Thursday, 23 March 2017

Islam in Australia: Myths and Common Media Positions. Part 6: Equivalence and Exceptionalism

Opinion: Anthony Cox

Note: Muslim Lady ignoring wounded
On Westminster Bridge.'

The news of the latest Muslim terrorist atrocity on Westminster Bridge has filtered through. The media in the form of the ABC has not mentioned Islam, nor has Malcolm Turnbull and Julie Bishop quarantines the Islamic connection by referring to ISIS about which the media and the politicians have long told us is not representative of the peace-loving religion of Islam (peace in Islam has a very precise meaning: submission to Allah and every human being a Muslim and living in Dar-al-Islam, the house of submission).

The responses to the atrocity have followed the usual predictable pattern: the policeman in charge of the investigation, acting DC Mark Rowley says:

We know that our Muslim communities will feel anxious at this time, given the past behaviour of the extreme right wing, and we will continue to work with all community leaders in the coming days

This amazing statement, with the dead and wounded still lying about, including one of his own policemen, mirrors what was done by NSW police at the time of the Lindt Café terrorist incident. While this was still in progress the Commissioner and his deputy, Scipione and Burns set up Operation Hammerhead to protect Muslims from reprisals. Shortly after the Muslim killed one of the hostages and the police killed and wounded two more. There were no reprisals against Muslims.

As the reaction to this latest Muslim atrocity in Westminster runs its course the usual arguments of equivalence will be heard in the media; such statements as: there are fanatics in every group of people will be heard as if there are equivalent groups of Hindu, Buddhist or Christians committing terrorist attacks; or as if any other group in the world is seeking to have its values, Sharia, replace those of the West.

One of the most egregious examples of equivalence is made regularly by John Laws, who compares Halal certification to the heart Foundation tick of approval campaign.

The Heart Foundation tick has now been retired and replaced with a star rating.

That aside the primary difference between Heart Foundation and the Halal certification is that Halal is religious based: it is not just a product or a charity. Halal certification establishes that a product or indeed any aspect of life, not just foods, is acceptable to Islam. More than that it means they are part of Islam.

Halal means permissible. When something is Halal it has the imprimatur of Islam. In Islam, there are only 2 parts: that which is within and part of Islam, Dar al-Islam, and that which is not part of Islam, Dar al-Harb
. Halal is part of Dar al-Islam while Dar al-Harb is not and is subject to all the Koranic strictures involving conversion and killing of the infidel. Halal is an act of conversion and dominance.

The Heart Foundation tick just told you if the food was healthy.

Halal is arguably unconstitutional although no politician has the guts, except One Nation, to support this viewpoint. Under S.116, which gives freedom of religion and prevents government support of any religion the fact that the government allows Islam to raise money through a religious tax can be viewed as government support of Islam.
Halal is also arguably illegal under S.90 of the Constitution because a Halal tax is an excise and only the Commonwealth government has the right to levy excise taxes. Not even the States have this right. The Halal tax subverts the Commonwealth government’s exclusive right to impose such taxes.

Islam is like no other religion which is why the equivalence comparisons are so stupid and wrong. Islam is exceptional. A Muslim scholar, Shadi Hamid, has described how Islam regards itself. Hamid says:

Islam is, in fact, exceptional in how it relates to politics, law and governance. In both theory and practice, Islam has been, is and will continue to be resistant to secularization. In other words, Islam is different. It is fundamentally different than other major religions.

Because Islam is so self-absorbed and so comprehensive in governing all aspects of life its adherents, both non-violent and violent, share a common goal and purpose. Hamid notes that Muslims regard the Koran as literally God’s words and are therefore perfect. This is why Islam and Muslims are so resistant to reform: how and why do you reform the actual words of God: they are perfect to begin with.

Our leaders and media do not understand Islam. They do not understand how unique it is and how implacable it is. This lack of understanding is culpable; it is costing lives and will cost more

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