Monday, November 13, 2006

The prejudice, intolerance and hate common to many religions

Following the "uncovered meat is the problem not the cats" controversy, Ms Fits has highlighted equivalent comments made by a Baptist pastor in Victoria.
Pastor David Hodgens: I confess to being very uncomfortable with the tone and reported content of the sheikh's comments... However, one of the things that seems to have been lost in the ensuing discussion is whether or not the point he seemed to be trying to make... ought to be examined. Is there a link between provocative dress and sexual assault?

Leering at a woman in particularly tight or revealing clothing is wrong but so is dressing in a way that is known, even designed, to entice others to sexual desire. (source)
Religion All we need now is a rabbi to point out the same applies to promiscuous Jewish women and the reality of the problems with common philosophy underpinning MANY mainstream religion becomes apparent. One only needs to consider the effective cancelling of a gay parade in Jerusalem to see that certain abhorrent views such as homophobia are common to fundamentalists of both Islam and Judaism just to start...

Back to the point though. Clearly, the response to Sheik Al-Hilay's comment two weeks ago DID turn into a muslim bashing exercise at the expense of becoming a bashing of the "blame the victim" mentality which exonerates perpetrators of sexual assault by implication!

Apparently it's okay for Pru Goward to call for the sheik to be deported for his comments, but, as Ms Fits points out, the same is NOT being applied to Hodgens. Why? Because it's an extremely stupid, small-minded and illogical suggestion in the first place.

If someone makes comments which challenge our common belief in human rights (well common to some, not all) then it's our job to stand up and point this out, but I don't see how deporting the commenter is in any way helpful. It simply means some other poor country has to deal with this misogynist small-mindedness.

The xenophobic and anti-Islam sentiment that prompted these kinds of calls from Howard and Goward is just as bad as the sheik's misogyny! Let's deal with misogyny, xenophobia and the challenge of religious diversity right here and not offer divisive "solutions" that would simply pass the buck on to a different country.

And there's something else that has been missed in all this. Let's imagine for a moment our PM and sex discrimination commissioner really wanted to help both Australia's non-muslim and muslim population have increased wellbeing, instead of just looking for a way to create more votes for themselves from conservatives frightened of "the other"... A sensible discussion of the issue could have in fact been used to create understanding and bridges between two subcultures in Australia! Let's keep that in mind for next time eh.

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3 Comments:

Blogger tahpot said...

Great post. I had been giving some thought to the sheik's comments over the past few weeks and had been struggling.

His comments disturbed me, but the reaction in the media and by politicians etc. concerned me more -- although I wasn't able to nail down why exactly.

You highlight some good points. I also think the sheik's very poor english has not helped either. On the 7.30 report a sheik visiting from the UK stated he had met with aheik al-hilay and recommended he work harder on his english skills.

Either way, recommending he be "deported" rather than having an intelligent conversation about the issues is pretty piss poor really.

November 13, 2006 1:36 pm  
Blogger Dima said...

I wonder what role do media play in this discourse...?

November 16, 2006 4:14 am  
Blogger Lisa said...

Dima, in the case of Australia, I think the three media answer to their master when its necessary or to people's sense of scandal when it won't hurt any politician.

November 16, 2006 8:22 am  

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