Oh, dear, we've upset the neighbours.Well, it depends on your neighbourhood, actually.
According to the Hun, muslims are upset at John Howard suggesting that there is a minority of extremists among them who have beliefs and cultural practices that are antithetical to Australian life and laws. Okay, so it wasn't a suggestion, more like an assertion. But still...
Considering that muslim spokesmen have been claiming for years that their religion has been hijacked, you'd think they'd be happy for this to be acknowledged so publicly.
As Ameer Ali seems to think that if we ignore the extremists they will go away or their offspring wouldn't be as 'radical'. This was not the case in London last year, so I see no reason to give that idea too much of my time.
Keysar Trad thinks that "To single out the Muslim community like this, the Prime Minister is unfortunately playing on pre-existing Islamaphobia."
Mr Trad, why is this stereotype so prevalant?
On a related note from page 13 of the HeraldSun (21/02/06) comes this piece of great interest:
Muslims Fear Backlash
Victoria's peak Islamic body has established a "post-disaster" strategy to protect Melbourne's Muslims from a backlash in the event of a London-style bombing in Australia.
The strategy, including personal protection, guarding mosques and solidarity displays with non-Muslims after an attack, may be ready by next month's Commonwealth Games.
The Islamic Council of Victoria and Victoria Police have discussed how the Muslim community should respond to a terrorist attack and how it could protect itself against vigilante reprisals. - Mark Dunn
I couldn't find this online, hence no links.
What is intriguing is the pre-emptive strategy. Why would they fear a terrorist attack and associated backlash?
There has been relatively little backlash considering the unrest over cartoons. There has been a lot of talk from muslim representatives about how maligned they are, but no move to make themselves more a part of the overall aussie culture. Just that we need to understand them more, and give them more latitude and not upset them.
But again, if Islam is so peace-loving, so warm and fuzzy, why would we and they even consider the possibility of a terrorist attack during the Commonwealth Games?