Something happened in Sydney today that has angered me deeply: a riot by Australian Muslims. It is not their right to demonstrate that I question, but why and how they did so, and what it was over. And frankly, those who “love Osama” and call for beheadings in Australia should be thrown out of this country.
At the outset, can I just say to the lily-livered compassion babblers, bleeding hearts, assorted do-gooder types and the like who may have stumbled across this article to actually read it in its entirety before running off on the usual half-baked tangents that people in such groups are wont to do; in any case, I’m no less entitled to my views than they are, which is the whole point of this column.
And sometimes, a line has to be drawn.
Today’s riot in Sydney appears to have been some kind of rally on a “brothers in arms” basis that spiralled out of control; a local mob going out in sympathy with its brethren elsewhere in the world. The pretext — flimsy as it is — emanates from a film, made in America by a radical Christian group, and condemned by the US government and other governments across the world.
This film — reportedly produced by a US religious group called Media for Christ, and entitled Innocence of Muslims — is said to “mock” the Muslim religion, and according to a report from the Fairfax press portrays the prophet Muhammad as a womaniser and paedophile.
A small detail that seems to have been overlooked in the mad stampede of the hordes of rioters is that the film was made by a Coptic Christian from Egypt, who violated conditions of his parole on release from a US jail to do so, and who seems to have produced the film under false pretences and overdubbed the finished result with anti-Islamist propaganda.
(According to a report from the Murdoch press, the casting call lists the leading roles as George, Condalisa (sic) and Hillary, but in the finished version, the script was doctored to make them represent the Prophet Muhammad and figures from the Koran).
I’ve seen bits of the film, and it’s ridiculous: zero credibility, zero factual or intellectual basis whatsoever, and absolutely zero point in watching any more of it than the bare minimum required to see that it is utter crap.
So let’s get the most important thing into perspective first — contrary to the wild and delirious claims of today’s group and others like them elsewhere in the world, this was no state-sanctioned, anti-Muslim piece produced by the US government. This was the work of a group overseen by an individual, and not a very clever one at that.
Yet the whole point of today’s riot — as with the others that have preceded it elsewhere — was to protest against the US infidel and its alleged violation of the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
And this begs the rather obvious question: why the need to wreak pandemonium in central Sydney, if Uncle Sam is the target in the first place?
Don’t misunderstand me; I don’t think the Muslim riots that have gone on in the US and elsewhere are justified, either; but even if they were, Australia — by the rioters’ own admission — was not their target.
So why do it?
To be completely candid, I think the furore surrounding Innocence of Muslims is simply an excuse to cause religion-based trouble.
People have died in the riots that have been staged over this; indeed, in Sydney today many people were injured, including Police, who at one stage were pelted with bottles and other missiles by the rampaging crowd.
To be fair, the vast majority of the Muslim community — be it here in Australia, or elsewhere in the free world — are responsible and peaceful people, who obey the laws in this country and who do add to our society on account of their presence here.
However, there is also a faction of radical Islam that is not and should never be welcome; as far as I am concerned, today’s little stunt in Sydney represents an opportunity to round some of these people up and to get rid of them.
Residency and citizenship in Australia impose certain responsibilities in return for the privileges they confer upon the recipient. Responsibilities such as obeying Australian laws, respect for Australia’s system of governance and institutions, and participating in mainstream Australian society.
Australia has been very openly welcoming to people of Muslim faith, as it has to people of many other faiths and from a diverse range of nationalities.
But it annoys me to hear anecdotes that fast food outlets in parts of the country now stock only halal meats to avoid offending the Muslim minority; that sporting centres in Sydney are operating segregated facilities for men and women out of “respect” for Muslim patrons; and it infuriates me that any Muslim resident should dare to make the suggestion that Sharia law be adopted in Australia under any circumstances whatsoever.
Yet all of this — and many other occurrences like them — happen with increasing regularity; in return, we get the sort of violence occurring that we saw in Sydney this afternoon, staged on religious grounds that are at best spurious, and over an issue that does not involve Australia, the country these men now purport to call home.
Yes, young Muslim men — hundreds of them — marching through the Pitt Street mall, chanting slogans such as “Obama, Obama, We Love Osama” and carrying placards bearing slogans like “Behead All Those That Insult The Prophet.”
Can I just say that people who think and operate along these lines have no place in Australian society?
That people who want to run a jihad through the streets of Sydney have no right to be there in the first place? In Sydney, that is. Or in Australia at all.
And I must say that far from welcoming this type of lawlessness and anti-social behaviour, we should be jettisoning its perpetrators. We don’t need people like this in Australia, and they don’t deserve to be here.
One protester — identified in numerous reports as Abdullah Sary — claimed the mob had assembled in peace and “were disappointed” police used tear gas, which defies belief, given the number of riot police who were injured today by out-of-control thugs.
“This was a non-violent protest but people don’t like seeing their brothers attacked by dogs and ending up in hospital,” he said, which begs the question: did they expect to be allowed to rampage through Sydney unhindered?
Sary — who admitted that he hadn’t even seen the film that was supposed to be the reason for all of this — offered the justification that “if you attack the prophet you are attacking our way of life.”
If today’s antics represent the “way of life” of these people, then it is to be hoped the NSW Police, in the cold light of day tomorrow, make good use of the ample television and CCTV footage that was recorded today to identify the ringleaders and other serious offenders, round them up, and hand them over to Immigration for deportation.
In fact, any of these people holding the citizenship of another country should have their Australian residency or citizenship rescinded, and be packed off to their country of origin — and barred from ever returning.
This is not the Australian way of life, and irrespective of the justifications or excuses proffered for their actions, what happened today cannot and should not be tolerated.
And at the end of the day, tolerance does not extend to accepting religiously based rioting in Australia.
To their credit, Prime Minister Julia Gillard and opposition leader Tony Abbott condemned today’s events, as did Greens leader Christine Milne; I’d challenge any of them to make an example of the people responsible for today’s riot, and to send to the rest the clear message that this type of misconduct will indeed be met with the starkest of consequences.
I’m the first to welcome anyone into this country who wants a better life, providing they come through the appropriate channels, and provided that once here they obey Australian law and observe Australian customs, and treat Australia as what it is to them: a new home, yes, but a place that has allowed them to escape from whatever it was they were on the run from when they left it.
What I will never support is attempts to transform Australia into something else — it is not a Muslim society, and never will be; nor can I tolerate the type of lawless violence, perpetrated in the name of peace but based on religion, that transpired in Sydney today.
And neither should anyone else in this country — do-gooder bleeding-hearted compassion babblers included.