'The fearmongers aside, the reporting of the incident was largely responsible and respectful ....
[T]he Islamophobia flowed predictably and freely [did it?]. The response to it was life affirming.
As Jews, we bemoan the failure of many to make the distinction between criticising Israel and anti-Semitism. Our Semitic brothers face a similar malaise, with many tarring all Muslims with the "radical" brush. On Monday [last week], the hashtag #IllRideWithYou exploded on Twitter following the Tweet: "If you reg take the #373 bus b/w Coogee/MartinPl, wear religious attire, & don't feel safe alone: I'll ride with you. @ me for schedule. And it immediately went viral....'All very noble of the newspaper, I'm sure, even if, by its use of the term "Semitic brothers" it omitted the many Muslims in Australia who are not of Arab origin, as well as, curiously, the female of the species who, if anecdotal evidence is to be believed, are more likely than Muslim men to experience "Islamophobia" on the streets.
Many people have said, and said rightly, that the "I'll ride with you" campaign is misplaced, insulting Australians as a whole by implying as it does that they are brutes and bigots about to declare "Open Season" on Muslims, and also placing more emphasis on the true victims of Man Haron Monis, the unfortunate hostages, by buying into the fiction that the primary victims of last week's tragic abomination are this country's Muslims. We've seen the ABC (Oz's answer to the BBC) aiding and abetting this nonsense with its interviews with Silma Ihram (the former Frances Beaumont), who to judge by the number of times she's been featured on their programming over the years, is rather a favourite of theirs. (The Left's Muslims-as-victims mentality was being hyped by the ABC in August, with input by the same lady.)
Indeed, so incensed have some commenters within and without Australia been with the Muslim victimhood approach that there have been a number of pictorial responses in response, showing the hashtag on pictures of atrocities by Muslims such as the 7/7 London bombing.
Of course, Australian Muslims are not responsible for Monis's crimes, and most Australians fully realise it. Muslims leaders have deplored his actions, and it's reported that no one is keen to give him a funeral.
But, as David Singer argues in the previous post, and as others have done over the past week, including The Australian's Chris Kenny, who incidentally had bought coffee at the restaurant just before the siege began, it is foolhardy and futile to present that Manis's outlook as entirely unconnected with Islamism.
As for that hashtag, Pam Hopf, an astute observer of Australian affairs, has a truly superb article on Shirlee Finn's Jews Down Under site in which she traces the hashtag to its source and absolutely nails the hypocrisy involved. (Hint: does the word Greens mean anything to you?)
I recommend Pam's article most heartily, and to the Pollyannas in the Australian Jewish community, including the author of the Australian Jewish News editorial cited above, I recommend it most of all.
Read it here