First, a London University academic, reflecting on this Socialist Worker poster placed around campus during freshman week:
Who is 'the resistance' whose victory is hoped for? Hamas? Hezbollah? Isis?
Why is it left ambiguous?
How would victory for these groups further freedom for Palestine?
Why is this the eye-catcher for freshers week when, as we speak, 'the resistance' is murdering, raping, cleansing, driving-out, by the hundreds of thousands?
How is this considered OK in a democratic scholarly space?"
Second, a Monash University academic:
"Interesting to read in The Age today [Friday]that a national Islamic conference in Melbourne has invited British journalist Yvonne Ridley to speak.
Ridley is a member of the so-called left-wing Respect Party in Britain headed by George Galloway who wants to ban all Israeli Jews from Bradford. She has publicly said:“Respect is a Zionist-free party. If there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out”, February 2006 address at Imperial College in London.
Ridley wishes to create a racially pure political party free of Jewish contamination.
I wonder if the organizers are aware of her racist views."A couple of years ago, when Ms Ridley was running for Parliament as a member of Galloway's Respect Party, a concerned moderately left observer, Shamik Das, itemised various shocking Ridleyisms that included the sentiments quote above and then some [emphasis added]:
“[Respect] is a Zionist-free party… if there was any Zionism in the Respect Party they would be hunted down and kicked out. We have no time for Zionists.” She explained that government support “goes towards that disgusting little watchdog of America that is festering in the Middle East”.
Also in that Imperial lecture, she says:
“Israel is a vile little state. It’s propped up by America. It cannot survive without American money.”
“.... I loathe the Zionist State and what it stands for.”
Rally outside US Embassy, 2006:
“Drinking Coca Cola is like drinking the blood of Palestinian children."
Addressing a Viva Palestina meeting, 2009:
“The Zionists have tentacles everywhere. We’ve seen with the disgraceful behaviour from the BBC that this interference goes right to the very top of the media, into the very heart of our homes.”
At the same meeting:
“We have to end the Zionist state. We’ve got to charge the war criminals. We have to boycott Israeli goods.”
Galloway names Ridley as a Hamas donor, 2009:
“I, now, here, on behalf of myself, my sister Yvonne Ridley, and the two Respect councillors – Muhammad Ishtiaq and Naim Khan – are giving three cars and 25,000 pounds in cash to prime minister Ismail Haniya.”
Ridley herself confirming she personally donated money to Hamas in a deliberate violation of sanctions law:
“I brought cash and I am happy to say I have given that cash to George Galloway and we have both given that money to the Palestinian prime minister, Ismail Haniyeh, which has broken UN sanctions. If they want to charge us, if they want to arrest us, bring it on.”
See more, with chapter and verse, here“During our brief time in Gaza, I did have the privilege to join a few of us together to meet Ismail Haniyeh… If I could use my Palestinian citizenship, it would be to vote Ismail Haniyeh and Hamas back in again in Gaza. Victory to intifada 3! Victory to Hamas!“....'
Having read the Monash University academic's remark quoted above, I looked at the article that he cited , and learned, inter alia:
'An organiser of a national Islamic conference being held in Melbourne says the portrayal of Islamic State barbarism is being used to stir political fear.
Mustafa Abu Yusuf, a spokesman for the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah Association of Australia (ASWJ), claimed the actions of Islamic State [also known as ISIL] were being "rammed down our throats" in a bid to paint fundamentalist Muslims as potential terrorists and curb civil freedoms.
But he also praised police who worked with the Muslim community on the ground.
Mr Abu Yusuf said he had not seen videos of the ISIL beheadings posted on social media – although he called the act abhorrent – but said the group's actions was "no more horrific" than those of Western armies during war.
He questioned why the Abbott government did not react with equally fierce rhetoric when chemical warfare was used and human rights abuses were committed in the Syrian civil war....
Ahead of the launch of the three-day "Crossroads" conference, expected to draw thousands of people to the Melbourne Convention Centre, Mr Abu Yusuf rejected allegations that the ASWJ promoted violence and extremism.
The Crossroads conference has drawn attention for its list of controversial keynote speakers, including Yvonne Ridley, a British journalist who converted to Islam after she was kidnapped by the Taliban. Ms Ridley is known for her outspoken views and is alleged to have referred to suicide bombings as "martyrdom operations". [Emphasis added]
"The conference is being portrayed as a conversion of terror and terror ideals," Mr Abu Yusuf said. "But Islam prohibits extremism in all its forms – religious, financial or whatever the case may be.
"This is about building a focus on unifying rather than dividing Australia."
.... "Everyone, including the white government that rules this country, are all immigrants, and immigration has made this country stronger," he said. "But with all this Team Australia rubbish, Abbott must think most Australians are stupid. He has dumbed down our country to us and them."....'
I then discovered that the ABC (which as I've pointed out several times bears similar hallmarks to the BBC) had hastened to provide its airways to Yvonne Ridley, just as it did seven years ago, when she was the guest of a similar Islamic Conference in Melbourne. On that occasion she was interviewed by the AM radio program's Jane Cowan:
|Tamil Tigers in Australia rallying against Israel recently|
'ELIZABETH JACKSON: A controversial speaker at an Islamic Conference in Melbourne this weekend has lashed out at the media, accusing reporters of whipping up hysteria over Muslims.
Yvonne Ridley is a British journalist; she famously converted to Islam after being captured by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
This week Labor's Immigration spokesman, Tony Burke, called for her to be banned from entering Australia, because of her reportedly extremist views.
But Yvonne Ridley told our reporter, Jane Cowan, she's been misquoted and misrepresented.
YVONNE RIDLEY: These views have been taken out of context and have been dredged up by mischief-makers who have an Islamaphobic agenda.
JANE COWAN: What do you believe on those fronts?
YVONNE RIDLEY: Um, I believe in justice for the Palestinians. I believe in justice for Chechnyans.
JANE COWAN: Can you categorically condemn suicide bombing?
YVONNE RIDLEY: You know, the greatest purveyors of suicide bombing are the Tamil Tigers, a Marxist-Leninist organisation, largely of the Hindu faith; I'm not really quite sure why it is being attached specifically towards Muslims.
JANE COWAN: But if you've been reported as saying you support suicide bombing, would you now here condemn it, no matter who perpetrates it?
YVONNE RIDLEY: I condemn shoddy journalism and poor research, and people like you should know better than to try and tackle people like me over things that have allegedly been said or not said.
JANE COWAN: But this is an opportunity for you to clarify your views, and …
YVONNE RIDLEY: I've clarified them. What don't you understand? Listen, I have told you exactly what I have said, now you tell me why you need me to condemn something that is as plain as, you know, as the language that I've just said. What didn't you understand about what I have just said?
JANE COWAN: My question is, do you or do you not support suicide bombing?
YVONNE RIDLEY: Of course I don't. I have, in fact, been quite mystified that a senior Labor member would result to this cheap tactic, especially after last year I spent some time with [former prime minister and erstwhile gung-ho Israel supporter] Bob Hawke and his wife and other eminent people in Copenhagen, drawing up a declaration to combat Islamophobia.'The AM program this week featured Ms Ridley as follows:
The 18 year old was shot dead after he stabbed two police officers at the Endeavour Hills Police Station.
The bubbling social tension has been addressed at the launch of a conference in Melbourne last night.
From Melbourne, Rachael Brown reports.
RACHAEL BROWN: As the funeral was being held for 18 year old Numan Haider yesterday, Islamic leaders and police were urging calm.
And opening the annual conference of the Islamic organisation, Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jama'ah, Sheik Muhammad Omran recalled visiting Haider's grieving family with an AFP officer, who said: "He was one of our kids the same as he's one of yours".
MUHAMMAD OMRAN: We care for each other, and if we have that bit of care, believe me Australia will be more wonderful than what it is today.
RACHAEL BROWN: Sheik Omran says current tensions aren't an Islamic problem, but an Australian one.
MUHAMMAD OMRAN: If I say it's not my business, it is your business, it is this, it is that, then the whole society goes scattered and no-one will win.
RACHAEL BROWN: The annual conference aims to help Muslims navigate contemporary challenges, but this year it's been inevitably overshadowed by Haider's death.
YVONNE RIDLEY: It is a crime. I would hesitate to call it terrorism because we don't know the full facts. It might have been nothing more than a knife crime.
RACHAEL BROWN: UK journalist Yvonne Ridley is in Melbourne for a presentation on the media, and engaging youth, which she says has certainly taken on a different significance now.
YVONNE RIDLEY: The wild speculation – and it is wild – has not been helpful at all: A, it's bad journalism and B, it's irresponsible.
RACHAEL BROWN: Since her conversion to Islam after she was kidnapped by the Taliban, she's been labelled a firebrand radical convert.
YVONNE RIDLEY: I'm not a firebrand. I speak my mind. The fact that some male journalist in Australia decides to call me firebrand because I wear a scarf is really irresponsible.
RACHAEL BROWN: On the question of the disconnect between youth and their elders, she says this isn't a Muslim problem, it's a universal one.
YVONNE RIDLEY: We do need to engage youth more. The one thing that I'm critical about in the Muslim community - we need to open up the mosques to political debate. Quite often issues like Iraq, Palestine, Syria are closed to debate.
If young people can't talk about these issues inside the mosque, they will find somewhere else to talk about it.
RACHAEL BROWN: Ms Ridley says there are voices of extremism closer to home, like the Palmer United Party Senator, Jacqui Lambie, whose understanding of Sharia law is that it "obviously involves terrorism".
JACKIE LAMBIE [sic!; The ABC transcript should read YVONNE RIDLEY]: I thought it was very Monty Python-esque, her whole language. And I realised there wasn't a hint or irony in what she was saying.
ELIZABETH JACKSON: That's UK journalist and Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, ending that report from Rachael Brown.'Not for nothing does the great Andrew Bolt, in the course of his newspaper column today, observe:
'....On Saturday ... the ABC’s AM promoted the speaking tour of British Muslim convert Yvonne Ridley, describing her merely as a journalist mysteriously “labelled a firebrand radical”.
The ABC left it to Ridley to explain: “Some male journalists in Australia decide to call me firebrand because I wear a scarf.”
Completely false. Ridley is called a firebrand because she has praised suicide bombers as “martyrs”, and called even the Chechen terrorist behind the Beslan school massacre a “shaheed” or martyr.
She’s damned Israel as a “vile little state” that had to be destroyed, and said Israeli children murdered by jihadists weren’t “innocents” but future soldiers.
US President Barack Obama was “an out-of-control psychopathic killer” and Australia one of the “most shocking” countries for its supposed hatred of Muslims.
Why is the ABC promoting Ridley at this dangerous time? Why present her as unfairly maligned instead of rightly criticised?
This is not unusual for the ABC....
It is lethally irresponsible for the ABC to pump out lunatic propaganda that could incite Muslim extremists and demonise the moderates. It is hard to believe the country’s biggest media empire could be so reckless.
Yet the ABC does it repeatedly. Last month 7.30 let Hamas spokesman Osama Hamdan criticise Israel without revealing this seemingly reasonable man had claimed the “Jewish mentality ... has become addicted to the killing of women and children”, and “the Jews used to slaughter Christians in order to mix their blood in their holy matzos”.
Why this validation of extremists? I suspect the ABC Left sees Islamist grievances as a vehicle for its own ideological hatreds — of the West, capitalism, Israel and freedom....' [Emphasis added]Read Bolt's entire article here