women must work for progress, material success and leaps of both understanding and generosity.

If ever such a revolution is successfully carried out, it might come to be seen - say, in 100 years time - that it was the democratisation and modernisation of old Iraq that helped start it all.

I acknowledge your superior experience of different cultures but these are my thoughts - respectfully proffered.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 16, 2004 at 09:50 PM

...I have lived in Moslem countries and have found moderate Moslems attractive and civilised people. I have also lived in countries that have fanatical Christians ,some of whose deeds equal those mentioned above....

Oh, yes?

Let's have some specific examples of those 'equal deeds', Nark. I want to hear which countries you lived in, where Christians strapped explosives to their bodies and detonated themselves amongst innocents; where Christians selected Muslims from a group of hostages, and cut their throats; and where Christians beheaded bound Muslim captives, on film.

Over to you.

Posted by: Byron_the_Aussie at June 16, 2004 at 10:04 PM

Learn some tolerance and be able to differentiate fanatics from mooderates (sic).

I'm sure we'll all do that, as soon as Muslims themselves get off their collective arse and publicly denounce the fanatics among them. In other words, once the majority of them practices tolerance towards us.

When's the last time you heard about large numbers of mainline Christians silently supporting fundamental Christian extremists? Given that you've had to trot out the silly comparison between current Muslim violence and the Inquisition, I guess your honest answer would have to be, "approximately in the year 1700".

Then again, that's par for the course, considering bin Laden et al. still whine about injustices done to Muslims half a millennium ago.

Oh yeah, I'm agnostic, but I find your attempt at equivalency to be ridiculous and rather nauseating.

Posted by: PW at June 16, 2004 at 10:06 PM

No doubt narkynark considers the late Rev. Phelps' demented followers mainline fundie Christians.

Posted by: ushie at June 16, 2004 at 10:14 PM

If you want to complain about the brutality of the Inquisition, where the Catholic Church's investigative wing became a political tool of the Spanish Crown, here is a few events in "enlightened" Muslim history:

Murad IV, Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, was a cruel misogynist who once killed a Venetian trader because the man had built an extra storey on his house. (Murad believed the man was trying to spy on his harem). He also impaled a French interpreter who arranged a meeting with a Turkish woman to improve his grammar.

His favourite pastime? Killing his harem girls by putting them in a pool and filling it with water to above their heads, and waiting for them to drown.

Murad IV was considered both a secular and religious ruler. He reigned from 1623.

Now, my point here is not to sully the reputations of the great Islamic days of yore, in deed, I could put out many incidents of equal or greater savagery from Christian rulers.

This is merely to put into perspective that it was a violent and bigoted time, and cultures should not be judged by what they were but what they are.

currencylad, you make some good points. But I would say that what is most needed in the Muslim world is not a Reformation (where new sects of the religion are formed) but rather an equivalent to the Counter-Reformation (where the established church purges itself of abuses and corruption).

Posted by: Quentin George at June 16, 2004 at 10:21 PM

"I have lived in Moslem countries and have found moderate Moslems attractive and civilised people."

i'm sure all 3 of them are. the problem is that they are not in control of their religion or countries, and they are doing nothing to combat the fanatics.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 16, 2004 at 10:39 PM

Narkynark, why don't you try to figure how many people Muslims terrorists have killed in the last 100 years, then compare that to Jewish, Christian and Pagan ones.

Even someone who is horrid at maths will realise that Islamic terrorists have killed far more than any other group of religious loons.

Despicable as Rev Philips is, he has never called for a holy war against anyone. Futhermore if he has has no one has bothered to listen to him.

Posted by: Andrew Ian Dodge at June 16, 2004 at 11:11 PM

"Even someone who is horrid at maths will realise that Islamic terrorists have killed far more than any other group of religious loons."

well, i don't know if i'd say that, andrew, as i'd consider the communists to be religious loons, and they've certainly set a high standard for the islamic ones to follow.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 16, 2004 at 11:29 PM

Quentin: Counter-Reformation.

Good point.

Posted by: CurrencyLad at June 16, 2004 at 11:29 PM

The current laws are discriminatory. Well so is the ideal held by muslims here that jews area all evil.

The fact that no-one here in Australia can discuss or dispute the claim of muslims to any portion of Isreal without being called a racist or risk being attacked tells me who the real racists are.

Heads up muslims, there is no such thing as the West Bank, It's called Samaria and Judea and it belongs to the Jews. Jordanian annexation in 1948 doesn't mean you own it now.

What's my point you ask. Well all muslims use the Isreal topic to prop up their bullshit cause and it has no substance at all.

Posted by: scott at June 16, 2004 at 11:42 PM

Mr. Bingley, communism's Marx held that religion is the opiate of the masses. Because of the anti-religious ideology of its founders, communism is godless heresy. Therefore, while the Muslims have been set a standard, it is a godless (communism) and pagan (Nazism) one. That Islam follows after these is not a surprise since Islam itself is a combination of Christian heresy (Arianism) and Arab paganism (the black stone thing in Mecca).

Posted by: Helen at June 17, 2004 at 06:57 AM

Actually, the occult influence on Nazism has been overstated. Hitler certainly considered himself a true Catholic.

One of the great ironies about Islam is that the black stone in Mecca is actually a hold over from the previous pagan religion. Like Christian holy days, it was simply "rebadged" for the new religion.

Posted by: Quentin George at June 17, 2004 at 08:27 AM

helen, i agree with most of what you say, especially if we use a more academic definition of 'religion.' it seems to me that in reality, however, the communists replaced traditional religious iconography, worship and literature with icons of lenin, stalin, and mao, along with the veneration of their writings; they replaced faith in the perfectability of the divine with faith in the perfectability of man (my money's on the divine, btw, as from what i've seen of man that's a pipe dream if ever there was one). the religious fervor of the fanatical communist is, in my experience, indistinguishable from that of the fanatical muslim/christian.

Posted by: Mr. Bingley at June 17, 2004 at 01:59 PM

Uh Quentin, Hitler was proposing to hang the Pope once he won the war. Not exactly the goal of a true Catholic. He knew an enemy when he saw one. Like the Commies in Russia, the Nazis tried to create "Living Churches," that is ostensibly Christian churches to replace the Catholic or Evangelical churches but ones that would owe allegiance to the Nazis, not to God. Being the Nazis, of course, one of the key doctrinal points of such churches was a renunciation of the Hebrew Bible. All that morality and ethics got in the way of true devotion to the Race, so it had to go.

Insofar as the Nazis themselves believed anything they were more atheistic, with a bit of paganism thrown in because they were ridiculously superstitious and they thought it might help influence the sheeple. In order to gain promotion to high rank, SS officers had to renounce their religion.

Leaving aside the militant Islamists for the moment, the track record of the atheists just in the short time of their power from 1917 to 1991 has enabled them to outclass all religious atrocities of the past. They are so far ahead of the Christians in the murder stakes it simply isn't a competition.

As for the Islamists, at the rate they are going attacking everybody else they are liable to piss off the entire rest of the world at Muslims. This will not be a good thing for Muslims. If they don't get off their asses and help us put down the terrorists and jihadis they are all too likely to find out what it has been like for the Jews over the last 2000 years to live as a small, persecuted remnant. This is one of the things Dubya is trying to prevent, with too little cooperation from Muslims blinded by hate and arrogance. Wake up guys, it'll be a black day for you if everybody else decides: "The problem is Muslims. No Muslims, no problem."

Posted by: Michael Lonie at June 17, 2004 at 03:26 PM

Hey don't dump communisms crimes to atheism. I dont think the reason that so many people were killed is because the state was considered atheist.

Posted by: JBB at June 17, 2004 at 11:08 PM