Blogging 2015 …

A review of my blogging efforts in 2015.

January (8 posts)

In addition to several notes on anti-fascism (which included some advice on Facebook use), I wrote about the ‘Rojava Revolution’ in northern Syria and a strike and occupation at a factory in Dandenong. Oh yeah: in January I also briefly appeared on an episode of The 7.30 Report about ‘citizen detectives’.

February (9 posts)

In February I began to chart the emergence of proto-fascist movement ‘Reclaim Australia’. I republished several (very interesting) articles from Le Monde Diplomatique on the Charlie Hebdo killings in Paris, took note of the #HESTAdivest campaign, and a controversy re protest, the Black Rose kolektiv and the (now sadly-departed) Indigenous activist Ray Jackson. I also republished an article by sociologist Ghassan Hage on Continuity and Change in Australian Racism and briefly noted some silly neo-Nazi shenanigans at the Melbourne Knights.

March (15 posts)

March was also entirely devoted to documenting and promoting opposition to Reclaim Australia, though I also republished Melbourne teenager turned IS/ISIL/ISIS/Daesh supporter Jake Bilardi’s account of his brief life and political evolution. March witnessed the announcement by key Reclaim Australia figure Shermon Burgess (‘The Great Aussie Patriot’) of local Melbourne neo-Nazi Neil Erikson’s stillborn documentary film project ‘The Hunt for Andy Fleming’. Also in March, following a concerted campaign by fascists and various other bizarr0s, my Facebook page was forcibly closed.

April (6 posts)

April witnessed the first of a series of national rallies organised under the umbrella of ‘Reclaim Australia’: I wrote several posts about the April 4 events and also published a few things elsewhere (New Matilda and Overland). On my monthly radio show on 3CR (with co-host and raconteur Cam Smith), we spoke to writer Van Badham about what it all meant and the importance of opposing fascist movements both online and on the streets.

May (10 posts)

Another month devoted to Reclaim Australia and the emergence of fascist splinter group the ‘United Patriots Front’ (UPF). Comprising a small assortment of local (Melbourne) neo-Nazis, fascists, and right-wing Christian fundamentalists, the UPF held its first, ‘anti-Communist’ rally in Richmond on May 31. The demo attracted around 60-70 or so supporters, a counter-demo several times that size and, while attracting considerable media and public attention, failed to unseat Stephen Jolly from his Yarra Council seat (or to occupy the steps of Richmond Town Hall — even with police assistance). The targeting of Jolly eventually culminated in the arrest and prosecution of a man for making rape and death threats against Jolly and his family. Oh yeah: after being briefly resurrected, my Facebook page was again closed down by an orchestrated campaign.

June (12 posts)

More on Reclaim Australia, the UPF and assorted fascist dregs. Also: Facebook; an abortive ‘debate’ on anarchism and anti-fascism; International Day of Solidarity with Antifascist Prisoners Saturday, July 25, 2015; mass murderer Dylann Roof’s ‘manifesto’ and; cranky-pants neo-conservatives at XYZ and their flirtations with fascism. Finally, the Victorian Trades Hall Council adopted a motion on Reclaim Australia and (in response to popular demand) I wrote a very brief guide to the contemporary Australian far right.

July (9 posts)

Another month devoted to Reclaim Australia et al (the second national rally took place on July 18). I also republished online commentary (now largely deleted) by UPF leader Blair Cottrell on his hatred of Jews, belief in anti-Semitic conspiracies, denial of the Holocaust, love of Adolf Hitler etc., and drew attention to a Kurdish solidemo in Sydney by local anarchists. [Note: None of the UPF’s followers have ever registered any objection to Cottrell’s neo-Nazi views.]

August (11 posts)

In August, the UPF transferred its activities from Melbourne to the rural Victorian town of Bendigo, where they were able to draw upon the support of a pre-existing grassroots campaign against the construction of a mosque (the town’s first). Their first (August 29) and subsequent rally in October were relatively large affairs, attracting hundreds, with opposition being split between the campaign ‘I Believe in Bendigo’ and the impromptu ‘Bendigo Action Coalition’. Margot Spalding of ‘I Believe’ was later featured on an episode of the ABC’s Australian Story.

Of particular note : Reclaim Australia, Shermon Burgess & violence … (August 5, 2015) — August was also when #OperationBorderForce was told to get. in. the. sea.

September (6 posts)

As the patriotik year dragged on, Reclaim Australia and UPF figurehead Shermon Burgess became increasingly batshit in his ideological pronouncements. Example: Q. Did Trotsky ‘invent’ the term ‘racist’ in 1927? (September 28, 2015). Also in September, AK Press announced that anarchist writer “Michael Schmidt is a white nationalist trying to infiltrate the anarchist movement.” (September 27, 2015) — the fallout from which is still developing.

October (5 posts)

While Nick Folkes and his ‘Party for Freedom’ began organising for a Cronulla riot re-enactment to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the anti-Muslim riot/White Civil Uprising in December 2005 (heavily promoted by Shermon Burgess — who failed to turn up to the court hearing intended to try and stop the re-enactment), the wheels began to fall off the UPF bandwagon. The rapidly unfolding drama revolved around Burgess’s decision to quit, then re-join, then again quit the UPF, while current UPF fuehrer Blair Cottrell memorably described Burgess’s #BFF (and valour thief) Ralph Cerminara (Australian Defence League) as a ‘cancer’ upon the patriotik movement. October 10 was the day of a farcical, ‘global’ (Australia and the United States) rally against Muslims. E-commerce cowboy Jon Ritzheimer led the charge on that occasion and has been most recently (January 2016) witnessed joining a clutch of other wingnuts in an occupation of a wildlife reserve in Oregon. (See also : I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know, Spencer Sunshine, US Uncut, January 3, 2016.)

November (9 posts)

In November, along with the usual antifa notes, I republished an article from US anarchist journal Drunken Boat on the history of the concept of ‘decadence’ and a few things about the massacre in Paris. Reclaim Australia went to Melton and the UPF staged another awfully unsuccessful Little Big Day Out in Melbourne; I was also interviewed by Phillip Adams for Late Night Live.

December (2 posts)

The Cronulla Riot Re-enactment turned out to be a damp squib and I wrote an article for Overland on the matter of ‘masking up’

A few final notes:

• The last month has witnessed the consolidation of the UPF under the leadership of neo-Nazi Blair Cottrell. Burgess has left and has recently been joined by fascist meathead and chief UPF propagandist Neil Erikson (also accompanied by the usual Days of Our Lives drama). It’s uncertain at this stage if former ADF soldier Scott Moerland remains holding hands with the neo-Nazi mob in Melbourne, though it seems likely that Christian fun-da-mentalist Pastor Danny Nalliah will remain content to be wheeled out periodically at their public performances.

• The UPF has announced that it will be forming a political party with the God-awful title of ‘Fortitude’. To help promote the party the boys have organised an east coast tour, taking advantage of local anti-mosque and anti-Muslim campaigns in Toowoomba (Queensland), Orange (NSW) and Bendigo (Victoria). If the party registers it will face competition for the racist vote from the Australia First Party, Australian Liberty Alliance, One Nation Party, Party for Freedom, Rise Up Australia Party, and a clutch of other wEiRd0es.

• Last week, Erikson and others claimed to have discovered that I am in fact Monash University academic Professor Robert Sparrow. I’m not, but it will likely take some time before meatheads like Erikson, the UPF and other fascist bizarr0es realise their mistake.

And so it goes. That said …

alwayslose

About @ndy

I live in Melbourne, Australia. I like anarchy. I don’t like nazis. I enjoy eating pizza and drinking beer. I barrack for the greatest football team on Earth: Collingwood Magpies. The 2017 premiership’s a cakewalk for the good old Collingwood.

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25 Responses to Blogging 2015 …

  1. Sam says:

    “E-commerce cowboy Jon Ritzheimer led the charge on that occasion and has been most recently (January 2016) witnessed joining a clutch of other wingnuts in an occupation of a wildlife reserve in Oregon. (See also : I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know, Spencer Sunshine, US Uncut, January 3, 2016.)”

    One would think, being a self proclaimed anarchist and all, you would be supportive of the Cliven Bundy stand-off.

    Seems that isn’t the case.

  2. Sam says:

    “Berlin police recorded eight other instances of anti-Semitic violence in 2013, and five since the beginning of 2014.

    In an interview last year with a German newspaper, Alter suggested that parts of Neukoelln, a Berlin district with a large Muslim population, are “no-go areas” for Jews wearing visible religious symbols like the kippah because they would be under threat.

    That statement triggered Armin Langer, a 24-year-old Jewish resident of Neukoelln, to reach out to others in his neighbourhood. Langer co-founded the Salaam-Schalom Initiative, an inter-religious dialogue group whose members include Muslims, Jews, Christians and atheists.

    The group meets on a regular basis in Neukoelln and organises community events, panels and open discussions – all aimed at creating direct communication between people from different religions and backgrounds. Langer is convinced the best way to eliminate racism is to take on all sorts of it at once.

    “We deal with anti-Semitism and Islamophobia at the same time,” he said. “They are simply too strongly connected to deal with them apart.”

    @ndy, why wasn’t this reported on?

  3. @Sam:

    I don’t think ‘anarchist’ means what you think it means.

  4. psyberimp says:

    A bit off topic but @ndy do you know what is going to happen on February 9? Are the fascists only planning to rally in Canberra? If so I am picturing large convoys of us anti fascists making the trek up there. Or will there be localized neo nazi rallies? If so I wouldn’t be surprised if they chose Bendigo as one of their rallying points.

  5. @ndy says:

    @psyberimp:

    Yeah, the caravan is heading for Canberra on February 6 (not 9). AFAIK, it’s the only location for a public, patriotik rally. PEGIDA UK is also holding a rally on February 6, and rallies may be happening in other European countries on that date.

    @Sam:

    I don’t understand: who hasn’t reported on what, and where? You’re quoting a media report, yeah?

  6. ablokeimet says:

    Sam: “One would think, being a self proclaimed anarchist and all, you would be supportive of the Cliven Bundy stand-off.

    Seems that isn’t the case.”

    For once, Sam has made an accurate observation. Anarchists don’t support the Bundy family and their peculiar political position. We support the right to bear arms, but that in no way compels us to support what other people do with them. In the case of the occupation in Oregon in the US, what is going on is a land grab, with a Right wing group attempting to turn public land (a wildlife conservation area, no less!) into private property.

    Like many people, Sam thinks that Anarchists just oppose the State. He is wrong. We are communists, wanting the complete abolition of private property in the means of production. Where we differ from the Marxists is that we oppose establishing a “workers’ State” after the Revolution. Instead, we support co-operative social arrangements rather than coercive ones. The Bundy movement wants to turn public land into private property, which will be protected by the State. All capitalists are necessarily Statists, because a State is required to protect the property of the capitalists from the rest of the population.

  7. @Sam:

    Because this blog deals mainly with Australia, and/or because Andy didn’t see that report, I suspect.

    Obviously.

  8. @ Sam:

    I have never understood the logic of people who use this argument.

    * As an anarchist, I think you should support X.
    * You don’t.
    * Therefore, you are inconsistent/hypocritical/not following the logic of your own beliefs.

    Surely a more reasonable argument would be

    * As an anarchist, I would have thought you’d support X.
    * You don’t support X.
    * Therefore, my understanding of anarchists is wrong.

    ?

  9. ablokeimet says:

    “E-commerce cowboy Jon Ritzheimer led the charge on that occasion and has been most recently (January 2016) witnessed joining a clutch of other wingnuts in an occupation of a wildlife reserve in Oregon. (See also : I Studied Oregon’s Militia Movement. Here’s 5 Things You Need to Know, Spencer Sunshine, US Uncut, January 3, 2016.)”

    For more recent developments, see the following:

    http://www.theshovel.com.au/2016/01/10/breaking-oregon-militia-shot-dead-after-white-face-paint-fades/

  10. Sossle says:

    What scares me is that people might actually read your blog and believe the delicate artificial construct that you present as reality, as actually being the real world. Or that you’re presenting anything better than those you are condemning.

    As long as people actually realise what your goals are, which is revolution and the breaking of modern society. And any ally that will aid you in these goals will receive your support no matter the hypocrisy to your own beliefs.

    Tell me how do you reconcile supporting a religion that believes in oppression, submission and slavery with Anarchist ideals?

    –“Anarchism is a political philosophy that advocates self-governed societies with voluntary institutions.”–

    The very word “Islam” means submission or surrender. How do Self Governance and VOLUNTARY institutions correlate to Submission to God and Apostasy?

    But keep pushing that “Please support my own Totalitarianism system, but hate those Nazis and racists” dialogue some out there might actually be slow enough to buy into it.

    How many murders, starvations and deaths are attributed to Communism these days, about 100 million isn’t it?

    But you know, surely, to make something great you need a few mass famines, great terrors and mass graves to pave the way.

    So point the finger mate but don’t expect anyone to believe that you’re any better than those you’re pointing the finger at.

  11. ablokeimet says:

    Sossle: “As long as people actually realise what your goals are, which is revolution and the breaking of modern society.”

    Revolution, yes. The “breaking” of modern society, no. We live in a broken society, which capitalism is continuously breaking down further. Anarchists want to fix society, not break it.

    Sossle: “Tell me how do you reconcile supporting a religion that believes in oppression, submission and slavery with Anarchist ideals? ”

    I defy Sossle or anybody else to cite one example where Slackbastard has made a statement in support of Islam. I know for a fact that I haven’t. Most Anarchists support freedom of conscience – the right to believe any religion or none, to practice any religion or none and to preach any religion or none. Since freedom is indivisible, that necessarily includes the right to be a Muslim, without harassment or persecution.

    What Sossle is seeing as support for Islam is really our consistent support for freedom of conscience. Just as we oppose the persecution of Muslims in Australia, we oppose the persecution of non-Muslims in places like Saudi Arabia and Iran.

    Sossle: “How many murders, starvations and deaths are attributed to Communism these days, about 100 million isn’t it?”

    People attribute all sorts of crimes to communism. Sossle’s accusation is pretty standard. It fails because the murders, deaths and starvations to which he refers were committed by the so-called “Communist” Party, not by communists. As Mussolini pointed out, Stalin killed more communists than he and Hitler combined. Stalin was not a communist, but the gravedigger of communism. That he did it in the name of communism is a historical anomaly, brought about by a unique combination of circumstances that cannot and will not be repeated – not least because the human race has learnt from history.

  12. @ndy says:

    See also :

    The Soviet Union Versus Socialism
    Noam Chomsky
    Our Generation
    Spring/Summer, 1986
    https://chomsky.info/1986____/

    When the world’s two great propaganda systems agree on some doctrine, it requires some intellectual effort to escape its shackles. One such doctrine is that the society created by Lenin and Trotsky and moulded further by Stalin and his successors has some relation to socialism in some meaningful or historically accurate sense of this concept. In fact, if there is a relation, it is the relation of contradiction.

    It is clear enough why both major propaganda systems insist upon this fantasy. Since its origins, the Soviet State has attempted to harness the energies of its own population and oppressed people elsewhere in the service of the men who took advantage of the popular ferment in Russia in 1917 to seize State power. One major ideological weapon employed to this end has been the claim that the State managers are leading their own society and the world towards the socialist ideal; an impossibility, as any socialist — surely any serious Marxist — should have understood at once (many did), and a lie of mammoth proportions as history has revealed since the earliest days of the Bolshevik regime. The taskmasters have attempted to gain legitimacy and support by exploiting the aura of socialist ideals and the respect that is rightly accorded them, to conceal their own ritual practice as they destroyed every vestige of socialism.

    As for the world’s second major propaganda system, association of socialism with the Soviet Union and its clients serves as a powerful ideological weapon to enforce conformity and obedience to the State capitalist institutions, to ensure that the necessity to rent oneself to the owners and managers of these institutions will be regarded as virtually a natural law, the only alternative to the ‘socialist’ dungeon.

    The Soviet leadership thus portrays itself as socialist to protect its right to wield the club, and Western ideologists adopt the same pretense in order to forestall the threat of a more free and just society. This joint attack on socialism has been highly effective in undermining it in the modern period …

    The Bolsheviks and Workers’ Control: The State and Counter-Revolution
    Maurice Brinton
    (Solidarity, London, 1970)
    https://www.marxists.org/archive/brinton/1970/workers-control/

    The Bolsheviks and Workers Control is a remarkable pamphlet exposing the struggle that took place over the running of workplaces in the immediate aftermath of the Russian Revolution. In doing so not only does it demolish the romantic Leninist “history” of the relationship between the working class and their party during these years (1917-21) but it also provides a backbone to understanding why the Russian revolution failed in the way it did. From this understanding flows alternative possibilities of revolutionary organization and some 40 years after the original was written this is perhaps its greatest contribution today. For this reason alone this text deserves the greatest possible circulation and we encourage you to link to it.

    The Unknown Revolution
    Voline
    http://www.ditext.com/voline/unknown.html

    History of the Makhnovist movement, 1918-1921
    Peter Arshinov
    https://libcom.org/history/history-makhnovist-movement-1918-1921-peter-arshinov

    The Nestor Makhno Archive
    http://www.nestormakhno.info/

  13. Sossle says:

    ablokeimet – Revolution, yes. The “breaking” of modern society, no. We live in a broken society, which capitalism is continuously breaking down further. Anarchists want to fix society, not break it.

    I see. I guess it should be no issue to show a revolution led by anarchists that has led to higher living standards and better conditions for all members of society then? Where anarchists have “fixed a society” and formed a thriving modern free society?

    ablokeimet – I defy Sossle or anybody else to cite one example where Slackbastard has made a statement in support of Islam.

    Every time he promotes a rally against groups like Reclaim Australia he is acting in support of the establishment of Islamic ideals in Australia. Are you saying he is not pro Islam or he is? Kind of vague if you ask me. ablokeimet you have in the past made your own position abundantly clear, @ndy’s position is somewhat more vague. Other than stating that upsetting Islam is just helping ISIS, which is an idea I reject and believe is somewhat cowardly.

    ablokeimet – Most Anarchists support freedom of conscience – the right to believe any religion or none, to practice any religion or none and to preach any religion or none. Since freedom is indivisible, that necessarily includes the right to be a Muslim, without harassment or persecution.

    Seems very selective, so you’re stating that Anarchists have no issue with repressive and totalitarian religions as long as they’re in the minority? So freedom of religion is okay, just not freedom of speech, freedom of expression, freedom of press or the right to peaceful protest? Seems these are often the first things to go under communist type rule.

    ablokeimet – People attribute all sorts of crimes to communism. Sossle’s accusation is pretty standard. It fails because the murders, deaths and starvations to which he refers were committed by the so-called “Communist” Party, not by communists. That he did it in the name of communism is a historical anomaly, brought about by a unique combination of circumstances that cannot and will not be repeated – not least because the human race has learnt from history.

    Just like Hitler misrepresented National Socialism right? And that it’s time for Europe to re-embrace national socialism “because the human race has learnt from history.” Hand over heart. Those things that Hitler got wrong, have now been made redundant to Nazism. You can trust this new breed of Nazism, just like the old one just without all that bad stuff that we all know now was wrong … Sorry I’m not buying it. Sounds like idealism to me at best, at worst delusion.

    I guess Pol Pot, Mao, Kim Jong Il are also not truly “Communists” as well? Right?

    We’re not one of them evil Commie dictators that practice that bad form of communism, we are a very different entity now. Rebadged and rebranded. Until you gain any kind of power and then it’s suddenly mass graves, cleansings and men in black masks kicking in doors in the middle of night and dragging people away never to be seen again. Because they said something they shouldn’t of.

  14. Sossle says:

    @ @ndy,

    I see, so what is an example of a thriving free communist/socialist society that represents the ideal? That hopefully doesn’t have a mountain of bodies buried out back and blanket citizen control laws.

    If people have just misunderstood the soviet-communist connection I’m sure there must be lots of examples of it in successful practice. Or do you just want to give it another go and hopefully next time it will work out right for a change?

    I also noticed you really didn’t touch on how Anarchism and Islam have common ground either, to justify your dedicated aggressive stance of attack on anti Islamic organisations.

    I believe neo Nazis are a minority in Australia too, I don’t see you leaping to defend them. So it’s not about defending a minority. It seems that you must have some aligned beliefs or motivations with Islam, right? Or why else would you act continually with aligned intention with Islamic interests in this country?

  15. Rashid says:

    Sossle opines:

    “Every time he promotes a rally against groups like Reclaim Australia he is acting in support of the establishment of Islamic ideals in Australia. Are you saying he is not pro Islam or he is? Kind of vague if you ask me.”

    Actually what’s vague is a precise button down definition for “Islam” from either yourself or the likes of Reclaim, one which accurately encapsulates the behaviour and beliefs of all who claim to follow it, and one which would therefore justify the absurd and dishonest generalisations and conflation that are yours and their all too familiar staples.

    Missing too from yours and Reclaim’s complaint against non Muslim dissent and opposition to your propaganda, is an explanation for your shared inability to fathom that most people will prefer nuanced positions/opinions over essentialising as one the entirety of all the diverse groups/ideologies/individuals comprised within this global religion – one whose adherents currently make up nearly one quarter of all of humanity.

    And bemoaning that any opposition to Reclaim is akin to “support of the establishment of Islamic ideals in Australia”, rings with the same two dimensional hollow logic as famous political rhetoric of 15 years ago, rhetoric which declared that anyone who was not supportive of United States foreign policy/military action at that time was therefore by default ‘with the terrorists’ who perpetrated the attack on 9/11.

    But given that acknowledging the complexities and diversity within ‘Islam’ and amongst ‘Muslims’ has thus far on planet Reclaim proven to be too difficult, too inconvenient, or both, it appears we can instead now increasingly expect innuendo as well as outright allegations in defence of entrenched and wilful ignorance. Allegations that support by any non Muslim for the right of Australian Muslims to be, believe, do and act as Muslim is not just ipso facto evidence of a level of support by the non for “Islamic ideals”, but is in fact also a prima facie indication of them possibly being a ‘secret Muslim’ themselves.

    It seems history does continually repeat itself. Let the paranoid outing begin.

    🙂

  16. Sossle says:

    Rashid: Actually what’s vague is a precise button down definition for “Islam”.

    Is that right Rashid…

    How about followers of the Prophet Muhammad? I don’t see how that is vague in the slightest.

    I thought maybe you would prefer to talk about taqiyya or kitman. How that any Muslim even under Muslim law, is entitled to lie if it best serves Islam and especially so if it’s to an unbeliever. Or is that not true? Guess it’s hard to know as the answer is likely to be “It’s not true” either way right?

    So Islam has no issue allying with Anarchists?

    http://quran.com/3/28

    Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself, and to Allah is the destination.

    So does that mean that allying with Anarcho-Socialists over ISIS means going against the words of Muhammed? Or is this one of those times where it’s okay to lie or omit?

    Or maybe you would prefer to discuss Fiqh writings on Apostasy or maybe Sharia views on the penalties of Apostasy or blasphemy? Maybe you could give us a little breakdown on just how blasphemous the average Australian really is in the eyes of Sharia? Or maybe some of the punishments I could expect to receive if I dared to write these words in a Muslim majority country? Or how Sharia feels about anarchism? C’mon be honest.

    Sorry to come off as abrasive and extremely direct but one of the strengths of the modern world is the separation of church and state. And honestly way too much blood, pain and murder has been committed in the name of ancient ancestors and imaginary sky gods in the last few thousand years.

    I don’t mind which religion anyone chooses to practice but the moment any religion begins to interfere with mine or others rights to live in a free and peaceful modern society or dictate how I need to live my life or speak or think to suit your own beliefs I do have issue. Especially if that impact involves murder and rape of others. Which is justified simply by ‘they don’t believe’.

    And I know you’re thinking well that doesn’t happen here in Australia and really there is only one reason that is the case. Muslims are a minority. Can you honestly say that radical change wouldn’t occur in this country if things were to change?

    And Rashid, Frohes neues Jahr mate…

  17. Rashid says:

    @Sossle

    >>”How about followers of the Prophet Muhammad? I don’t see how that is vague in the slightest.”

    What’s vague is your rationale for extrapolating from the fact that someone is simply a “follower of the Prophet Muhammad(sa)”, to that someone follows/believes/practices anything or everything any other ‘Muslim’ does.

    >>I thought maybe you would prefer to talk about taqiyya or kitman. How that any Muslim even under Muslim law, is entitled to lie if it best serves Islam and especially so if it’s to an unbeliever. Or is that not true? Guess it’s hard to know as the answer is likely to be “It’s not true” either way right?

    “- It’s a big conspiracy.

    – What’s a conspiracy?

    Everything.

    — ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’, Allied Artists Pictures, 1956.

    Following in the tradition of Catch 22 logic employed by the witch drowners of the 17th century – you live you’re a witch, you drown you’re innocent – many in the contemporary anti Islam brigade continue to promote the falsity that Muslims are (religiously) permitted, if not obliged, to lie to promote their faith.

    So if I invoke so called ‘taqiyya’ and claim such an entitlement as true, could that possibly be a lie and therefore mean that it’s actually not? Or is such a pronouncement exempt from the law?

    Shakira Hussein gives a good account of the confused hysteria:

    “The Myth of the Lying Muslim: ‘Taqiyya’ and the Racialization of Muslim Identity”

    http://www.abc.net.au/religion/articles/2015/05/28/4244447.htm

    >>”So does that mean that allying with Anarcho-Socialists over ISIS means going against the words of Muhammed? Or is this one of those times where it’s okay to lie or omit?”

    Chapter 3 of the Quran was revealed at a time when the Muslim state was beginning to enjoy political power. The verse you cite can be read as a cautionary statement against forming alliances which ultimately bring harm to Muslim believers within that state. It certainly isn’t a proscription against having non Muslims as friends.

    “Allah forbids you not, respecting those who have not fought against you on account of your religion, and who have not driven you forth from your homes, that you be kind to them and act equitably towards them; surely Allah loves those who are equitable.

    Allah only forbids you, respecting those who have fought against you on account of your religion, and have driven you out of your homes, and have helped others in driving you out, that you make friends of them, and whosoever makes friends of them — it is these that are the transgressors.” (60:9-10)

    As such, according to my interpretation, Muslims being driven from their homes by ISIS are not permitted to make friends with ISIS.

    When “Anarcho-Socialists” start fighting against Muslims and driving them from their homes on account of their beliefs, I imagine Muslims won’t want to be their friends either.

    >>”Or maybe you would prefer to discuss Fiqh writings on Apostasy or maybe Sharia views on the penalties of Apostasy or blasphemy?”

    I’m not sure I particularly have a preference. According to the Quran, there is no earthly punishment for either apostasy or blasphemy.

    >>”Maybe you could give us a little breakdown on just how blasphemous the average Australian really is in the eyes of Sharia? …Or how Sharia feels about anarchism?”

    Sharia has neither eyes nor feelings. Sharia is a ‘body’ of legal principles derived from the primary sources of Islam – Quran, Hadith and Sunnah. As such, sharia is ultimately a matter of opinion and belief. Therefore there is absolutely no single sharia agreed upon by the world’s Muslims. One Muslim’s sharia may be another’s disbelief. I’m personally unaware of any version of sharia which specifies nationality, e.g. Australians. Nor am I aware of any version of sharia which addresses specific political or social movements beyond general principles and values.

    >>”Sorry to come off as abrasive and extremely direct but one of the strengths of the modern world is the separation of church and state.”

    I find you less abrasive than I do ill informed. The Islam that I and millions of like minded follow, implicitly endorses a separation of religious and political institutions. It vests no political authority on the basis of one’s allegiance to any religion.

    >>”And I know you’re thinking well that doesn’t happen here in Australia and really there is only one reason that is the case. Muslims are a minority. Can you honestly say that radical change wouldn’t occur in this country if things were to change?”

    ? I don’t know if radical change would occur in this country if things were to change. I suppose it depends what changes … and how radically.

    But there’s little logic in your proposition that the general mindset, values, ideology, aspirations etc. of Australia’s diverse contemporary population of nearly half a million Muslims has a simple and direct correlation to their overall number.

    The idea that the sum of Australia’s Muslims, either individually or by some unspoken collective agreement, are deliberately not behaving and interacting with the true sincerity of their dastardly convictions, hampered principally and temporarily by a current relative lack of overall numbers, is a conspiratorial absurdity.

    If the population of those Muslims within the overall Australian Muslim community, who are peaceful, law abiding, civic minded, patriotic etc. contributors to our country increases, logically it would be an increase leading to more of the same.

    If those Muslims within the overall Australian Muslim Community, who are not peaceful, not law abiding, or do not accept the social contract of good citizenship and all that entails, (including the freedom to practice or not practice whatever belief system one chooses) increases, then logically this would be an increase to the population of such like minded persons.

    I see no evidence at all that the relative proportions of either such group is changing simply in accordance with the ongoing increase of the overall population of Australia’s Muslims. It’s quality that matters, not quantity.

    Happy new year to you as well.

  18. OneEyedKing says:

    Lol the irony Rashid, you link to an article that apparently refutes ‘taqiyya’. That is mostly calling for action in regards to sanctioning gag orders and censorship of media or commentary on anything Muslim, backed by the full weight of Australian law. Seems like exactly what a group who does frequently engage in loose interpretations of the truth or wishes to avoid public scrutiny would want. The right to do as they wish and say what they want with a legal protection of being free from debate, scrutiny or dialogue.

    Perhaps you would care to enlighten us about the meaning of the many Quranic verses that relate to slavery and rape? Or the many guiding statements Muhammed and Allah have made in the Quran to the practices. Which, I guess, is also just naive to believe is a Muslim issue or that the verses are incorrect interpretations that most “Australian” Muslims totally disregard. What does it mean in Islam to be of someone right hand I wonder?

    It seems that suggesting anything is a Muslim issue is a lie and akin to being naive. Yet somehow many countries around the world seem to be experiencing fundamental issues that relate to Muslim communities creating massive rifts in their societies which are often related to extreme violence, murder and rape. I know lies and naivety right…

    A lot of your last comment seems to be extremely evasive for one example. You have been asked about the average Australian and their accordance with Sharia law? You totally evaded the question, because you knew the answer would be unfavourable with by far the majority of Australians would receive harsh punishments for just going about their everyday lives under the general practice and application of Sharia that is applied in many Muslim countries and populaces throughout the world. There is a specific word for that evasive technique, what is it again?

    In fact a lot of your post seems to just be adding a specific dialogue that leaves little room for analysis of specification with broad generalised statements like:

    • All Muslims are different, therefore suggestions that Muslim are either good or bad is impossible.
    • All Sharia applications are different, so commentary on what is Muslim law is also impossible.
    • All interpretations of the Muslim holy books are different, therefore interpretation by any outsider of any particular verse’s meaning is impossible, as their interpretation will always be misinterpretation.
    • Most Muslim appear peaceful and preach peace, therefore all Muslims are peaceful. And any that are not peaceful are not Muslim.
    • Any act of “Muslim” violence is unconnected to the “Australian Muslim Communities” as the communities themselves renounce violence and live peacefully. Even though many Australian Muslim ISIS fighters were once apart of the Australian Muslim Communities…
    • The Australian Muslim community is a peaceful one despite numerous proven incidents of direct connections between themselves and extremist thinkers, active terrorists and ISIS recruiters. Including known Imams, school administrators and social peers.
    • Muslims followers are a primarily peaceful group despite some followers of Muslim faith being involved globally (not as isolated incidents) in some of the most shocking and horrific and violent acts of our age against civilians and non-combatants.
    • A holy book that seems to condone acts such as rape against non-Muslim women, in an environment where there is actual reports of widespread Muslim rape of non-Muslim women and a Muslim culture that says the rapes are not a Muslim issue nor do Muslims believe it is ever allowable to rape any women under Muslim law.

    All of this sounds an awful lot like kitman and taqiyya IMO. The use of half truths and intangible generalisations to artificially validate concepts or disprove more specific concepts in ways that represent Islam in the most positive light to non-believers.

    And now you’re advocating that the use of Australian law should be employed to silence any criticism of Islam? As obviously any criticism of Islam is always unfounded, a lie and should be banned or suppressed. Lol. Sounds an awful lot like Sharia apostasy laws which you also claim don’t exist.

    -shakes head-

  19. OneEyedKing says:

    It’s my belief that now is the time that the Muslim faith and Islamic scripture/law should be the most open to discussion, analysis and criticism in the same way that things like Western thinking, rampant capitalism, environmental vandalism, political leaning and greedy consumerism are.

    Any act to prevent just that would seem to indicate that there is in fact something to hide within the ideals of Islam.

    Any claim that critical thought of any religion is akin to racism is just using a vehicle to suppress free thinking and actual freedom of belief, in the aim to raise a particular thought or ideology above reproach or debate by the greater populace. The very same form of law could easily be used to brand Anarchist type discussion as purely rebellious and treasonous. Or discussion of organised religion’s connection to enabling child abuse as heretical and unlawful. Or in an even scarier application, criticism of groups like neo-Nazis or KKK as being branded as being racist against white communities and therefore illegal.

    Should these groups be awarded the same protections as you’re advocating for Muslim communities or Islam? The right to practice their own beliefs free from being criticised or investigated by others and protected by the law in regards to press or public conversation. Such laws would bring this website into the realms of being illegal and paint @ndy as being a criminal and vilifier. As most of his time is dedicated to these pursuits.

    Or are you just suggesting that this should be a unique Muslim right in Australian society? Now that does sound like racism, one rule for some. Different for others based on belief, religion and their cultural identity.

  20. Rashid says:

    @OneEyedKing

    >>”Lol the irony Rashid, you link to an article that apparently refutes ‘taqiyya’. That is mostly calling for action in regards to sanctioning gag orders and censorship of media or commentary on anything Muslim…”

    Apparently you’ve linked to a different article. The article I provided a link to advocates nothing in the cause of “censorship of media or commentary on anything Muslim”. A spotlight on the confected allegations of ‘taqiyya’ by the shrill anti Islam crowd – allegations subsequently ascribed by them to any and/or all Muslims – is not a call for censorship. It’s the opposite. It’s an implied call for the lifting of the wilful self censorship by such ‘commentary’ of the facts, rather than their favouring conspiratorial fiction.

    >>”Perhaps you would care to enlighten us about the meaning of the many Quranic verses that relate to slavery and rape? Or the many guiding statements Muhammed and Allah have made in the Quran to the practices…”

    I think I’ve treaded that lengthy path of enlightenment a couple of times on this site. I don’t care to again spend my time presenting an essay on the topic. I am though happy to discuss and debate any particular specified meaning or interpretation from primary sources.

    >>”It seems that suggesting anything is a Muslim issue is a lie and akin to being naive. Yet somehow many countries around the world seem to be experiencing fundamental issues that relate to Muslim communities creating massive rifts in their societies which are often related to extreme violence, murder and rape. I know lies and naivety right…”

    The lie and naivety is not, as you disingenuously suggest, that some/certain Muslims do have and do create issues. The lie is that any such issues are an axiom of ‘being Muslim’. As a definitive formula it doesn’t hold true. Because the opposite is also always demonstrably true, i.e. there are Muslims who don’t create issues, and there are (also) Muslim communities who are not creating rifts “related to extreme violence, murder and rape”. The lie and naivety therefore is in your absurd essentialising, conflation etc.

    >>”A lot of your last comment seems to be extremely evasive for one example. You have been asked about the average Australian and their accordance with Sharia law? You totally evaded the question, because you knew the answer would be unfavourable with by far the majority of Australians would receive harsh punishments for just going about their everyday lives under the general practice and application of Sharia that is applied in many Muslim countries and populaces throughout the world. There is a specific word for that evasive technique, what is it again?”

    Well I can tell you what the specific term to describe your post is – ‘confused ignorance’. You’re complaining about imprecise answers to questions that use vague terms. The actual definition of a polysemic term such as ‘Sharia’ being just one example.

    You also have an expectation of the unquestioned acceptance of a number of very doubtful premises to your assertions. Where’s your evidence that the bulk of Australia’s Muslims accept, seek or ‘yearn for’ a version of Sharia which metes out “harsh punishments” to either themselves or to “average Australians” (whatever that means), “going about their everyday lives”? Where’s your evidence that Australia’s Muslims would prefer an imposed law (as can be found in some other countries) upon Australia’s populace, rather than the established democratic rule of law they currently enjoy?

    Your allusion to a threatening, infiltrating, minority community, with treacherous intentions (perhaps even some protocols) for domination over everyone else, is standard fare for conspiratorial bigots. Through the prism of conspiracy they see simplistic and conclusive proof in everything. And they completely discount complexity and diversity, either through ignorance or intentional design. Anything ‘Muslim’ is apparently inextricably connected to any other thing ‘Muslim’. A vague ‘connect the dots’ paranoia, where a new mosque construction is indistinguishable to them from events overseas, indistinguishable from religious symbols on food, indistinguishable from fringe groups/individuals with fringe beliefs, indistinguishable from the woman walking the streets in a headscarf. What’s a conspiracy? Everything.

  21. Rashid says:

    >>”In fact a lot of your post seems to just be adding a specific dialogue that leaves little room for analysis of specification with broad generalised statements like:

    • All Muslims are different, therefore suggestions that Muslim are either good or bad is impossible.”

    ? Well do you disagree? Are ‘Muslims’ different to each other or are they all the same in matters of goodness and badness? Is it possible or impossible to make generalisations such as ‘Muslims are good’ or ‘Muslims are bad’? Do you feel constrained if not able to essentialise the entire Muslim population as one or the other?

    Personally, when I see Muslims behaving badly I have no problem stating that those Muslims are behaving badly. Conversely, I refer to Muslims behaving well as good Muslims. I don’t however feel the need to characterise all and sundry as either one or the other.

    >>”• All Sharia applications are different, so commentary on what is Muslim law is also impossible.”

    No, not at all. What I’ve said is that ‘Muslim law’ is not some central, universally agreed upon doctrine. Like the religion itself, Sharia is a matter of interpretation. It’s not impossible to discuss different interpretations, people do it all the time. What is invalid, if not impossible, is to assign any particular interpretation as necessarily that of all or most of Australia’s Muslims or Australia’s Muslim Communities without some proof.

    >>”• All interpretations of the Muslim holy books are different, therefore interpretation by any outsider of any particular verse’s meaning is impossible, as their interpretation will always be misinterpretation.”

    ? Nowhere in my posts have I stated that misinterpretation or correct interpretation has any relationship to the status of the interpreter as an ‘insider’ or ‘outsider’ – whatever those terms are supposed to mean. This is your own curious assertion.

    >>”• Most Muslim appear peaceful and preach peace, therefore all Muslims are peaceful. And any that are not peaceful are not Muslim.”

    I’ve stated no such things. Again, these are your own curious assertions. Ironically, what you’ve presented is the inverse of the logic of many Islamophobes:

    – Identifies as Muslim, therefore cannot be trusted to be peaceful.

    – Identifies as Muslim and ‘appears peaceful’, therefore is either really not Muslim, or is practicing ‘taqiyya’ and ‘kitman’.

    >>”• Any act of “Muslim” violence is unconnected to the “Australian Muslim Communities” as the communities themselves renounce violence and live peacefully. Even though many Australian Muslim ISIS fighters were once apart of the Australian Muslim Communities…”

    Many Australian Muslim ISIS fighters were also once ‘a part of’ Australian Communities. Many were ‘a part of’ our education system. At least one was even Caucasian, well (secularly) educated, and had never visited a mosque in Australia.

    So what ‘connection’ are you claiming between Australian ISIS recruits and Australian Muslims generally? Other than dots?

    >>”• A holy book that seems to condone acts such as rape against non-Muslim women, in an environment where there is actual reports of widespread Muslim rape of non-Muslim women and a Muslim culture that says the rapes are not a Muslim issue nor do Muslims believe it is ever allowable to rape any women under Muslim law.”

    I’m assuming you’re talking about the Quran. The Quran doesn’t condone rape by or against anyone. I haven’t seen these “actual reports” of ‘widespread’ Muslim rape of non-Muslim women. Where are they?

  22. Rashid says:

    >>”And now you’re advocating that the use of Australian law should be employed to silence any criticism of Islam? As obviously any criticism of Islam is always unfounded, a lie and should be banned or suppressed. Lol. Sounds an awful lot like Sharia apostasy laws which you also claim don’t exist.”

    The Quran is the supreme, primary and overriding source for Sharia. As I said earlier, there is no earthly punishment for apostasy mentioned anywhere in the Quran. None. That was my claim. Prove me wrong.

    And so your post ends with (predictably) yet another allegation unfounded in reality, and unsupported by anything I’ve previously stated. I of course made no reference at all to whether or how the Australian law should or shouldn’t be employed in relation to criticism of Islam. No reference at all.

    But in keeping with the rest of your post in the defence of the alleged truth of the ‘Muslim’ conspiracy, actual statements from Muslims appear less important than inferred motives. After all, a Muslim (i.e. someone who allegedly ipso facto practices ‘taqiyya’), by that very definition couldn’t possibly be trusted to truthfully say it how it really is anyway could they? No of course not, that’s the whole point of the absurd catch 22 ‘taqiyya’ charge made by non Muslim polemicists – if Muslims disagree with them then it’s automatically ‘taqiyya’, and if they agree they simply confirm the truth.

    So logically for you then, telling Muslims what they actually are and what they actually believe is apparently a far more accurate measure of ‘the truth’ than anything Muslims themselves might state.

    Now there’s something to Lol about.

  23. Sam says:

    Rashid, why is it common to see where there is a large Muslim population, particularly in Europe, trouble immediately follows?

  24. Rashid says:

    >>”Rashid, why is it common to see where there is a large Muslim population, particularly in Europe, trouble immediately follows?”

    @Sam

    Your question is a little vague, i.e. what particular trouble are you referring to? And the premise you’ve proposed is also questionable. No ‘large population’ anywhere, of any creed, is free from ‘trouble’. But the implied subtext of your question is clearly that trouble in Europe is a necessary and perhaps even in some way exclusive symptom of a large (minority) population of ‘Muslims’, as distinct from any large (minority) population of non Muslims. Or even as distinct from a small population of Muslims(?).

    In any case, there is no phenomenon of a large Muslim population (in Europe) leading to trouble from a large population of Muslims. Trouble is always from a relative minority from within the larger group.

    So too it would similarly be questionable to assert that in Europe, the very presence of a large (majority) population of Caucasian, or Christian, or democratic, or secular non Muslims, living with growing populations of various minority groups, will not only immediately be followed by trouble from that larger population – such as far right bigotry and violence – but that such behaviour is a direct function of them belonging to their particular creed.

    Equally nonsensical.

  25. ablokeimet says:

    Sam: “Rashid, why is it common to see where there is a large Muslim population, particularly in Europe, trouble immediately follows?”

    It seems that the trouble is not always the responsibility of Muslims at all (a large group or small):

    Crowd CHEERS as German migrant hostel is burned out – and even try to stop firefighters battling the blaze

    http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/world-news/crowd-cheers-german-migrant-hostel-7413632

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