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Re: Confronting the Monolith Islamophobia and Osamaism

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  • icecreamhands2006
    Rupen, Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual mccarthyism. Like all myths there is a hint to truth to it. There is a lot of
    Message 1 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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      Rupen,
      Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
      mccarthyism. Like all myths there is a hint to truth to it. There is
      a lot of discrimination against people from the middle east and asia
      and a tendency by some to link all muslims with terrorism and other
      dispicable acts.
      The term itself was invented by the islamist group hiztbultahrir
      (sorry about the spelling, please dont kill me) in the early 1990s.
      It has since been defined, in particular by the runymede trust, in
      such a way that ANY form of criticism of Islam or individual muslims
      themselves. This has led to the curtailing of the open and honest
      debate that is needed, to quote Josie Appleton,"Rather than engage
      Muslims in debate, non-Muslims are supposed to tiptoe around them,
      for fear of causing offence".
      It has come to the ridiculous when people die over largely inoccuous
      cartoons made in Denmark. When the Pope quotes a long dead Byzantine
      emperor leads to a call from sections of the Islamic world for him
      to repent and convert to islam. When Operettas are cancelled for
      fear of offending muslims. this is why the term "Islamophobia" is
      not only a myth, but a dangerous one as well. It is a term that
      powers islamists to decide what we should see and hear and at the
      same time do nothing to help people who suffer discrimination for
      their religious views.
      RR

      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Rupen Savoulian"
      <rsavoulian@...> wrote:
      >
      > The full article at:
      >
      > http://world.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/33816
      >
      > A useful examination of the mental virus of Islamophobia which has
      > infected much of the Australian public discourse on
      multiculturalism
      > and ethnicity. All types of racist fundamentalism, whether anti-
      > semitism or Islamophobia, must be combatted.
      >
      > "Another strategy often employed by the deniers of Islamophobia is
      > the rejection of any similarity between Islamophobia and racism.
      > Whenever the two concepts are interchangeably used, one has come
      to
      > almost immediately expect the tired catchphrase, "Islam is not a
      > race." While the substitution of "Islamophobia" with "racism" may
      be
      > incorrect in a linguistic sense, the two are conceptually very
      much
      > the same. Both forms of prejudice are founded upon a monolithic
      and
      > stereotypical presupposition. For example, while a racist would
      > assume all or most African-Americans think or behave a certain
      way,
      > an Islamophobe, too, would believe that all or most Muslims think
      or
      > behave a certain way."
      >
      > In solidarity
      > Rupen Savoulian
      >
    • glparramatta
      Well IceCream, You would back that position since you are loyal supporter of Bomber Beazley s ALP and presumeably his disgusting uncritical support of the
      Message 2 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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        Well IceCream,

        You would back that position since you are loyal supporter of Bomber
        Beazley's ALP and presumeably his disgusting uncritical support of the
        bogus US ``war on terror'' and demonising of the Arab and Muslim
        communities, the latest being the outflanking of Howard from the left
        with his racist, Hansonite ``Aussie values' campaign.

        Norm.

        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
        <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
        >
        > Rupen,
        > Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
        > mccarthyism.
      • icecreamhands2006
        Norm, Is there any chance that you can respond to the specific arguments or are you going to give another misleading spiel about the ALP? I do not support the
        Message 3 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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          Norm,
          Is there any chance that you can respond to the specific arguments
          or are you going to give another misleading spiel about the ALP?
          I do not support the US "war on terror" uncritically. Neither does
          the leadership of the ALP funnily enough. Never mind that it calls
          for troops out of Iraq? Never mind that the ALP in parliament have
          tried to get David kicks released? Or the vilification suffered by
          members of the ALP who oppose anti-terror legislation (stanhope etc)?
          All you can respond to is a spiel about "aussie values". And the so-
          called demonising of Arab and Muslim communities.
          Leaving Aussie values aside, lets take apart the "demonising" of
          arab and muslim communities. Coming from a group that represents
          nothing of these communities it is quite ironic that Norm thinks he
          can speak for them. Most people in the arab and muslim communities
          object to terrorism and communalism, some even have left-wing views.
          But you wouldn't know it if you read GLW, the Socialist Alliance
          continually give credence to halfwits like Keysar Trad and other
          islamists who the muslim community have long disassociated with
          (whose politics have many simmilarities with Hansonism or Family
          Firstism). Halfwits who are like a broken record in their narrative
          of victimhood, that has been disasterous for muslims around the
          world. The attitude that muslims are all victims and we should
          therefore not criticism is a form of inverted racism and closer to
          the old colonialist mentality than anything leftist.
          You accuse the ALP of demonising Muslims but the fact is the ALP has
          mroe active arab and muslim members than your Socialist Alliance has
          in total membership. All the disintegrating Socialist Alliance can
          do is give backing to discredited islamists and communalists.
          Now Norm, is there any chance you can respond to the specific
          arguments?
          BFI
          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
          <glparramatta@...> wrote:
          >
          > Well IceCream,
          >
          > You would back that position since you are loyal supporter of
          Bomber
          > Beazley's ALP and presumeably his disgusting uncritical support of
          the
          > bogus US ``war on terror'' and demonising of the Arab and Muslim
          > communities, the latest being the outflanking of Howard from the
          left
          > with his racist, Hansonite ``Aussie values' campaign.
          >
          > Norm.
          >
          > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
          > <icecreamhands2006@> wrote:
          > >
          > > Rupen,
          > > Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
          > > mccarthyism.
          >
        • glparramatta
          Thanks BFI (weren t you RR before? What does that stand for?), you ve just proved my point that you are a Labor rightwinger. Yes, Beazley supports the
          Message 4 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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            Thanks BFI (weren't you RR before? What does that stand for?), you've
            just proved my point that you are a Labor rightwinger. Yes, Beazley
            supports the withdrawal from Iraq (but no timetable, of course) SO
            THEY CAN BE SENT TO AFGHANISTAN and south-east Asia! The ALP openly
            backed Israel's criminal attack on Lebanon, and ALP state governments
            are at the forefront of railroading Muslims on trumped up terrorism
            charges, covering for killer cops in Queensland and whipping up racism
            in league with the shock-jocks and tacky tabloids in an attempt to
            out-Howard Howard to gain the Hanson vote ... but BFI/RR (which one
            are you, by the way? Did you forget which identity you are writing
            under today?) can't bear to criticise any of that, I guess because you
            agree with it all. Tell me Ronnie from Ingleburn (or whoever you are)
            what are the lies? A quick Google will prove all of the above.

            Norm.



            --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
            <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
            >
            > Norm,
            > Is there any chance that you can respond to the specific arguments
            > or are you going to give another misleading spiel about the ALP?
            > I do not support the US "war on terror" uncritically. Neither does
            > the leadership of the ALP funnily enough. Never mind that it calls
            > for troops out of Iraq? Never mind that the ALP in parliament have
            > tried to get David kicks released? Or the vilification suffered by
            > members of the ALP who oppose anti-terror legislation (stanhope etc)?
            > All you can respond to is a spiel about "aussie values". And the so-
            > called demonising of Arab and Muslim communities.
            > Leaving Aussie values aside, lets take apart the "demonising" of
            > arab and muslim communities. Coming from a group that represents
            > nothing of these communities it is quite ironic that Norm thinks he
            > can speak for them. Most people in the arab and muslim communities
            > object to terrorism and communalism, some even have left-wing views.
            > But you wouldn't know it if you read GLW, the Socialist Alliance
            > continually give credence to halfwits like Keysar Trad and other
            > islamists who the muslim community have long disassociated with
            > (whose politics have many simmilarities with Hansonism or Family
            > Firstism). Halfwits who are like a broken record in their narrative
            > of victimhood, that has been disasterous for muslims around the
            > world. The attitude that muslims are all victims and we should
            > therefore not criticism is a form of inverted racism and closer to
            > the old colonialist mentality than anything leftist.
            > You accuse the ALP of demonising Muslims but the fact is the ALP has
            > mroe active arab and muslim members than your Socialist Alliance has
            > in total membership. All the disintegrating Socialist Alliance can
            > do is give backing to discredited islamists and communalists.
            > Now Norm, is there any chance you can respond to the specific
            > arguments?
            > BFI
            > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
            > <glparramatta@> wrote:
            > >
            > > Well IceCream,
            > >
            > > You would back that position since you are loyal supporter of
            > Bomber
            > > Beazley's ALP and presumeably his disgusting uncritical support of
            > the
            > > bogus US ``war on terror'' and demonising of the Arab and Muslim
            > > communities, the latest being the outflanking of Howard from the
            > left
            > > with his racist, Hansonite ``Aussie values' campaign.
            > >
            > > Norm.
            > >
            > > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
            > > <icecreamhands2006@> wrote:
            > > >
            > > > Rupen,
            > > > Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
            > > > mccarthyism.
            > >
            >
          • dave_r_riley
            ... And isn t that interesting? That despite the fact that the ALP has so many Moslem and so many Arab members it chooses to go along with this aussie values
            Message 5 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
              <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:

              > You accuse the ALP of demonising Muslims but the fact is the ALP has
              > mroe active arab and muslim members than your Socialist Alliance has
              > in total membership.

              And isn't that interesting? That despite the fact that the ALP has so
              many Moslem and so many Arab members it chooses to go along with this
              aussie values scam.

              Oh the conundrum!

              But 'icecreamhands' -- who we guess must be a scoop of vanilla --
              doesn't think that matters.Why? Because ALP members -- whatever their
              demographic -- are used to being denigrated by their leaders such that
              it has become all rather passe?

              Racism? Islamophobia? Xenophobia?..who gives a shit,because " the
              ALP has more active arab and muslim members than your Socialist
              Alliance has in total membership." And really, they love this party
              of theirs and could never entertain the thought of shifting their
              allegiance to another.

              End of story.

              Vanilla Hands could also say that the ALP has more women, more
              aborigines, more Vietnamese, more gays,more Greeks,more actors, more
              octogenarians, more cops... more millionaires... and certainly more
              workers than this Alliance outfit....

              So?

              Your point is? -- that these Arabs and these Moslems really don't care
              when they are being maligned and denigrated by their own party? And
              even if these same "active arab and muslim members" were to care, what
              difference would that make at next months' branch meeting? When do
              these same "active arab and muslim members" ever get a chance to
              protest or challenge the attacks being levelled against them by these
              leaders?



              dave riley
            • glparramatta
              It seems that IceCreamhands (BFI) and RonnieRocketPants (RR) are one and the same person (see
              Message 6 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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                It seems that IceCreamhands (BFI) and RonnieRocketPants (RR) are one
                and the same person (see
                http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/18833). Why
                do does he/she need to pretend to be two different people on this
                list? Prima facie evidence of being a troll!

                Norm.
              • Mato Ska
                Sorry Norm but there are folks in your little group that can t deal with a dialogue on this issue. You know what s best for minorities from Lebanon, Syria,
                Message 7 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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                  Sorry Norm but there are folks in your little group that can't deal with a
                  dialogue on this issue. You know what's best for minorities from Lebanon,
                  Syria, Iran, Kurdistan, Egypt and other parts of the Arab/Islamic world who
                  are living in our countries. Likewise, you know what political forces are
                  defined as liberation forces when there is no organized and united front
                  that has coalesced to lead the struggle represented divergent class,
                  national and ethnic interests. Like your group, the GP state parties in the
                  US have a few folks that know a lot, and a lot of folks who know a little.
                  But few spend the time developing policy proposals with exact language that
                  speaks to the variety of views and proposals. Let's hear sometime the
                  differences that have existed between Fatah and Hamas presented in a way
                  that shows substantive review of the facts and consideration of the
                  implications of international support transferring support from the PLO
                  without discussion with them regarding what is happening on the ground. This
                  is not about trying to be "ultra-radical" and upping the ante on the other
                  groups. This is about proposing a solution and presenting a means of
                  implementing it that is relevant for the future of the Palestinian people.
                  This is about analyzing the politics and program and actions of groups and
                  presenting their case so that others in the international community can
                  support them. If you want to bash the ALP, be my guest. We do our share of
                  bashing Dems here. But make your case first to the people and don't presume
                  that everyone who doesn't line up with you on your current position is out
                  to invade Iran or massacre Palestinians or supports Lieberman. That's just
                  plain old intolerance and anti-intellectualism of the worst sort. Talk to
                  the substance. Even ISO has discussions on these points that they print in
                  their letters. It really is not as "cut and dried" as you try to make it
                  appear.

                  Mato Ska


                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "glparramatta" <glparramatta@...>
                  To: <GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 7:11 AM
                  Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Dixons lies and inverted racism


                  Thanks BFI (weren't you RR before? What does that stand for?), you've
                  just proved my point that you are a Labor rightwinger. Yes, Beazley
                  supports the withdrawal from Iraq (but no timetable, of course) SO
                  THEY CAN BE SENT TO AFGHANISTAN and south-east Asia! The ALP openly
                  backed Israel's criminal attack on Lebanon, and ALP state governments
                  are at the forefront of railroading Muslims on trumped up terrorism
                  charges, covering for killer cops in Queensland and whipping up racism
                  in league with the shock-jocks and tacky tabloids in an attempt to
                  out-Howard Howard to gain the Hanson vote ... but BFI/RR (which one
                  are you, by the way? Did you forget which identity you are writing
                  under today?) can't bear to criticise any of that, I guess because you
                  agree with it all. Tell me Ronnie from Ingleburn (or whoever you are)
                  what are the lies? A quick Google will prove all of the above.

                  Norm.



                  --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                  <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > Norm,
                  > Is there any chance that you can respond to the specific arguments
                  > or are you going to give another misleading spiel about the ALP?
                  > I do not support the US "war on terror" uncritically. Neither does
                  > the leadership of the ALP funnily enough. Never mind that it calls
                  > for troops out of Iraq? Never mind that the ALP in parliament have
                  > tried to get David kicks released? Or the vilification suffered by
                  > members of the ALP who oppose anti-terror legislation (stanhope etc)?
                  > All you can respond to is a spiel about "aussie values". And the so-
                  > called demonising of Arab and Muslim communities.
                  > Leaving Aussie values aside, lets take apart the "demonising" of
                  > arab and muslim communities. Coming from a group that represents
                  > nothing of these communities it is quite ironic that Norm thinks he
                  > can speak for them. Most people in the arab and muslim communities
                  > object to terrorism and communalism, some even have left-wing views.
                  > But you wouldn't know it if you read GLW, the Socialist Alliance
                  > continually give credence to halfwits like Keysar Trad and other
                  > islamists who the muslim community have long disassociated with
                  > (whose politics have many simmilarities with Hansonism or Family
                  > Firstism). Halfwits who are like a broken record in their narrative
                  > of victimhood, that has been disasterous for muslims around the
                  > world. The attitude that muslims are all victims and we should
                  > therefore not criticism is a form of inverted racism and closer to
                  > the old colonialist mentality than anything leftist.
                  > You accuse the ALP of demonising Muslims but the fact is the ALP has
                  > mroe active arab and muslim members than your Socialist Alliance has
                  > in total membership. All the disintegrating Socialist Alliance can
                  > do is give backing to discredited islamists and communalists.
                  > Now Norm, is there any chance you can respond to the specific
                  > arguments?
                  > BFI
                  > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
                  > <glparramatta@> wrote:
                  > >
                  > > Well IceCream,
                  > >
                  > > You would back that position since you are loyal supporter of
                  > Bomber
                  > > Beazley's ALP and presumeably his disgusting uncritical support of
                  > the
                  > > bogus US ``war on terror'' and demonising of the Arab and Muslim
                  > > communities, the latest being the outflanking of Howard from the
                  > left
                  > > with his racist, Hansonite ``Aussie values' campaign.
                  > >
                  > > Norm.
                  > >
                  > > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                  > > <icecreamhands2006@> wrote:
                  > > >
                  > > > Rupen,
                  > > > Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
                  > > > mccarthyism.
                  > >
                  >
                • icecreamhands2006
                  Take your pills norm and stop reading your Frederick Forsyth novels. RR and myself happen to have the same initials, my name is Roland Reed, hence the initials
                  Message 8 of 23 , Oct 1, 2006
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                    Take your pills norm and stop reading your Frederick Forsyth novels.
                    RR and myself happen to have the same initials, my name is Roland
                    Reed, hence the initials RR.....
                    okay I'll reveal the truth... I'm Ronnie Rocketpants, Nemo Etomer,
                    Watermelon Jack, Bob Gould, and Peter Boyle....damn damn damn... you
                    have foiled my zionist-grouper-capitalist-islamophobic-laborite-
                    klingon plot to troll the list...
                    BFI

                    --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "glparramatta"
                    <glparramatta@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > It seems that IceCreamhands (BFI) and RonnieRocketPants (RR) are one
                    > and the same person (see
                    > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/GreenLeft_discussion/message/18833).
                    Why
                    > do does he/she need to pretend to be two different people on this
                    > list? Prima facie evidence of being a troll!
                    >
                    > Norm.
                    >
                  • Kisan
                    It is interesting that in this email icecreamhands mentions hizb-u- tahrir as founding the terminology of islamophobia and this in response to a post to Rupen
                    Message 9 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
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                      It is interesting that in this email icecreamhands mentions hizb-u-
                      tahrir as founding the terminology of islamophobia and this in
                      response to a post to Rupen Savoulian from mediamonitors.

                      Media monitors itself happens to be one of a number of hizb-u-tahrir
                      dominated websites:

                      Note that one of its chief authors is Abid Ullah Jan who is a senior
                      Islamist intellectual.

                      See him writing in praise of the Khilafah (that passion of hizb-u-
                      tahrir) here on mediamonitors:

                      http://world.mediamonitors.net/headlines/khilafah_the_root_of_unackno
                      wledged_terrorism

                      Another generously featured writer is Yamin Zakaria a prolific Hizb-
                      u-Tahrir author and sometimes spokesman.

                      Here he writes an article on "the idiocy of gender equality":
                      http://usa.mediamonitors.net/headlines/idiocy_of_gender_equality_the_
                      case_of_the_woman_imam

                      Such a site is used by Rupen to educate us about "islamophobia". Ie:
                      the Islamists define for us what Islamophobia is. A bit of the fox
                      guarding the hen house type of approach I'd say.

                      Here's some choice points from the constitution of Hizb-u-tahrir:

                      http://www.hizb-ut-tahrir.info/english/constitution.htm

                      7a Those who are guilty of apostasy (murtadd) from Islam are to be
                      executed according to the rule of apostasy

                      Article 8
                      Arabic is the language of Islam and the sole language of the State.
                      (my note: that this about Arabic imperialism cloaked as religion is
                      clear by this point).

                      Article 11
                      The primary function of the State is the propagation of the
                      invitation (da'wah) to Islam.

                      Article 19
                      No one is permitted to take charge of ruling, or any action
                      considered to be of the nature of ruling, except a male who is free
                      (Hurr), i.e. not a slave, mature (baaligh), sane (`aaqil),
                      trustworthy (`adl), competent; and he must not be save a muslim.
                      (my note: this State as a classical Islamic state recognises slavery
                      as per this note regarding slaves).

                      Article 20
                      Calling upon the rulers to account for their actions is both a right
                      for the Muslims and a farD kifaayah (collective duty) upon them. Non-
                      Muslim subjects have the right to make known their complaints about
                      the rulers' injustice and misapplication of the Islamic rules upon
                      them.
                      (my note: this is a classical Islamic state which practices a kind
                      of apartheid wherein non-Muslims are inferior citizens with inferior
                      rights. These are limited to making complaints about misapplication
                      of Islamic rules upon them.)

                      Article 21
                      Any party not established on the basis of Islam is prohibited.
                      (my note: the left will be simply prohibited. There is no freedom in
                      this totalitarian religious scenario pursued by Hizb-u-tahrir).

                      Article 22
                      1. Sovereignty belongs to the divine law (shara') and not to the
                      people.
                      (my note Sharia is the sovereign)
                      2. Authority belongs to the people, i.e., the Ummah. (my note: the
                      Ummah are Muslims only and not others).

                      Article 26
                      Every mature male and female Muslim, who is sane, has the right to
                      participate in the election of the Khaleefah and in giving him the
                      pledge (ba'iah). Non-Muslims have no right in this regard.

                      Article 37
                      ......or appoint a kaafir or a woman as a waali on the pretext of
                      caring for affairs or the interest, nor anything that disagrees with
                      sharee'ah rules. The Khaleefah must not forbid any Halaal thing or
                      allow any Haraam thing.
                      (my note: in this apartheid state non-Muslims cannot be given
                      positions of authority over territories - (Article 86 defines a
                      waali)).

                      Article 56
                      Jihad is a compulsory duty (farD) on all Muslims. Military training
                      is therefore compulsory. Thus, every male Muslim, fifteen years and
                      over, is obliged to undergo military training in readiness for
                      jihad. Conscription, however, is farD kifaayah.
                      (my note: Jihad here signifies fighting and not comtemplating your
                      navel or trying to control inner passions as is commonly described
                      by Islamic apologists).

                      Article 103
                      Every citizen of the State has the right to become a member of the
                      Majlis al-Ummah, provided he or she is both mature and sane. This
                      applies to Muslim and non-Muslim. However, membership to non-Muslims
                      is confined to their voicing of complaints in respect to unjust acts
                      performed by the rulers or the misapplication of Islam upon them.
                      (my note: again this point of the limits of the rights of non-
                      Muslims. In this apartheid state the testimony of a non-Muslim will
                      be accorded half of that of a Muslim. A Muslim womans testimony will
                      carry the weight a Muslim man. The punishment for killing a Muslim
                      will be death but not for the murder of a non-Muslim. This is to
                      name but two of the apartheid / racist laws of this proposed state.)

                      Article 114
                      Women are forbidden to be in private (khulwah) with any men they can
                      marry, they are also forbidden to display their charms or to reveal
                      their body in front of foreign men.
                      (my note: hijab will be obligatory).

                      Article 140
                      Jizyah (head-tax) is collected from the non-Muslims (dhimmis). It is
                      to be taken from the mature men if they are financially capable of
                      paying it. It is not taken from women or children.
                      (my note: this is the tax the non-Muslims pay for the right to stay
                      alive without conversion. Failure to pay it or convert will lead to
                      death. It is to be taken with humiliation and as a reminder of the
                      subjugated position of the non-Muslims (refs available)).

                      Article 145
                      The permanent sources of income for bayt ul-maal are: spoils (fei`),
                      jizyah, kharaaj, a fifth of the buried treasure (rikaaz) and zakaah.
                      All these funds are collected, whether there is a need for them or
                      not, on a perpetual basis.
                      (my note: spoils of war and jizyah and kharaaj are perpetual sources
                      of funds for the state. This is a state on a war footing that
                      attacks non-Muslims states and subjugates and loots them and then
                      taxes the citizens much higher than Muslims for the right to stay
                      alive and not convert).

                      Article 147
                      Income derived from public and State property, people dying without
                      heirs, properties of the apostates and customs levied at the state's
                      borders (thoghoor), are all recorded in bayt ul-maal.
                      (my note: properties of apostates who will be killed according an
                      earlier article become property of the state. and according to
                      apologists and naive commentators "there is no compulsion in
                      religion" according to the Quran).

                      Article 165
                      The Islamic creed constitutes the basis upon which the education
                      policy is built. The syllabi and methods of teaching are designed to
                      prevent a departure from this basis.
                      (my note: this is a theological state that brainwashes it's citizens
                      from birth and has a monopoly on what is taught).

                      Article 183
                      Conveying the Islamic da'wah is the core around which the foreign
                      policy revolves, and upon which relations between the State and
                      other states are built.

                      Article 186
                      The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is based
                      on something other than Islam or which applies non-Islamic rules.
                      This includes international organisations like the United Nations,
                      the International Court of Justice, the International Monetary Fund
                      and the World Bank, and regional organisations like the Arab League.

                      Now, we can see from the above that this is a rather fundamentalist
                      organisation which seeks to institute an apartheid religious
                      dictatorship upon the world. I'd recommend Green Left authors
                      familiarise themselves a little more with this groups agenda before
                      writing articles such as the following:

                      http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2005/637/637p2b.htm

                      Concern grows over Muslim scapegoating
                      Lisa Macdonald, Sydney

                      A July 30 emergency public meeting titled "The war on Islam
                      intensifies" attracted 300 people to the Auburn Town Hall.

                      Soadad Doureihi from Hizb ut-Tahrir, the meeting's organiser,
                      described the oppression of Muslim populations by "Western
                      colonialism", including the occupations of Iraq, Afghanistan and
                      Palestine, as the root cause of terrorist actions like those in
                      London on July 7. Muslims have a duty to resist such occupations, he
                      said, and all Australians should "hold their government to account".

                      Hizb ut-Tahrir has been in the media spotlight for the last few
                      weeks after unsubstantiated claims, denied by the British wing of
                      the group, that it is linked to the London bombings. Doureihi said
                      that, despite every Muslim organisation in Australia publicly
                      condemning the London bombings, the government was not satisfied.
                      They want to force us all to take responsibility and apologise for
                      all terrorist attacks, he said, so they can intimidate Muslims
                      everywhere.

                      Responding to PM John Howard's demand that all Muslim leaders in
                      Australia publicly condemn "extremist" Muslims, Doureihi said: "They
                      try to force us to accept a new version of Islam, with invented
                      labels such as `moderate', `extreme' or `fundamentalist'. We must
                      make it unacceptable for Muslims to carry these labels: we have
                      Muslim and non-Muslim."

                      He pointed out that ASIO's anti-terrorism laws are being widely used
                      to persecute Australia's Islamic community. "Muslims are forced to
                      declare where their allegiances lie, while Anglo-Saxon mass
                      murderers continue to kill." Nationalism, too, is being used against
                      Muslims, he said. "They try to tell us we are Australian Muslims
                      rather than Muslims living in Australia. But our allegiance is not
                      with the ones who found this land, but with the one who created it,
                      Allah."

                      Doureihi described Australia as one of the many places where Muslims
                      are fighting attempts to crush their culture and force
                      their "assimilation" through fear and intimidation. Islamic values
                      are under threat in the West, he said, and Muslims need to maintain
                      unity against attempts to impose "secular capitalist" values upon
                      them.

                      ------

                      It would also be a good idea for green left journalists to note that
                      were Hizb-u-tahrir to realise it's agenda that would mean the end of
                      the right for the left to engage in politics according to Article 21
                      of their constitution.






















                      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                      <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                      >
                      > Rupen,
                      > Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
                      > mccarthyism. Like all myths there is a hint to truth to it. There
                      is
                      > a lot of discrimination against people from the middle east and
                      asia
                      > and a tendency by some to link all muslims with terrorism and
                      other
                      > dispicable acts.
                      > The term itself was invented by the islamist group hiztbultahrir
                      > (sorry about the spelling, please dont kill me) in the early
                      1990s.
                      > It has since been defined, in particular by the runymede trust, in
                      > such a way that ANY form of criticism of Islam or individual
                      muslims
                      > themselves. This has led to the curtailing of the open and honest
                      > debate that is needed, to quote Josie Appleton,"Rather than engage
                      > Muslims in debate, non-Muslims are supposed to tiptoe around them,
                      > for fear of causing offence".
                      > It has come to the ridiculous when people die over largely
                      inoccuous
                      > cartoons made in Denmark. When the Pope quotes a long dead
                      Byzantine
                      > emperor leads to a call from sections of the Islamic world for him
                      > to repent and convert to islam. When Operettas are cancelled for
                      > fear of offending muslims. this is why the term "Islamophobia" is
                      > not only a myth, but a dangerous one as well. It is a term that
                      > powers islamists to decide what we should see and hear and at the
                      > same time do nothing to help people who suffer discrimination for
                      > their religious views.
                      > RR
                      >
                      > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Rupen Savoulian"
                      > <rsavoulian@> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > The full article at:
                      > >
                      > > http://world.mediamonitors.net/content/view/full/33816
                      > >
                      > > A useful examination of the mental virus of Islamophobia which
                      has
                      > > infected much of the Australian public discourse on
                      > multiculturalism
                      > > and ethnicity. All types of racist fundamentalism, whether anti-
                      > > semitism or Islamophobia, must be combatted.
                      > >
                      > > "Another strategy often employed by the deniers of Islamophobia
                      is
                      > > the rejection of any similarity between Islamophobia and racism.
                      > > Whenever the two concepts are interchangeably used, one has come
                      > to
                      > > almost immediately expect the tired catchphrase, "Islam is not a
                      > > race." While the substitution of "Islamophobia" with "racism"
                      may
                      > be
                      > > incorrect in a linguistic sense, the two are conceptually very
                      > much
                      > > the same. Both forms of prejudice are founded upon a monolithic
                      > and
                      > > stereotypical presupposition. For example, while a racist would
                      > > assume all or most African-Americans think or behave a certain
                      > way,
                      > > an Islamophobe, too, would believe that all or most Muslims
                      think
                      > or
                      > > behave a certain way."
                      > >
                      > > In solidarity
                      > > Rupen Savoulian
                      > >
                      >
                    • Michael Karadjis
                      ... From: icecreamhands2006 To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 5:41 PM Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Confronting the
                      Message 10 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
                      • 0 Attachment
                        ----- Original Message -----
                        From: icecreamhands2006
                        To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                        Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 5:41 PM
                        Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Confronting the Monolith Islamophobia and Osamaism

                        "Islamophobia is a myth and has become a form of intellectual
                        mccarthyism. Like all myths there is a hint to truth to it. There is
                        a lot of discrimination against people from the middle east and asia
                        and a tendency by some to link all muslims with terrorism and other
                        dispicable acts."

                        Ah, all these things exist, but they are nevertheless a myth. Can you help me work the mythical out from the real about things like:

                        - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a largely muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then taken up again to 33 (I c an't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years as a rule?

                        - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1 through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to tell us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never the "notorious Anglo brothers"

                        - top government leaders tell us that if abortion is too widespread, Australia will turn into a "Muslim nation"

                        - any international crime carried out by alleged Muslim fanatics, such as Bali etc, is inevitably followed by top Australian government leaders, Opposition leaders, media articles, talk shows, current afairs programs etc, discussing the issue of "islam", about to what extent these actions are representative of Islam, of moderate and extreme interpretatijns of islam, about how it is up to Australian Muslims to make clear their stand, as if by being part of the same religion, along with 1.3 billion others, with some small group of terrorists, they are somehow responsible, but on the other hand, when alleged Jewish fanatics, like the ones that rule Israel, destroy entire countries, these same leaders and media arseholes cheer them on, do not ask Australian jews to dissociate themselves etc, and when alleged Christian fanatics, like Bush, destroy entire countries, we take part

                        "The term itself was invented by the islamist group hiztbultahrir
                        (sorry about the spelling, please dont kill me) in the early 1990s.
                        It has since been defined, in particular by the runymede trust, in
                        such a way that ANY form of criticism of Islam or individual muslims
                        themselves."

                        So you obviously did not read the article that Rupen sent. The article was very moderate, and made a strong point of distinguishing between Islamophobia and criticism of Islam, or Islamic states. Maybe you ought to say what you think is wromng with the article instead

                        "It has come to the ridiculous when people die over largely inoccuous
                        cartoons made in Denmark."

                        Oh I suppose when several Muslim countries are being destroyed by brutal bloody occupations by "Judeo-Christian" countries, and then some jerk-off in trendy Denmark produces "cartoons" which show Mohammed with a ticking bomb as a head, making the rather extreme Islamophobic statement that Islam = terrorism, well I suppose that's "innocuous". As I asked - and was never answered - when we had that debate, if it was a cartoon of Moses, rather than say Sharon, launching helicopter gunships into a refugee camp, would you not consider that to be anti-Jewish, rather than anti-Zionist? I would.

                        No, it is not something people should die over, in the very rare occasions, the exceptional cases blown up by every islamophobe the world over, where they did. Not to mention that most people who died as a result were the Muslim demonstrators themselves, shot by the cops of repressive "Muslim" states.

                        MK


                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                      • Michael Karadjis
                        ... From: Kisan To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:34 PM Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Confronting the Monolith
                        Message 11 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
                        • 0 Attachment
                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: Kisan
                          To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                          Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:34 PM
                          Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Confronting the Monolith Islamophobia and Osamaism

                          "It is interesting that in this email icecreamhands mentions hizb-u-
                          tahrir as founding the terminology of islamophobia and this in
                          response to a post to Rupen Savoulian from mediamonitors.
                          Media monitors itself happens to be one of a number of hizb-u-tahrir
                          dominated websites:
                          Note that one of its chief authors is Abid Ullah Jan who is a senior
                          Islamist intellectual.
                          See him writing in praise of the Khilafah (that passion of hizb-u-
                          tahrir) here on mediamonitors:
                          http://world.mediamonitors.net/headlines/khilafah_the_root_of_unackno
                          wledged_terrorism
                          Another generously featured writer is Yamin Zakaria a prolific Hizb-
                          u-Tahrir author and sometimes spokesman.
                          Here he writes an article on "the idiocy of gender equality":
                          http://usa.mediamonitors.net/headlines/idiocy_of_gender_equality_the_
                          case_of_the_woman_imam
                          Such a site is used by Rupen to educate us about "islamophobia". Ie:
                          the Islamists define for us what Islamophobia is. A bit of the fox
                          guarding the hen house type of approach I'd say."


                          (Followed by massive chunks of the Hizb-u-Tahrir program)

                          Now, the New York Times is owned by super duper capitalists, right? Yet there are often very useful articles in the New York Times. Wouldn't it be better to actually read the article that Rupen sent, and comment on the contents? I say that because I read it, and found it very moderate, and indeed it criticised attempts to use the term 'Islamophobia' to silence criticism of Islam or Muslim governments etc. What exactly in the rather well-written article do you think reflects the Hizb-u-Tahrir program?

                          (then after hundreds of items of the Hizb-u-Tahrir program):

                          "Now, we can see from the above that this is a rather fundamentalist organisation which seeks to institute an apartheid religious dictatorship upon the world."

                          Ah yeh it does seem to be rather an extreme crowd. For example, you quote Article 186:

                          "The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is based
                          on something other than Islam or which applies non-Islamic rules.
                          This includes international organisations like the United Nations,
                          the International Court of Justice, the International Monetary Fund
                          and the World Bank, and regional organisations like the Arab League."

                          Right. So do you know of any Muslim country that has ever applied anything like this? That ahs refused to be a member of the UN, or the Arab League etc, due to this alleged interpretation of alleged Islam? And since the answer is no, I wonder if that relfects on the degree of irrelevance of such spooky views in the real world?

                          MK



                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        • Michael Karadjis
                          ... From: icecreamhands2006 To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 10:40 PM Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Dixons lies and
                          Message 12 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
                          • 0 Attachment
                            ----- Original Message -----
                            From: icecreamhands2006
                            To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                            Sent: Sunday, October 01, 2006 10:40 PM
                            Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Dixons lies and inverted racism

                            "Most people in the arab and muslim communities object to terrorism and communalism, some even have left-wing views."

                            Yeh so what's the problem? Since we also oppose terrorism and communalism, why do you see any contradiction here?

                            "But you wouldn't know it if you read GLW, the Socialist Alliance
                            continually give credence to halfwits like Keysar Trad and other
                            islamists who the muslim community have long disassociated with
                            (whose politics have many simmilarities with Hansonism or Family
                            Firstism)."

                            I'm perplexed about this nasty little slander against Keysar Trad, a well-known and respected leader of the Muslim community, who does not support "terrorism amd communalism", who has been instrumental in getting these mobilisations happening against the recent war etc. I have nothing against pseudonyms, but wow it's brave when pseudonyms attack known people and call them names like Hansonites and half-wits and supporters of terrorism, without a shred of evidence to back such ugly little slanders

                            "Halfwits who are like a broken record in their narrative
                            of victimhood, that has been disasterous for muslims around the
                            world."

                            Actually when Keysar spoke at a recent GL forum on the war, he did not sound like someone pushing "victimhood". He on the contrary seemed quite pleased with Hizbullah's success in fighting off Israel's murderous aggression. No playing the victim there. But then I suppose to any Islamophobe (even though they are a myth), suporting the heroic Lebanese resisatnce against terrorism equates to terrorism. Very 1984ish language.



                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Kisan
                            Karadjis: I wonder if that relfects on the degree of irrelevance of such spooky views in the real world? Hizb-u-tahrir is a major Islamic group. It attracted
                            Message 13 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
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                              Karadjis: I
                              wonder if that relfects on the degree of irrelevance of such spooky
                              views in the
                              real world?

                              Hizb-u-tahrir is a major Islamic group. It attracted 8,000 to it's
                              annual meeting in Birmingham.

                              Ref:
                              Hizb's annual conference in Birmingham last year attracted about
                              8,000, by far the most for a Muslim organisation.
                              http://www.world-crisis.com/news/1061_0_1_0_M/

                              This makes it the most popular Muslim organisation in Britain
                              according to the number of people it can draw to its annual
                              conference. Hardly an irrelevant spooky group.

                              How many does the National Front get at annual meetings? But you
                              still take them seriously though?

                              It attracted over 600 to a meeting in Sydney I recall reading some
                              time back. A totally fringe and irrelevant group cannot draw such
                              numbers.

                              It has very nasty goals and aims for the overthrow of Islamic
                              Governments and the reformation of the Khilafah. It is illegal in 20
                              countries. None of this would be possibly understood by greenleft
                              readers who would merely find it under "Muslim scapegoating" by the
                              Govt according to the article I posted from Green Left. This could
                              be part of why it's banned in 20 countries, no? But if Australia
                              looked at banning it it must be purely down to "Muslim scapegoating"
                              no? well yes you would get that impression if you relied on green
                              left for your information and opinions.

                              Read their constitution in full and understand what they mean and
                              propose. It is not "alleged interpretation of alleged Islam" but
                              clearly written and factual. This double use of alleged seems to be
                              an effort to undermine and ridicule the clear evidence available
                              using merely the alleged word as the tool for the job.
                              If these things are inaccurate point them out but merely using a
                              characteristic smear job of "alleged" won't do the job.

                              Read the whole constitution and more about them and then find out
                              who your organisation is giving unchallenged media space to (as in
                              the article I quoted).

                              Islamophobia is a technique used to shut down debate. If I called
                              you Businessophobic or Westophobic over your writings would it be a
                              legitimate use of language? It would be a form of abusive language.

                              You of course like to make out that even if a group with an annual
                              meeting with 8,000 attendees in England says something it in its
                              constitution it should be considered as "irrelevance of spooky
                              views" and "alleged" even when it's clearly written in black and
                              white and anyone noticing it "islamophobic".

                              A phobia is a medical disorder and indicates the person suffering
                              from it is in some way crazy. It is a form of abusive language and
                              is certainly used (by you amongst others) to shut down debate. There
                              is even a website from your members and comrades called
                              Islamophobiawatch.

                              Kisan.




                              --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Michael Karadjis"
                              <mkaradjis@...> wrote:
                              >
                              > ----- Original Message -----
                              > From: Kisan
                              > To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                              > Sent: Monday, October 02, 2006 8:34 PM
                              > Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Confronting the Monolith
                              Islamophobia and Osamaism
                              >
                              > "It is interesting that in this email icecreamhands mentions hizb-
                              u-
                              > tahrir as founding the terminology of islamophobia and this in
                              > response to a post to Rupen Savoulian from mediamonitors.
                              > Media monitors itself happens to be one of a number of hizb-u-
                              tahrir
                              > dominated websites:
                              > Note that one of its chief authors is Abid Ullah Jan who is a
                              senior
                              > Islamist intellectual.
                              > See him writing in praise of the Khilafah (that passion of hizb-u-
                              > tahrir) here on mediamonitors:
                              >
                              http://world.mediamonitors.net/headlines/khilafah_the_root_of_unackno
                              > wledged_terrorism
                              > Another generously featured writer is Yamin Zakaria a prolific
                              Hizb-
                              > u-Tahrir author and sometimes spokesman.
                              > Here he writes an article on "the idiocy of gender equality":
                              >
                              http://usa.mediamonitors.net/headlines/idiocy_of_gender_equality_the_
                              > case_of_the_woman_imam
                              > Such a site is used by Rupen to educate us about "islamophobia".
                              Ie:
                              > the Islamists define for us what Islamophobia is. A bit of the fox
                              > guarding the hen house type of approach I'd say."
                              >
                              >
                              > (Followed by massive chunks of the Hizb-u-Tahrir program)
                              >
                              > Now, the New York Times is owned by super duper capitalists,
                              right? Yet there are often very useful articles in the New York
                              Times. Wouldn't it be better to actually read the article that Rupen
                              sent, and comment on the contents? I say that because I read it, and
                              found it very moderate, and indeed it criticised attempts to use the
                              term 'Islamophobia' to silence criticism of Islam or Muslim
                              governments etc. What exactly in the rather well-written article do
                              you think reflects the Hizb-u-Tahrir program?
                              >
                              > (then after hundreds of items of the Hizb-u-Tahrir program):
                              >
                              > "Now, we can see from the above that this is a rather
                              fundamentalist organisation which seeks to institute an apartheid
                              religious dictatorship upon the world."
                              >
                              > Ah yeh it does seem to be rather an extreme crowd. For example,
                              you quote Article 186:
                              >
                              > "The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is
                              based
                              > on something other than Islam or which applies non-Islamic rules.
                              > This includes international organisations like the United Nations,
                              > the International Court of Justice, the International Monetary
                              Fund
                              > and the World Bank, and regional organisations like the Arab
                              League."
                              >
                              > Right. So do you know of any Muslim country that has ever applied
                              anything like this? That ahs refused to be a member of the UN, or
                              the Arab League etc, due to this alleged interpretation of alleged
                              Islam? And since the answer is no, I wonder if that relfects on the
                              degree of irrelevance of such spooky views in the real world?
                              >
                              > MK
                              >
                              >
                              >
                              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              >
                            • Kisan
                              ... based ... Fund ... League. ... anything like this? No. They re corrupt insufficiently Muslim Governments according to hizb that need to be overthrown.
                              Message 14 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
                              • 0 Attachment
                                > "The State is forbidden to belong to any organisation that is
                                based
                                > on something other than Islam or which applies non-Islamic rules.
                                > This includes international organisations like the United Nations,
                                > the International Court of Justice, the International Monetary
                                Fund
                                > and the World Bank, and regional organisations like the Arab
                                League."
                                >
                                > Right. So do you know of any Muslim country that has ever applied
                                anything like this?

                                No. They're corrupt insufficiently Muslim Governments according to
                                hizb that need to be overthrown.

                                This is one of the reasons hizb is banned in 20 countries as it
                                seeks to overthrow nation states.

                                Afghanistan under the Taliban went in that direction but only
                                slightly. Hizb is far more fundamentalist than even the Taliban
                                according to the above principle and many more of their articles.

                                Has any any Muslim country ever applied anything like this?

                                Well yes, go back a long way and the Caliphate largely did act
                                within the articles set out in the hizb-u-tahrir constitution. They
                                draw their principles from Islamic tradition, scripture and sharia
                                and if they can be convinced that anything they say is unIslamic
                                then they will remove that from their constitution. Problem is
                                that's hard to do.

                                Kisan.
                              • Rupen Savoulian
                                I ve been offline for the past few days, and I m a bit baffled (though not entirely surprised) at the reaction to the article Confronting the Monolith . I
                                Message 15 of 23 , Oct 2, 2006
                                • 0 Attachment
                                  I've been offline for the past few days, and I'm a bit baffled
                                  (though not entirely surprised) at the reaction to the article
                                  "Confronting the Monolith".

                                  I think Kisan has missed the point I was trying to make, an issue
                                  that got lost amidst all the hoopla - Islamophobia is a
                                  consequential development of the underlying anti-Arab racism that
                                  pervades Australian society. Anti-Arab racism obviously preceded
                                  Sept 11, and has its origins in the US imperialist drive to colonise
                                  the Middle East, along with its backers, the Australian ruling
                                  class. What makes anti-Arab racism and its Islamophobic mutation
                                  worrying, is its acceptance by wide sections of the political Left.

                                  I think the following Green Left article is quite useful in this
                                  regard:

                                  Islamophobia and imperialist wars:
                                  http://www.greenleft.org.au/back/2006/678/678p3b.htm

                                  Every time some form of racist material makes the air waves, the
                                  racist provocateur always throws their hands up in mock despair, and
                                  cries in wounded tones "my freedom of speech was violated". When
                                  John Howard back in 1988 said there were "too many Asians" in
                                  Australians, and he was meet by protests, he used the 'freedom of
                                  speech' canard as his defence. Freedom of speech has become the
                                  first refugee of all sorts of scoundrels - UFO nutcases, charlatan
                                  psychics, creationists, Holocaust deniers, racists and xenophobes of
                                  all types who wish to spout their nonsense without any supporting
                                  evidence. Only recently we had an anti-semitic troll join this
                                  discussion group and spew hateful rubbish about Jews. Now to make
                                  this clear, I *do not* endorse all the precepts of Judaism, I am
                                  *atheist*, and I recognise that anti-semitism is a serious problem.
                                  So I think that removing the anti-semite from the discussion group
                                  was the right thing to do, without any bogus regard for 'freedom of
                                  speech'. No doubt the recently removed troll will complain to his
                                  mates about the 'suppression' of free speech in Australia. I'm sure
                                  David Irving is complaining about the suppression of "free speech"
                                  about the Holocaust. Yes I know, Nemo is going to take up the
                                  cudgels in defence of UFOs, and if others wish to have the debate,
                                  be my guest, but I'm not going to waste my time.

                                  The December 2005 race riots in Cronulla beach were justified by all
                                  the right-wing racist commentators on Sydney radio and media
                                  outlets on the basis of 'freedom of speech'. Really, they were just
                                  expressing their viewpoint that all Lebs/Wogs are scum and should
                                  piss off back to where they came from; just 'freedom of speech'.
                                  Throwing bottles at anyone who 'looked middle Eastern' was an
                                  understandable but regrettable overreaction when practising their
                                  freedom of speech; poor National Front darlings, it must be
                                  frustrating bottling up their genuine feelings.

                                  The Australian corporate media has a long history of blaming non-
                                  English groups for crime in this country - there are thousands of
                                  examples from the TV tabloid programs masquerading as 'current
                                  affairs' that routinely target Lebanese, and generally Arabic
                                  people, for causing crime. The issue of crime is always ethnicised,
                                  and generally the migrant groups (Arabic, Middle Eastern) are
                                  routinely targeted. One particularly disgusting example was a 'hit
                                  list' provided by one of these programs, listing all the ethnic
                                  groups more 'prone' to violent crime - at the top was Lebanese,
                                  followed by Turkish, Assyrian, Chinese, Vietnamese; and the list
                                  went on. The main thrust of the report was to denigrate Middle
                                  Eastern migrants, and Muslim migrants in particular. Interspersed
                                  with pictures of the main mosque in Lakemba and women wearing the
                                  hijab, the reporter asked 'do we want people like this in our
                                  country?', 'look how badly they treat their women', 'they don't want
                                  to integrate' and so on. well this is a quite typical example of a
                                  racist media whipping up exactly what I've been trying to talk
                                  about, Islamophobia as a direct outgrowth of the underlying anti-
                                  Arab and anti-immigrant racism that permeates Australian society.
                                  And it is in this climate that racist hate crimes occur against
                                  people of Arab/Middle Eastern background.

                                  In fact there is an excellent book precisely on this subject written
                                  by an Australian academic, Peter Manning, called 'Us and Them'. No
                                  the author is not Muslim, does not advocate a fundamentalist Islamic
                                  society, does not support covering unveiled women, violent jihad, or
                                  any other precept of Islam:

                                  http://www.randomhouse.com.au/Books/Default.aspx?
                                  Page=Book&ID=9780091836931

                                  Perhaps Kisan did not read the article, I am providing some passages
                                  below. Particularly when the author describes how he can portray
                                  Christianity as a backward, violent, savage religion that advocates
                                  the suppression of infidels:

                                  (Begin quote)
                                  "The Holy Bible contains numerous verses that can be interpreted in
                                  such a way that makes it appear that Christianity advocates
                                  murder, intolerance, slavery, misogyny, and a long list of other
                                  evils. Consider the following passages:

                                  Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send
                                  peace, but a sword. -- (Matthew 10:34)

                                  But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over
                                  them, bring hither, and slay [them] before me. -- (Luke 19:27)

                                  And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and
                                  hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce
                                  anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel. And Moses said
                                  unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were
                                  joined unto Baalpeor. -- (Numbers 25:4-5)

                                  Ye shall utterly destroy all the places, wherein the nations which
                                  ye shall possess served their gods, upon the high mountains, and
                                  upon the hills, and under every green tree: And ye shall overthrow
                                  their altars, and break their pillars, and burn their groves with
                                  fire; and ye shall hew down the graven images of their gods, and
                                  destroy the names of them out of that place. -- (Deuteronomy 12:2-3)

                                  If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter,
                                  or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which [is] as thine own
                                  soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods,
                                  which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers; [Namely], of the
                                  gods of the people which [are] round about you, nigh unto thee, or
                                  far off from thee, from the [one] end of the earth even unto the
                                  [other] end of the earth; Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor
                                  hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt
                                  thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him: But thou shalt surely
                                  kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death,
                                  and afterwards the hand of all the people. And thou shalt stone him
                                  with stones, that he die; because he hath sought to thrust thee away
                                  from the LORD thy God, which brought thee out of the land of Egypt,
                                  from the house of bondage. -- (Deuteronomy 13:6-10) "

                                  (end quote)

                                  I can quote to you reams of passages from the book of Isaiah, a book
                                  written when the Jews were enslaved by the Babylonians. It
                                  contains numerous vengeful, bloodthirstry exhortations for the Jews
                                  to destroy their tormentors. There are numerous passages calling
                                  for the extermination of the Assyrians, Babylonians, Egyptians,
                                  Moabites, Syrians - the list goes on. Well, if I quote these
                                  statements in an attempt to conclude that all Christians are a bunch
                                  of uniquely violent, uncompromising enemies of the world, I am sure
                                  there would be howls of protests from all Christian groups, and
                                  rightly so.

                                  Well, Christianity is part of the Australian ruling class ideology,
                                  and its fundamentalist adherents wish to reverse the gains of a
                                  secular society and implement a religiously-based curriculum in
                                  schools, a religiously-based legal system, among other things. I
                                  think this is more disturbing that Hizb-u-Tahrir. George Bush calls
                                  himself a Christian, tells the world that 'god told him to attack
                                  Iraq and Afghanistan' and we all recognise that he reflects a
                                  disturbing fundamentalist Chrisitianity. Hugo Chavez is also a
                                  Christian, coming from a liberation theology background, who fights
                                  for the poor and dispossessed, and challenges the US imperialist
                                  predator in Latin America. I know which Christian I prefer.

                                  Again, I am trying to make a simple point - it is useless to point
                                  out "how bad the Muslims are" in a society like Australia which is
                                  saturated with all kinds of home-grown superstitious, mystical
                                  thinking. The United States, the most developed capitalist society
                                  on earth with all its scientific and technological resources, is
                                  swamped with all kinds of irrational, superstitious thinking. But
                                  when people in Australia talk about religious fundamentalism, the
                                  discussion always centres on Islamic fundamentalism,
                                  their 'backwardness' in relation to our 'Western advanced values'.
                                  Denunciations of Islamic fundamentalism normally end up as crude,
                                  arrogant justifications for US/Aust imperialism, our 'Anglo values'
                                  as opposed to those 'retrograde Middle Easteners'. And this ideology
                                  is exactly the ideological cover for imperialist wars in the Middle
                                  East, whether the US in Iraq or Israel's ongoing colonisation of
                                  Palestine. US imperialism brought the 'advanced Western values' to
                                  Iraq and Afghanistan with bombs and bullets.

                                  I am glad that Kisan circulated the program of the Hizb-u-Tahrir. It
                                  was very interesting, informative, and totally irrelevant to the
                                  point I am making. The article I circulated made no mention of Hizb-
                                  u-Tahrir, or founding an Islamic caliphate, or advocating the burqa,
                                  or any of the reactionary aspects of religion. Is Kisan suggesting
                                  that I support Hizb-u-Tahrir? No I do not. Is Kisan suggesting that
                                  Muslims are more extremist, prone to violence than Christians? Well,
                                  Bush and his cabal of neoconservatives call themselves Christian,
                                  and they have launched aggressive, expansionist wars, so I do not
                                  think that Muslims are more 'dangerous' than people of other faith
                                  groups. Is Kisan suggesting that Islam is inherently violent? Well,
                                  Islam is no more or less violent than other major faith groups, and
                                  I could make the case that Christianity's history is littered with
                                  the corpses of its victims. Hindu supremacist groups have killed
                                  their Muslim victims throughout India, in spite of the popular
                                  perception that Hinduism is a religion of tolerance and peace. I
                                  think Kisan is making the simplistic equation that defending Muslims
                                  and people of Middle Eastern background is equal to supporting
                                  Islamic fundamentalist groups.

                                  No faith-based belief system is beyond criticism. yes I think all
                                  faith-based belief systems should be criticised. However, I think
                                  that Islam has come under fire in Australia, not because of a
                                  healthy debate about religion, secularism and science. Islam is
                                  under fire because the economic/political ruling class in Australia
                                  is whipping up another brand of racism and xenophobia, this time
                                  anti-Arab racism and its permutation, Islamophobia. The Australian
                                  ruling elite is not in the least bit interested in a frank, honest
                                  debate about religion, secularism and science education. What the
                                  ruling class here is doing is continuing their long tradition of
                                  whipping up hatred of migrants and xenophobia - at the turn of the
                                  19th/20th century it was Irish Catholics who were the outsiders,
                                  then all the various non-English speaking migrants group had their
                                  turn - Yugoslavs, Chinese, Vietnamese, 'yellow peril', Turkish,
                                  Greek , and over the last 20 or 30 years, it's the Arabic person who
                                  is the outsider.

                                  I did find the following statement in the original article
                                  that, "when Islamophobes conflate Osamaism with Islam and simply
                                  blame the religion, one of the consequences is shutting down
                                  discussion of the social, political and economic reasons and
                                  motivations behind many of the conflicts taking place around the
                                  world today". I think this is the fundamental misunderstanding that
                                  unites Islamophobes - ignoring the political and economic reality of
                                  US/Aust imperialism and blaming a particular ethnic/religious group.
                                  And for the record, no I am not Muslism, non-Jew, non-christian, in
                                  short an atheist and socialist. No I do not want any Islamic
                                  caliphate, or covering of unveiled women, or compulsion when it
                                  comes to religion.

                                  I hope I was able to clarify my thoughts.

                                  In solidarity
                                  Rupen Savoulian


                                  --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "Kisan"
                                  <mailbhejna@...> wrote:

                                  No. They're corrupt insufficiently Muslim Governments according to
                                  > hizb that need to be overthrown.

                                  > This is one of the reasons hizb is banned in 20 countries as it
                                  > seeks to overthrow nation states.
                                  >
                                  > Afghanistan under the Taliban went in that direction but only
                                  > slightly. Hizb is far more fundamentalist than even the Taliban
                                  > according to the above principle and many more of their articles.
                                  >
                                  > Has any any Muslim country ever applied anything like this?
                                  >
                                  > Well yes, go back a long way and the Caliphate largely did act
                                  > within the articles set out in the hizb-u-tahrir constitution.
                                  They
                                  > draw their principles from Islamic tradition, scripture and sharia
                                  > and if they can be convinced that anything they say is unIslamic
                                  > then they will remove that from their constitution. Problem is
                                  > that's hard to do.
                                  >
                                  > Kisan.
                                  >
                                • icecreamhands2006
                                  ... muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then taken up again to 33 (I c an t keep track), while rapist-murderers, who finish their victims
                                  Message 16 of 23 , Oct 3, 2006
                                  • 0 Attachment
                                    >
                                    > - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a largely
                                    muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then taken
                                    up again to 33 (I c an't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who
                                    finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly
                                    from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years as
                                    a rule?
                                    >
                                    Ah no. The sentence you were referring to was for someone who was
                                    charged along with the rapes, denial of liberty, abduction, and
                                    other weapons offenses got a sentence of as you say 55, 28 or 32
                                    years. This individual is unique in his category of offenders, if
                                    you want to make an ethnic comparison you would have to wait for the
                                    sentencing of another scumbag who committed a simmilar offense. Are
                                    you really arguing that this individual shouldn't have been given
                                    such a sentence?

                                    > - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of
                                    the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1
                                    through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the
                                    anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even
                                    of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to tell
                                    us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani
                                    brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy
                                    brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never
                                    the "notorious Anglo brothers"
                                    >

                                    what the papers are referring to is ethnicity, which is
                                    racism..nothing to do with religion. As an aside the "cultural
                                    timebomb" (they didn't know it was wrong because of the culture they
                                    came from) defense for the "notorious Pakistani brothers" did more
                                    to fuel anti-muslim prejudice and racism than anything the SMH wrote.
                                    As to your previous point about comparative sentences, the Murphy
                                    brothers are sentenced "never to be released", while Skaf gets out
                                    in 55-28-33 years, where's the justice in that?

                                    > - top government leaders tell us that if abortion is too
                                    widespread, Australia will turn into a "Muslim nation"
                                    >
                                    It's called politically opportunist paranoia and racism.

                                    > - any international crime carried out by alleged Muslim fanatics,
                                    such as Bali etc, is inevitably followed by top Australian
                                    government leaders, Opposition leaders, media articles, talk shows,
                                    current afairs programs etc, discussing the issue of "islam", about
                                    to what extent these actions are representative of Islam, of
                                    moderate and extreme interpretatijns of islam, about how it is up to
                                    Australian Muslims to make clear their stand, as if by being part of
                                    the same religion, along with 1.3 billion others, with some small
                                    group of terrorists, they are somehow responsible, but on the other
                                    hand, when alleged Jewish fanatics, like the ones that rule Israel,
                                    destroy entire countries, these same leaders and media arseholes
                                    cheer them on, do not ask Australian jews to dissociate themselves
                                    etc, and when alleged Christian fanatics, like Bush, destroy entire
                                    countries, we take part
                                    >
                                    Ditto.


                                    > Oh I suppose when several Muslim countries are being destroyed by
                                    brutal bloody occupations by "Judeo-Christian" countries, and then
                                    some jerk-off in trendy Denmark produces "cartoons" which show
                                    Mohammed with a ticking bomb as a head, making the rather extreme
                                    Islamophobic statement that Islam = terrorism, well I suppose
                                    that's "innocuous". As I asked - and was never answered - when we
                                    had that debate, if it was a cartoon of Moses, rather than say
                                    Sharon, launching helicopter gunships into a refugee camp, would you
                                    not consider that to be anti-Jewish, rather than anti-Zionist? I
                                    would.
                                    >

                                    Answer: Moses is a major character in the Koran as well as in the
                                    Torah, so it is a stupid comparison (and yes, just as I think
                                    Muhammed should be satirised, so should a murderer like Moses and
                                    Abraham a bloke who sacrificed his own son - they should be subject
                                    to criticism and satirisation). As I said the cartoons were largely
                                    inoccuous bar two (the one you mentioned and the virgins). The
                                    cartoonist who drew it said that the message of that cartoon was a
                                    reaction to muslims blowing up their faith. I prefer to quote
                                    Muhammed from one of the cartoons,'relax brothers it is only a crude
                                    drawing by a non-believing dane'. And no being victims of
                                    imperialism does not justify threats of beheading, nor should it
                                    curtail the free discussion of religion and religious figures
                                    including satirisation.
                                    BFI
                                  • Michael Karadjis
                                    ... largely ... taken ... as a rule? ... the ... tell ... Well, to begin with your last point and go backwards, I would have thought the difference between
                                    Message 17 of 23 , Oct 5, 2006
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                                      --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                                      <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                                      >
                                      > (MK):
                                      > > - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a
                                      largely
                                      > muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then
                                      taken
                                      > up again to 33 (I can't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who
                                      > finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly
                                      > from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years
                                      as a rule?
                                      > >
                                      BFA:
                                      > Ah no. The sentence you were referring to was for someone who was
                                      > charged along with the rapes, denial of liberty, abduction, and
                                      > other weapons offenses got a sentence of as you say 55, 28 or 32
                                      > years. This individual is unique in his category of offenders, if
                                      > you want to make an ethnic comparison you would have to wait for
                                      the
                                      > sentencing of another scumbag who committed a simmilar offense. Are
                                      > you really arguing that this individual shouldn't have been given
                                      > such a sentence?
                                      >
                                      (MK):
                                      > > - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of
                                      > the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1
                                      > through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the
                                      > anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even
                                      > of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to
                                      tell
                                      > us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani
                                      > brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy
                                      > brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never
                                      > the "notorious Anglo brothers"
                                      > >
                                      BFA:
                                      > As to your previous point about comparative sentences, the Murphy
                                      > brothers are sentenced "never to be released", while Skaf gets out
                                      > in 55-28-33 years, where's the justice in that?
                                      >

                                      Well, to begin with your last point and go backwards, I would have
                                      thought the difference between "the Murphy brothers" and their Aussie
                                      gang and Skaf and his "Middle eastern gang" was that the former
                                      group, after putting the young woman through a similarly brutal
                                      ordeal, then massacred her at the end of it, whereas Skaf and co did
                                      not.

                                      I won't here buy into the issue of whether or not some heinous crimes
                                      should be given sentences 'never to be released' or not. And
                                      obviously I am on shaky grounds comparing sentences, since the
                                      circumstances in each case need to be taken into account. However, I
                                      do not think I am saying anything remarkable, or anything that is not
                                      simple common sense and received wisdom, in saying that a gang that
                                      rapes and murders would presumably be given a much more severe
                                      sentence than one that raped but did not then slaughter the victim.
                                      It seems pretty bloody obvious to me. I certainly wouldn't wish any
                                      relative or friend of mine to suffer the kind of brutal ordeal that
                                      Skaf and co put the young woman through, but if I had to choose I
                                      still think I would prefer my daughter/sister/friend etc to come out
                                      of it alive. So would she. That's why you can have a young woman,
                                      several years later, on the front page of the SMH saying "fuck you"
                                      to her rapists in the courtroom, blown up, in this case only, because
                                      the rapists were Muslims/Pakistanis/Lebanese/'Middle Eastern
                                      appearance' etc. And good for her, even if most other young women
                                      won't get his chance.

                                      Therefore, the apparently large difference in sentences you refer to
                                      is entirely logical in this case. However, the phrase 'never to be
                                      released' was essentially an opinion of the judge that has no legal
                                      binding; soon these guys, these scumbags to use your term for Skaf
                                      (and I don't disagree in either case), will begin applying for an
                                      actual release date. And therefore, this 'never to be released' may
                                      well mean some of these brutal killers get out before Skaf serves his
                                      32 years for rape.

                                      Several years ago, there was a monstrous abduction/rape/murder of two
                                      15 year olds down the south coast (yes BFA, all these "scumbags" also
                                      do things such as "deny liberty", carry out "abduction" etc, not only
                                      Muslim offenders). The courtroom cheered when they were given 35
                                      years. They cheered because it was regarded as a particularly long
                                      sentence. I would have agreed with them (ie, not that it was terribly
                                      long, but that such a sentnece was worth cheering, and very
                                      appropriate). Now Skaf however got 55 years for rape, yes brutal
                                      certainly, but where the young woman was freed to tell her story, and
                                      try to rebuild her life. TWENTY YEARS LONGER than these real scumbags
                                      got. After appeals, it went down to 28 years, then up again to 32
                                      years. That is, he gets to spend a period in prison just a couple of
                                      years less than these brutal child-rape-killers. And these killers
                                      got a relatively long sentence for their kind of crime.

                                      Several years ago, a bloke called Manny caused some storm when he was
                                      released after 8 years of a 12 year rape sentence. He was released
                                      based on the state's own laws, in which you can get early release by
                                      becoming a dobber for the prison screws. But his original 12 year
                                      sentence was not only for rape, but attempted murder, of his 15 year
                                      old victim. In fact, as far as he was concerned, he had killed her.
                                      Just that, lucky for her, and unknown to him, she didn't die. Yet for
                                      that he got only 12 years, and was released after 8. Yet you ask if I
                                      think a "scumbag" like Skaf should serve any less than 32 years, when
                                      there was no attempt at slaughtering the victim. Manny, of course,
                                      was no Muslim or mIddle easterner.

                                      Hopefully you understand the implications for rape victims when
                                      courts pass sentences for rape that are equal to or even exceed
                                      sentences for rape-murder. From the point of view of the scumbag, it
                                      makes more sense to try to avoid capture by killing his victim.

                                      Yes that is the practical implication of these absolutely outrageous
                                      sentences given to Skaf and his gang for rape. It encourgaes rapists
                                      to kill their victims.

                                      But the issue was not originally a comparison of sentences as such,
                                      because I think all these points are rather obvious and unremarkable,
                                      I just had to answer you because you seemed confused about why
                                      the "Murphy brothers" should get more than the "Pakistani brothers."
                                      But the real issue is why such an outrage. And the reason was that
                                      Skaf and co were Muslims/Middle easterners etc

                                      OK, you'll say but there are other cases where they don't get such
                                      sentences etc. Obviously not every judgement is affected by racism or
                                      islamophobia in the same way.

                                      But surely, the reason for this absurd, outrageous sentence was that
                                      it was part of a gigantic racist media-and-politician beat up
                                      about "Middle eastern rape", or "Muslim rape", based on a few cases
                                      several years ago in southwest Sydney. Where zillions of words of
                                      pure bullshit were blurted out that alleged there was something
                                      different about these particular several gang rapes compared to all
                                      the other gang rapes that have occurred in Australia over the last
                                      200 years, been a quintessential part of sexist and violent
                                      Australian male life, heroised in pubs and prisons, and which have
                                      often ended in massacre. It was alleged that by engaging in the
                                      practice of gang rape, that these particular groups of Australians
                                      were not reflecting the fact that they grew up in Australia, where
                                      such acts are common, but were reflecting something about
                                      their "Middle eastern" or "Muslim" backgrounds. You see, over there,
                                      where they come from, they don't respect women, whereas we in
                                      Australia do. Never mind that there were also a number of gang rapes
                                      by footballers around the same time, which of course got an entirely
                                      different treatment (was the woman really telling the truth? what?
                                      our footballers? they wouldn't do such things!).

                                      And so, in that racist, anti-Middle eastern, anti-Muslim atmosphere
                                      that built up, it was demanded of the courts, by the media and scum
                                      politicans, that such "scumbags" would need to be taught a lesson
                                      in 'Australian values", that we do not do such things here, and so
                                      they should be given extraordinarily long sentences to teach them
                                      that lesson, despite the potentially murderous consequences of this
                                      dirty game.

                                      We even now have a book out by Paul Sheehan, that inveterate racist
                                      and Islamophobe, who writes for the trendy-liberal SMH, specifically
                                      on Muslim rapes in Australia! He may be dismissed as a crank, but SMH
                                      is one of Australia's leading dailies, and a "serious" one at that.
                                      All part of this mythical, non-existent Islamphobia.

                                      And of course, now the outrage that not enough of the Middle eastern
                                      revenge attackers the day after the racist Cronullla white riot have
                                      been brought to the courts. So they just had to go out of their way
                                      to make the numbers of arrests even, about 50 each for the white
                                      racist attackers and the M-E revenge-attackers. We are so nice and
                                      fair, aren't we? Never mind that there were 5000 at the white riot,
                                      and only 200 revenge attackers. Work out the stats yourself.
                                    • Mato Ska
                                      Michael, It seems as if you are jumping the gun here a little. Before you can presume to critique society s Islamophobia as an causual factor to increased
                                      Message 18 of 23 , Oct 5, 2006
                                      • 0 Attachment
                                        Michael,

                                        It seems as if you are jumping the gun here a little. Before you can presume
                                        to critique society's Islamophobia as an causual factor to increased
                                        criminal penalties, you really need to do a more exhaustive study. A
                                        comparison of two individual cases does not establish any significant
                                        indicator as to the reason for the verdict or the sentencing. If it is
                                        racism that you are pinpointing as the cause, this is something quite
                                        different from what you call Islamophobia, but you seem to almost morph the
                                        two as if there are no differences. If you have ever been inside, you would
                                        find many inconsistencies among prisoners regarding their sentences. These
                                        differences are not caused by the newspapers or the attitudes of the jurists
                                        or the general public. Rather, the variation of sentences for the same
                                        crimes are caused by sentencing guidelines that enable the judge to use his
                                        or/her discretion. Here in the US you may often find rapists or child
                                        molesters given more time then murderers. Go figure.

                                        There is unquestionably much to be concerned about regarding the
                                        circumvention of the due process of the criminal justice system here in the
                                        US. The danger comes not simply in the sentencing guidelines, but in the
                                        rules of evidence and the protections afforded to defendants under existing
                                        law and Supreme Court interpretation. Phobia is simply another word for
                                        fear. How much of an impact it has on anyone's decision-making processes
                                        depends on the individual and the situation.

                                        You seem to want the press to not be the press. How are we going to change
                                        it? State control may work, but it hardly affords the opportunity to examine
                                        the facts. You also seem to want to choose the headlines, as if they have
                                        some overreaching impact on the consciousness of society or the verdicts of
                                        the juries. How are you proposing we do that without attempting to define
                                        the content of the articles as well?

                                        Criticism is on target when the seeds of that criticism point to some viable
                                        solution. Much of the time all that is being done is criticizing for the
                                        sake of criticizing. There are real reforms needed in the criminal justice
                                        system, but they will not occur based on denying the impact of criminal
                                        actions because of the religion or ethnicity of the perpetrator.
                                        http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/elders-rape-sentence-to-be-reviewed/2005/09/27/1127804477978.html

                                        Mato Ska


                                        ----- Original Message -----
                                        From: "Michael Karadjis" <mkaradjis@...>
                                        To: <GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com>
                                        Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 8:27 AM
                                        Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK


                                        --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                                        <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > (MK):
                                        > > - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a
                                        largely
                                        > muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then
                                        taken
                                        > up again to 33 (I can't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who
                                        > finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly
                                        > from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years
                                        as a rule?
                                        > >
                                        BFA:
                                        > Ah no. The sentence you were referring to was for someone who was
                                        > charged along with the rapes, denial of liberty, abduction, and
                                        > other weapons offenses got a sentence of as you say 55, 28 or 32
                                        > years. This individual is unique in his category of offenders, if
                                        > you want to make an ethnic comparison you would have to wait for
                                        the
                                        > sentencing of another scumbag who committed a simmilar offense. Are
                                        > you really arguing that this individual shouldn't have been given
                                        > such a sentence?
                                        >
                                        (MK):
                                        > > - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of
                                        > the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1
                                        > through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the
                                        > anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even
                                        > of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to
                                        tell
                                        > us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani
                                        > brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy
                                        > brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never
                                        > the "notorious Anglo brothers"
                                        > >
                                        BFA:
                                        > As to your previous point about comparative sentences, the Murphy
                                        > brothers are sentenced "never to be released", while Skaf gets out
                                        > in 55-28-33 years, where's the justice in that?
                                        >

                                        Well, to begin with your last point and go backwards, I would have
                                        thought the difference between "the Murphy brothers" and their Aussie
                                        gang and Skaf and his "Middle eastern gang" was that the former
                                        group, after putting the young woman through a similarly brutal
                                        ordeal, then massacred her at the end of it, whereas Skaf and co did
                                        not.

                                        I won't here buy into the issue of whether or not some heinous crimes
                                        should be given sentences 'never to be released' or not. And
                                        obviously I am on shaky grounds comparing sentences, since the
                                        circumstances in each case need to be taken into account. However, I
                                        do not think I am saying anything remarkable, or anything that is not
                                        simple common sense and received wisdom, in saying that a gang that
                                        rapes and murders would presumably be given a much more severe
                                        sentence than one that raped but did not then slaughter the victim.
                                        It seems pretty bloody obvious to me. I certainly wouldn't wish any
                                        relative or friend of mine to suffer the kind of brutal ordeal that
                                        Skaf and co put the young woman through, but if I had to choose I
                                        still think I would prefer my daughter/sister/friend etc to come out
                                        of it alive. So would she. That's why you can have a young woman,
                                        several years later, on the front page of the SMH saying "fuck you"
                                        to her rapists in the courtroom, blown up, in this case only, because
                                        the rapists were Muslims/Pakistanis/Lebanese/'Middle Eastern
                                        appearance' etc. And good for her, even if most other young women
                                        won't get his chance.

                                        Therefore, the apparently large difference in sentences you refer to
                                        is entirely logical in this case. However, the phrase 'never to be
                                        released' was essentially an opinion of the judge that has no legal
                                        binding; soon these guys, these scumbags to use your term for Skaf
                                        (and I don't disagree in either case), will begin applying for an
                                        actual release date. And therefore, this 'never to be released' may
                                        well mean some of these brutal killers get out before Skaf serves his
                                        32 years for rape.

                                        Several years ago, there was a monstrous abduction/rape/murder of two
                                        15 year olds down the south coast (yes BFA, all these "scumbags" also
                                        do things such as "deny liberty", carry out "abduction" etc, not only
                                        Muslim offenders). The courtroom cheered when they were given 35
                                        years. They cheered because it was regarded as a particularly long
                                        sentence. I would have agreed with them (ie, not that it was terribly
                                        long, but that such a sentnece was worth cheering, and very
                                        appropriate). Now Skaf however got 55 years for rape, yes brutal
                                        certainly, but where the young woman was freed to tell her story, and
                                        try to rebuild her life. TWENTY YEARS LONGER than these real scumbags
                                        got. After appeals, it went down to 28 years, then up again to 32
                                        years. That is, he gets to spend a period in prison just a couple of
                                        years less than these brutal child-rape-killers. And these killers
                                        got a relatively long sentence for their kind of crime.

                                        Several years ago, a bloke called Manny caused some storm when he was
                                        released after 8 years of a 12 year rape sentence. He was released
                                        based on the state's own laws, in which you can get early release by
                                        becoming a dobber for the prison screws. But his original 12 year
                                        sentence was not only for rape, but attempted murder, of his 15 year
                                        old victim. In fact, as far as he was concerned, he had killed her.
                                        Just that, lucky for her, and unknown to him, she didn't die. Yet for
                                        that he got only 12 years, and was released after 8. Yet you ask if I
                                        think a "scumbag" like Skaf should serve any less than 32 years, when
                                        there was no attempt at slaughtering the victim. Manny, of course,
                                        was no Muslim or mIddle easterner.

                                        Hopefully you understand the implications for rape victims when
                                        courts pass sentences for rape that are equal to or even exceed
                                        sentences for rape-murder. From the point of view of the scumbag, it
                                        makes more sense to try to avoid capture by killing his victim.

                                        Yes that is the practical implication of these absolutely outrageous
                                        sentences given to Skaf and his gang for rape. It encourgaes rapists
                                        to kill their victims.

                                        But the issue was not originally a comparison of sentences as such,
                                        because I think all these points are rather obvious and unremarkable,
                                        I just had to answer you because you seemed confused about why
                                        the "Murphy brothers" should get more than the "Pakistani brothers."
                                        But the real issue is why such an outrage. And the reason was that
                                        Skaf and co were Muslims/Middle easterners etc

                                        OK, you'll say but there are other cases where they don't get such
                                        sentences etc. Obviously not every judgement is affected by racism or
                                        islamophobia in the same way.

                                        But surely, the reason for this absurd, outrageous sentence was that
                                        it was part of a gigantic racist media-and-politician beat up
                                        about "Middle eastern rape", or "Muslim rape", based on a few cases
                                        several years ago in southwest Sydney. Where zillions of words of
                                        pure bullshit were blurted out that alleged there was something
                                        different about these particular several gang rapes compared to all
                                        the other gang rapes that have occurred in Australia over the last
                                        200 years, been a quintessential part of sexist and violent
                                        Australian male life, heroised in pubs and prisons, and which have
                                        often ended in massacre. It was alleged that by engaging in the
                                        practice of gang rape, that these particular groups of Australians
                                        were not reflecting the fact that they grew up in Australia, where
                                        such acts are common, but were reflecting something about
                                        their "Middle eastern" or "Muslim" backgrounds. You see, over there,
                                        where they come from, they don't respect women, whereas we in
                                        Australia do. Never mind that there were also a number of gang rapes
                                        by footballers around the same time, which of course got an entirely
                                        different treatment (was the woman really telling the truth? what?
                                        our footballers? they wouldn't do such things!).

                                        And so, in that racist, anti-Middle eastern, anti-Muslim atmosphere
                                        that built up, it was demanded of the courts, by the media and scum
                                        politicans, that such "scumbags" would need to be taught a lesson
                                        in 'Australian values", that we do not do such things here, and so
                                        they should be given extraordinarily long sentences to teach them
                                        that lesson, despite the potentially murderous consequences of this
                                        dirty game.

                                        We even now have a book out by Paul Sheehan, that inveterate racist
                                        and Islamophobe, who writes for the trendy-liberal SMH, specifically
                                        on Muslim rapes in Australia! He may be dismissed as a crank, but SMH
                                        is one of Australia's leading dailies, and a "serious" one at that.
                                        All part of this mythical, non-existent Islamphobia.

                                        And of course, now the outrage that not enough of the Middle eastern
                                        revenge attackers the day after the racist Cronullla white riot have
                                        been brought to the courts. So they just had to go out of their way
                                        to make the numbers of arrests even, about 50 each for the white
                                        racist attackers and the M-E revenge-attackers. We are so nice and
                                        fair, aren't we? Never mind that there were 5000 at the white riot,
                                        and only 200 revenge attackers. Work out the stats yourself.
                                      • Michael Karadjis
                                        Quick reply: I actually agree with most of your points here, as I said in my post there are many discrepancies in sentencing and this can be based on a great
                                        Message 19 of 23 , Oct 5, 2006
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                                          Quick reply: I actually agree with most of your points here, as I said in my post there are many discrepancies in sentencing and this can be based on a great many circumstances. We don't support mandatory sentencing after all. At the same time however we are political people: we look at other societal pressures on legal judgements, and especially in the cases of such wild discrepancies that I wrote about (I referred to at last 4 cases, not 2). And yes I believe that when opportunist politicians and the media are whipping up an atmosphere of mass hysteria against one particular group in society - today Muslims, Arabs or 'middle easterners', some years ago itbwas Assyrians, a few years earlier it was Vietnamese and 'Asian crime' etc - that this will obviously have an influence on judgements.

                                          The other point: you claim I am conflating rcism and Islamophobia. I suggest they are already conflated. Islamophobia is a form of racism in essence: many people would assume a description of a "Muslim" is someone who looks like an Arab. All kinds of prejudices that characterise popular backward stereotypes of both would be conflated, from being terrorists to being religious fanatics to be being drug dealers to being misogynists etc. I think Rupen's post a week or so ago put it best in this discussion:

                                          "Islamophobia is a consequential development of the underlying anti-Arab racism that
                                          pervades Australian society. Anti-Arab racism obviously preceded Sept 11, and has its origins in the US imperialist drive to colonise the Middle East, along with its backers, the Australian ruling class."

                                          And of course, alongside Islamophobia being connected to anti-Arab racism, it is also connected to immigrant-bashing in general - the bulk of the refugees attempting to land in Australia in boats some years ago, against who enormous hysteria was waged and elections were won and lost over them - were from the Middle east, mostly Iraq and Afghanistan.

                                          MK


                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: Mato Ska
                                          To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                                          Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 2:18 AM
                                          Subject: Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK


                                          Michael,

                                          It seems as if you are jumping the gun here a little. Before you can presume
                                          to critique society's Islamophobia as an causual factor to increased
                                          criminal penalties, you really need to do a more exhaustive study. A
                                          comparison of two individual cases does not establish any significant
                                          indicator as to the reason for the verdict or the sentencing. If it is
                                          racism that you are pinpointing as the cause, this is something quite
                                          different from what you call Islamophobia, but you seem to almost morph the
                                          two as if there are no differences. If you have ever been inside, you would
                                          find many inconsistencies among prisoners regarding their sentences. These
                                          differences are not caused by the newspapers or the attitudes of the jurists
                                          or the general public. Rather, the variation of sentences for the same
                                          crimes are caused by sentencing guidelines that enable the judge to use his
                                          or/her discretion. Here in the US you may often find rapists or child
                                          molesters given more time then murderers. Go figure.

                                          There is unquestionably much to be concerned about regarding the
                                          circumvention of the due process of the criminal justice system here in the
                                          US. The danger comes not simply in the sentencing guidelines, but in the
                                          rules of evidence and the protections afforded to defendants under existing
                                          law and Supreme Court interpretation. Phobia is simply another word for
                                          fear. How much of an impact it has on anyone's decision-making processes
                                          depends on the individual and the situation.

                                          You seem to want the press to not be the press. How are we going to change
                                          it? State control may work, but it hardly affords the opportunity to examine
                                          the facts. You also seem to want to choose the headlines, as if they have
                                          some overreaching impact on the consciousness of society or the verdicts of
                                          the juries. How are you proposing we do that without attempting to define
                                          the content of the articles as well?

                                          Criticism is on target when the seeds of that criticism point to some viable
                                          solution. Much of the time all that is being done is criticizing for the
                                          sake of criticizing. There are real reforms needed in the criminal justice
                                          system, but they will not occur based on denying the impact of criminal
                                          actions because of the religion or ethnicity of the perpetrator.
                                          http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/elders-rape-sentence-to-be-reviewed/2005/09/27/1127804477978.html

                                          Mato Ska

                                          ----- Original Message -----
                                          From: "Michael Karadjis" <mkaradjis@...>
                                          To: <GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com>
                                          Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 8:27 AM
                                          Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK

                                          --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                                          <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                                          >
                                          > (MK):
                                          > > - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a
                                          largely
                                          > muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then
                                          taken
                                          > up again to 33 (I can't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who
                                          > finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly
                                          > from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years
                                          as a rule?
                                          > >
                                          BFA:
                                          > Ah no. The sentence you were referring to was for someone who was
                                          > charged along with the rapes, denial of liberty, abduction, and
                                          > other weapons offenses got a sentence of as you say 55, 28 or 32
                                          > years. This individual is unique in his category of offenders, if
                                          > you want to make an ethnic comparison you would have to wait for
                                          the
                                          > sentencing of another scumbag who committed a simmilar offense. Are
                                          > you really arguing that this individual shouldn't have been given
                                          > such a sentence?
                                          >
                                          (MK):
                                          > > - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of
                                          > the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1
                                          > through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the
                                          > anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even
                                          > of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to
                                          tell
                                          > us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani
                                          > brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy
                                          > brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never
                                          > the "notorious Anglo brothers"
                                          > >
                                          BFA:
                                          > As to your previous point about comparative sentences, the Murphy
                                          > brothers are sentenced "never to be released", while Skaf gets out
                                          > in 55-28-33 years, where's the justice in that?
                                          >

                                          Well, to begin with your last point and go backwards, I would have
                                          thought the difference between "the Murphy brothers" and their Aussie
                                          gang and Skaf and his "Middle eastern gang" was that the former
                                          group, after putting the young woman through a similarly brutal
                                          ordeal, then massacred her at the end of it, whereas Skaf and co did
                                          not.

                                          I won't here buy into the issue of whether or not some heinous crimes
                                          should be given sentences 'never to be released' or not. And
                                          obviously I am on shaky grounds comparing sentences, since the
                                          circumstances in each case need to be taken into account. However, I
                                          do not think I am saying anything remarkable, or anything that is not
                                          simple common sense and received wisdom, in saying that a gang that
                                          rapes and murders would presumably be given a much more severe
                                          sentence than one that raped but did not then slaughter the victim.
                                          It seems pretty bloody obvious to me. I certainly wouldn't wish any
                                          relative or friend of mine to suffer the kind of brutal ordeal that
                                          Skaf and co put the young woman through, but if I had to choose I
                                          still think I would prefer my daughter/sister/friend etc to come out
                                          of it alive. So would she. That's why you can have a young woman,
                                          several years later, on the front page of the SMH saying "fuck you"
                                          to her rapists in the courtroom, blown up, in this case only, because
                                          the rapists were Muslims/Pakistanis/Lebanese/'Middle Eastern
                                          appearance' etc. And good for her, even if most other young women
                                          won't get his chance.

                                          Therefore, the apparently large difference in sentences you refer to
                                          is entirely logical in this case. However, the phrase 'never to be
                                          released' was essentially an opinion of the judge that has no legal
                                          binding; soon these guys, these scumbags to use your term for Skaf
                                          (and I don't disagree in either case), will begin applying for an
                                          actual release date. And therefore, this 'never to be released' may
                                          well mean some of these brutal killers get out before Skaf serves his
                                          32 years for rape.

                                          Several years ago, there was a monstrous abduction/rape/murder of two
                                          15 year olds down the south coast (yes BFA, all these "scumbags" also
                                          do things such as "deny liberty", carry out "abduction" etc, not only
                                          Muslim offenders). The courtroom cheered when they were given 35
                                          years. They cheered because it was regarded as a particularly long
                                          sentence. I would have agreed with them (ie, not that it was terribly
                                          long, but that such a sentnece was worth cheering, and very
                                          appropriate). Now Skaf however got 55 years for rape, yes brutal
                                          certainly, but where the young woman was freed to tell her story, and
                                          try to rebuild her life. TWENTY YEARS LONGER than these real scumbags
                                          got. After appeals, it went down to 28 years, then up again to 32
                                          years. That is, he gets to spend a period in prison just a couple of
                                          years less than these brutal child-rape-killers. And these killers
                                          got a relatively long sentence for their kind of crime.

                                          Several years ago, a bloke called Manny caused some storm when he was
                                          released after 8 years of a 12 year rape sentence. He was released
                                          based on the state's own laws, in which you can get early release by
                                          becoming a dobber for the prison screws. But his original 12 year
                                          sentence was not only for rape, but attempted murder, of his 15 year
                                          old victim. In fact, as far as he was concerned, he had killed her.
                                          Just that, lucky for her, and unknown to him, she didn't die. Yet for
                                          that he got only 12 years, and was released after 8. Yet you ask if I
                                          think a "scumbag" like Skaf should serve any less than 32 years, when
                                          there was no attempt at slaughtering the victim. Manny, of course,
                                          was no Muslim or mIddle easterner.

                                          Hopefully you understand the implications for rape victims when
                                          courts pass sentences for rape that are equal to or even exceed
                                          sentences for rape-murder. From the point of view of the scumbag, it
                                          makes more sense to try to avoid capture by killing his victim.

                                          Yes that is the practical implication of these absolutely outrageous
                                          sentences given to Skaf and his gang for rape. It encourgaes rapists
                                          to kill their victims.

                                          But the issue was not originally a comparison of sentences as such,
                                          because I think all these points are rather obvious and unremarkable,
                                          I just had to answer you because you seemed confused about why
                                          the "Murphy brothers" should get more than the "Pakistani brothers."
                                          But the real issue is why such an outrage. And the reason was that
                                          Skaf and co were Muslims/Middle easterners etc

                                          OK, you'll say but there are other cases where they don't get such
                                          sentences etc. Obviously not every judgement is affected by racism or
                                          islamophobia in the same way.

                                          But surely, the reason for this absurd, outrageous sentence was that
                                          it was part of a gigantic racist media-and-politician beat up
                                          about "Middle eastern rape", or "Muslim rape", based on a few cases
                                          several years ago in southwest Sydney. Where zillions of words of
                                          pure bullshit were blurted out that alleged there was something
                                          different about these particular several gang rapes compared to all
                                          the other gang rapes that have occurred in Australia over the last
                                          200 years, been a quintessential part of sexist and violent
                                          Australian male life, heroised in pubs and prisons, and which have
                                          often ended in massacre. It was alleged that by engaging in the
                                          practice of gang rape, that these particular groups of Australians
                                          were not reflecting the fact that they grew up in Australia, where
                                          such acts are common, but were reflecting something about
                                          their "Middle eastern" or "Muslim" backgrounds. You see, over there,
                                          where they come from, they don't respect women, whereas we in
                                          Australia do. Never mind that there were also a number of gang rapes
                                          by footballers around the same time, which of course got an entirely
                                          different treatment (was the woman really telling the truth? what?
                                          our footballers? they wouldn't do such things!).

                                          And so, in that racist, anti-Middle eastern, anti-Muslim atmosphere
                                          that built up, it was demanded of the courts, by the media and scum
                                          politicans, that such "scumbags" would need to be taught a lesson
                                          in 'Australian values", that we do not do such things here, and so
                                          they should be given extraordinarily long sentences to teach them
                                          that lesson, despite the potentially murderous consequences of this
                                          dirty game.

                                          We even now have a book out by Paul Sheehan, that inveterate racist
                                          and Islamophobe, who writes for the trendy-liberal SMH, specifically
                                          on Muslim rapes in Australia! He may be dismissed as a crank, but SMH
                                          is one of Australia's leading dailies, and a "serious" one at that.
                                          All part of this mythical, non-existent Islamphobia.

                                          And of course, now the outrage that not enough of the Middle eastern
                                          revenge attackers the day after the racist Cronullla white riot have
                                          been brought to the courts. So they just had to go out of their way
                                          to make the numbers of arrests even, about 50 each for the white
                                          racist attackers and the M-E revenge-attackers. We are so nice and
                                          fair, aren't we? Never mind that there were 5000 at the white riot,
                                          and only 200 revenge attackers. Work out the stats yourself.





                                          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        • icecreamhands2006
                                          First of all in my previous reply I forgot to also mention that Skaf was charged also with threat to kill and aggravated assault for THREE crimes. Skaf is also
                                          Message 20 of 23 , Oct 6, 2006
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                                            First of all in my previous reply I forgot to also mention that Skaf
                                            was charged also with threat to kill and aggravated assault for
                                            THREE crimes. Skaf is also allegedly linked to two other rapes which
                                            have not gone before court (not to mention the hoax anthrax attack
                                            on the prison governor, and his threats to murder his former
                                            fiance).
                                            Your attitude to the Skaf sentence goes to the heart of what is
                                            wrong with the left, islamophilia. The assumption that all muslims
                                            are victims and therefore all criticisms, prosecutions, anything
                                            which is negative towards all muslims is unjust or suspect. There
                                            are definitely unjust sentences imposed on people with arab or asian
                                            background but the Skaf gang and MSK and MAK are definitely not. As
                                            to your other cases, it is shocking that individuals get such short
                                            sentences for rape-homocide but it's not neccessarily a double
                                            standard, but a developing standard in justice and at the same time
                                            one of the unpredictabilities of the adversarial justice system.
                                            Future crimes of the nature you mentioned are going to be sentenced
                                            accordingly.

                                            Secondly I reiterate, the media response to the attacks is at best
                                            sick, this is where we are in agreement. At the same time the
                                            behaviour of the defense council was even more so. The barrister in
                                            the MSK-MAK case made a disgusting slander of the entire Pakistani
                                            community claiming that because his clients were Pakistani and from
                                            a remote village, 'they didn't know it was wrong' and that they
                                            were 'cultural timebombs'.
                                            I agree that it is also shameful that Paul Sheehan is exploiting the
                                            situation with a new book. I was in the bookshop today and I read
                                            the chapter on the Cronulla riots and it was sickening. Sheehan
                                            would not have much of a book were it not for the way that the
                                            defense lawyer's 'cultural timebomb' defense and the way that the
                                            adversarial justice system treats rape victims.
                                          • Ed Lewis
                                            Anyone tempted to rattle on about Islam should read Edward Said first. Start here: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/crisis/said.htm Edward Said: In my book
                                            Message 21 of 23 , Oct 6, 2006
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                                              Anyone tempted to rattle on about Islam should read Edward Said first.

                                              Start here: http://www.mtholyoke.edu/acad/intrel/crisis/said.htm

                                              Edward Said:

                                              In my book Orientalism, I argued that the original reason for
                                              European attempts to deal with Islam as if it were one giant entity
                                              was polemical — that is, Islam was considered a threat to Christian
                                              Europe and had to be fixed ideologically, the way Dante fixes
                                              Muhammad in one of the lower circles of hell. Later, as the European
                                              empires developed over time, knowledge of Islam was associated with
                                              control, with power, with the need to understand the "mind" and
                                              ultimate nature of a rebellious and somehow resistant culture as a
                                              way of dealing administratively with an alien being at the heart of
                                              the expanding empires, especially those of Britain and France.

                                              During the Cold War, as the United States vied with the Soviet Union
                                              for dominance, Islam quickly became a national-security concern in
                                              America, though until the Iranian revolution (and even after it,
                                              during the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan) the United States followed
                                              a path of encouraging and actually supporting Islamic political
                                              groups, which by definition were also anti-Communist and tended to be
                                              useful in opposing radical nationalist movements supported by the
                                              Soviets. After the Cold War ended and the United States became
                                              the "world's only superpower," it soon became evident that in the
                                              search for new world-scale, outside enemies, Islam was a prime
                                              candidate, thus quickly reviving all the old religiously based
                                              clichés about violent, antimodernist, and monolithic Islam. These
                                              clichés were useful to Israel and its political and academic
                                              supporters in the United States, particularly because of the
                                              emergence of Islamic resistance movements to Israel's military
                                              occupation of the Palestinian territories and Lebanon. Suddenly a
                                              rush of what appeared to be respectably expert material spouted up in
                                              the periodical press, most of it purporting to link "Islam" as a
                                              whole to such absurdly reductive passions as rage, antimodernism,
                                              anti-Americanism, antirationalism, violence, and terror. Quite
                                              unsurprisingly, when Samuel Huntington's vastly overrated article on
                                              the clash of civilizations appeared in 1993, the core of its
                                              belligerent (and dishearteningly ignorant) thesis was the battle
                                              between the "West" and "Islam" (which he sagely warned would become
                                              even more dangerous when it was allied with Confucianism).

                                              What wasn't immediately noted at the time was how Huntington's title
                                              and theme were borrowed from a phrase in an essay, written in 1990 by
                                              an energetically self-repeating and self-winding British academic,
                                              entitled "The Roots of Muslim Rage." Its author, Bernard Lewis, made
                                              his name forty years ago as an expert on modern Turkey, but came to
                                              the United States in the mid-seventies and was quickly drafted into
                                              service as a Cold Warrior, applying his traditional Orientalist
                                              training to larger and larger questions, which had as their immediate
                                              aim an ideological portrait of "Islam" and the Arabs that suited
                                              dominant pro-imperial and pro-Zionist strands in U.S. foreign policy.
                                              It should be noted that Orientalist learning itself was premised on
                                              the silence of the native, who was to be represented by an Occidental
                                              expert speaking ex cathedra on the native's behalf, presenting that
                                              unfortunate creature as an undeveloped, deficient, and uncivilized
                                              being who couldn't represent himself. But just as it has now become
                                              inappropriate for white scholars to speak on behalf of "Negroes," it
                                              has, since the end of classical European colonialism, stopped being
                                              fashionable or even acceptable to pontificate about the Oriental's
                                              (i.e., the Muslim's, or the Indian's, or the Japanese's) "mentality."

                                              Except for anachronisms like Lewis. In a stream of repetitious,
                                              tartly phrased books and articles that resolutely ignored any of the
                                              recent advances of knowledge in anthropology, history, social theory,
                                              and cultural studies, he persisted in such "philological" tricks as
                                              deriving an aspect of the predilection in contemporary Arab Islam for
                                              revolutionary violence from Bedouin descriptions of a camel rising.
                                              For the reader, however, there was no surprise, no discovery to be
                                              made from anything Lewis wrote, since it all added up in his view to
                                              confirmations of the Islamic tendency to violence, anger,
                                              antimodernism, as well as Islam's (and especially the Arabs') closed-
                                              mindedness, its fondness for slavery, Muslims' inability to be
                                              concerned with anything but themselves, and the like. From his perch
                                              at Princeton (he is now retired and in his late eighties but still
                                              tirelessly pounds out polemical tracts), he seems unaffected by new
                                              ideas or insights, even though among most Middle East experts his
                                              work has been both bypassed and discredited by the many recent
                                              advances in knowledge about particular forms of Islamic experience.

                                              Plenty more here: http://www.edwardsaid.org/?q=node/1
                                            • Mato Ska
                                              No one looks like a Muslim. Malcolm X had his own revelation on that issue years ago on his pilgrimage. You continue to see race in all things and fail to
                                              Message 22 of 23 , Oct 6, 2006
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                                                No one "looks" like a Muslim. Malcolm X had his own revelation on that issue
                                                years ago on his pilgrimage. You continue to see race in all things and fail
                                                to promote the unity of the people and their inherent and deep seated common
                                                interests. Racist attacks should be fought because they are attacks on us
                                                all. The current conflict between Sunni and Shi'a is not just US hype. And
                                                it's not racially-based. They are warring sects of Islam. On the other hand,
                                                the national liberation struggle of the Kurds is a national movement that
                                                deals with US, Turkish, Iranian, Iraqi, Syrian and Azerbaijani oppression of
                                                Kurds.The Vietnamese did not organize separately for the Mong, the Khmers,
                                                the Hoa, and the Lao. They fought as one nation, one people, one struggle.

                                                I am suggesting that you appear to lack a set of guiding principles that
                                                could steer the formulation of your strategy and your tactics, and as such
                                                you continue to grasp at identity politics and go from one "racist attack"
                                                to another, without ever being able to unify the people in any common
                                                struggle. Next its immigrant-bashing. But you don't propose organizing
                                                employed and unemployed uniting for decent wages or labor rights. Instead,
                                                you want an open door immigration policy that, by itself sows the seeds of
                                                division and ethnic conflict and lowers the wage standards and labor
                                                practices for working people. Environmentally, population growth, which
                                                includes both birth rates and migration, is an issue that needs to be
                                                addressed openly and not made a PC taboo. Resource management and urban
                                                planning require some sort of discussion on the matter at the very least. It
                                                CAN be addressed affirmatively without the attempt to harangue or promote
                                                reactionary demagogues. There is nothing "inherently" progressive about a
                                                do-nothing policy that accepts the status quo in regards to the population
                                                issue. It just lets the reactionaries get center stage by being the only
                                                ones to address it as real issue.

                                                Mato Ska
                                                ----- Original Message -----
                                                From: "Michael Karadjis" <mkaradjis@...>
                                                To: <GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com>
                                                Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 10:34 PM
                                                Subject: Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK


                                                > Quick reply: I actually agree with most of your points here, as I said in
                                                my post there are many discrepancies in sentencing and this can be based on
                                                a great many circumstances. We don't support mandatory sentencing after all.
                                                At the same time however we are political people: we look at other societal
                                                pressures on legal judgements, and especially in the cases of such wild
                                                discrepancies that I wrote about (I referred to at last 4 cases, not 2). And
                                                yes I believe that when opportunist politicians and the media are whipping
                                                up an atmosphere of mass hysteria against one particular group in society -
                                                today Muslims, Arabs or 'middle easterners', some years ago itbwas
                                                Assyrians, a few years earlier it was Vietnamese and 'Asian crime' etc -
                                                that this will obviously have an influence on judgements.
                                                >
                                                > The other point: you claim I am conflating rcism and Islamophobia. I
                                                suggest they are already conflated. Islamophobia is a form of racism in
                                                essence: many people would assume a description of a "Muslim" is someone who
                                                looks like an Arab. All kinds of prejudices that characterise popular
                                                backward stereotypes of both would be conflated, from being terrorists to
                                                being religious fanatics to be being drug dealers to being misogynists etc.
                                                I think Rupen's post a week or so ago put it best in this discussion:
                                                >
                                                > "Islamophobia is a consequential development of the underlying anti-Arab
                                                racism that
                                                > pervades Australian society. Anti-Arab racism obviously preceded Sept 11,
                                                and has its origins in the US imperialist drive to colonise the Middle East,
                                                along with its backers, the Australian ruling class."
                                                >
                                                > And of course, alongside Islamophobia being connected to anti-Arab racism,
                                                it is also connected to immigrant-bashing in general - the bulk of the
                                                refugees attempting to land in Australia in boats some years ago, against
                                                who enormous hysteria was waged and elections were won and lost over them -
                                                were from the Middle east, mostly Iraq and Afghanistan.
                                                >
                                                > MK
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                                > From: Mato Ska
                                                > To: GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com
                                                > Sent: Friday, October 06, 2006 2:18 AM
                                                > Subject: Re: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > Michael,
                                                >
                                                > It seems as if you are jumping the gun here a little. Before you can
                                                presume
                                                > to critique society's Islamophobia as an causual factor to increased
                                                > criminal penalties, you really need to do a more exhaustive study. A
                                                > comparison of two individual cases does not establish any significant
                                                > indicator as to the reason for the verdict or the sentencing. If it is
                                                > racism that you are pinpointing as the cause, this is something quite
                                                > different from what you call Islamophobia, but you seem to almost morph
                                                the
                                                > two as if there are no differences. If you have ever been inside, you
                                                would
                                                > find many inconsistencies among prisoners regarding their sentences.
                                                These
                                                > differences are not caused by the newspapers or the attitudes of the
                                                jurists
                                                > or the general public. Rather, the variation of sentences for the same
                                                > crimes are caused by sentencing guidelines that enable the judge to use
                                                his
                                                > or/her discretion. Here in the US you may often find rapists or child
                                                > molesters given more time then murderers. Go figure.
                                                >
                                                > There is unquestionably much to be concerned about regarding the
                                                > circumvention of the due process of the criminal justice system here in
                                                the
                                                > US. The danger comes not simply in the sentencing guidelines, but in the
                                                > rules of evidence and the protections afforded to defendants under
                                                existing
                                                > law and Supreme Court interpretation. Phobia is simply another word for
                                                > fear. How much of an impact it has on anyone's decision-making processes
                                                > depends on the individual and the situation.
                                                >
                                                > You seem to want the press to not be the press. How are we going to
                                                change
                                                > it? State control may work, but it hardly affords the opportunity to
                                                examine
                                                > the facts. You also seem to want to choose the headlines, as if they
                                                have
                                                > some overreaching impact on the consciousness of society or the verdicts
                                                of
                                                > the juries. How are you proposing we do that without attempting to
                                                define
                                                > the content of the articles as well?
                                                >
                                                > Criticism is on target when the seeds of that criticism point to some
                                                viable
                                                > solution. Much of the time all that is being done is criticizing for the
                                                > sake of criticizing. There are real reforms needed in the criminal
                                                justice
                                                > system, but they will not occur based on denying the impact of criminal
                                                > actions because of the religion or ethnicity of the perpetrator.
                                                >
                                                http://www.smh.com.au/news/national/elders-rape-sentence-to-be-reviewed/2005/09/27/1127804477978.html
                                                >
                                                > Mato Ska
                                                >
                                                > ----- Original Message -----
                                                > From: "Michael Karadjis" <mkaradjis@...>
                                                > To: <GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com>
                                                > Sent: Thursday, October 05, 2006 8:27 AM
                                                > Subject: [GreenLeft_discussion] Re: Quick reply to MK
                                                >
                                                > --- In GreenLeft_discussion@yahoogroups.com, "icecreamhands2006"
                                                > <icecreamhands2006@...> wrote:
                                                > >
                                                > > (MK):
                                                > > > - the fact that a rapist with a cultural background from a
                                                > largely
                                                > > muslim country may get 55 years in prison, reduced to 28, then
                                                > taken
                                                > > up again to 33 (I can't keep track), while rapist-murderers, who
                                                > > finish their victims off at the end of their ordeal, who are mostly
                                                > > from anglo backgrounds, get somewhere in the order of 15-30 years
                                                > as a rule?
                                                > > >
                                                > BFA:
                                                > > Ah no. The sentence you were referring to was for someone who was
                                                > > charged along with the rapes, denial of liberty, abduction, and
                                                > > other weapons offenses got a sentence of as you say 55, 28 or 32
                                                > > years. This individual is unique in his category of offenders, if
                                                > > you want to make an ethnic comparison you would have to wait for
                                                > the
                                                > > sentencing of another scumbag who committed a simmilar offense. Are
                                                > > you really arguing that this individual shouldn't have been given
                                                > > such a sentence?
                                                > >
                                                > (MK):
                                                > > > - and in the former cases, the nationality/ethnic background of
                                                > > the criminal is a prominent feature of the media trial from day 1
                                                > > through to the end and beyond, whereas in the second cases, the
                                                > > anglo backgound is never an issue. For example, the front page even
                                                > > of a so-called 'quality' paper like the SMH will simply have to
                                                > tell
                                                > > us they are talking about the case of the "notorious Pakistani
                                                > > brothers," whereas otherwise it might be the "notorious Murphy
                                                > > brothers" (to simply refer to a well-known case), never
                                                > > the "notorious Anglo brothers"
                                                > > >
                                                > BFA:
                                                > > As to your previous point about comparative sentences, the Murphy
                                                > > brothers are sentenced "never to be released", while Skaf gets out
                                                > > in 55-28-33 years, where's the justice in that?
                                                > >
                                                >
                                                > Well, to begin with your last point and go backwards, I would have
                                                > thought the difference between "the Murphy brothers" and their Aussie
                                                > gang and Skaf and his "Middle eastern gang" was that the former
                                                > group, after putting the young woman through a similarly brutal
                                                > ordeal, then massacred her at the end of it, whereas Skaf and co did
                                                > not.
                                                >
                                                > I won't here buy into the issue of whether or not some heinous crimes
                                                > should be given sentences 'never to be released' or not. And
                                                > obviously I am on shaky grounds comparing sentences, since the
                                                > circumstances in each case need to be taken into account. However, I
                                                > do not think I am saying anything remarkable, or anything that is not
                                                > simple common sense and received wisdom, in saying that a gang that
                                                > rapes and murders would presumably be given a much more severe
                                                > sentence than one that raped but did not then slaughter the victim.
                                                > It seems pretty bloody obvious to me. I certainly wouldn't wish any
                                                > relative or friend of mine to suffer the kind of brutal ordeal that
                                                > Skaf and co put the young woman through, but if I had to choose I
                                                > still think I would prefer my daughter/sister/friend etc to come out
                                                > of it alive. So would she. That's why you can have a young woman,
                                                > several years later, on the front page of the SMH saying "fuck you"
                                                > to her rapists in the courtroom, blown up, in this case only, because
                                                > the rapists were Muslims/Pakistanis/Lebanese/'Middle Eastern
                                                > appearance' etc. And good for her, even if most other young women
                                                > won't get his chance.
                                                >
                                                > Therefore, the apparently large difference in sentences you refer to
                                                > is entirely logical in this case. However, the phrase 'never to be
                                                > released' was essentially an opinion of the judge that has no legal
                                                > binding; soon these guys, these scumbags to use your term for Skaf
                                                > (and I don't disagree in either case), will begin applying for an
                                                > actual release date. And therefore, this 'never to be released' may
                                                > well mean some of these brutal killers get out before Skaf serves his
                                                > 32 years for rape.
                                                >
                                                > Several years ago, there was a monstrous abduction/rape/murder of two
                                                > 15 year olds down the south coast (yes BFA, all these "scumbags" also
                                                > do things such as "deny liberty", carry out "abduction" etc, not only
                                                > Muslim offenders). The courtroom cheered when they were given 35
                                                > years. They cheered because it was regarded as a particularly long
                                                > sentence. I would have agreed with them (ie, not that it was terribly
                                                > long, but that such a sentnece was worth cheering, and very
                                                > appropriate). Now Skaf however got 55 years for rape, yes brutal
                                                > certainly, but where the young woman was freed to tell her story, and
                                                > try to rebuild her life. TWENTY YEARS LONGER than these real scumbags
                                                > got. After appeals, it went down to 28 years, then up again to 32
                                                > years. That is, he gets to spend a period in prison just a couple of
                                                > years less than these brutal child-rape-killers. And these killers
                                                > got a relatively long sentence for their kind of crime.
                                                >
                                                > Several years ago, a bloke called Manny caused some storm when he was
                                                > released after 8 years of a 12 year rape sentence. He was released
                                                > based on the state's own laws, in which you can get early release by
                                                > becoming a dobber for the prison screws. But his original 12 year
                                                > sentence was not only for rape, but attempted murder, of his 15 year
                                                > old victim. In fact, as far as he was concerned, he had killed her.
                                                > Just that, lucky for her, and unknown to him, she didn't die. Yet for
                                                > that he got only 12 years, and was released after 8. Yet you ask if I
                                                > think a "scumbag" like Skaf should serve any less than 32 years, when
                                                > there was no attempt at slaughtering the victim. Manny, of course,
                                                > was no Muslim or mIddle easterner.
                                                >
                                                > Hopefully you understand the implications for rape victims when
                                                > courts pass sentences for rape that are equal to or even exceed
                                                > sentences for rape-murder. From the point of view of the scumbag, it
                                                > makes more sense to try to avoid capture by killing his victim.
                                                >
                                                > Yes that is the practical implication of these absolutely outrageous
                                                > sentences given to Skaf and his gang for rape. It encourgaes rapists
                                                > to kill their victims.
                                                >
                                                > But the issue was not originally a comparison of sentences as such,
                                                > because I think all these points are rather obvious and unremarkable,
                                                > I just had to answer you because you seemed confused about why
                                                > the "Murphy brothers" should get more than the "Pakistani brothers."
                                                > But the real issue is why such an outrage. And the reason was that
                                                > Skaf and co were Muslims/Middle easterners etc
                                                >
                                                > OK, you'll say but there are other cases where they don't get such
                                                > sentences etc. Obviously not every judgement is affected by racism or
                                                > islamophobia in the same way.
                                                >
                                                > But surely, the reason for this absurd, outrageous sentence was that
                                                > it was part of a gigantic racist media-and-politician beat up
                                                > about "Middle eastern rape", or "Muslim rape", based on a few cases
                                                > several years ago in southwest Sydney. Where zillions of words of
                                                > pure bullshit were blurted out that alleged there was something
                                                > different about these particular several gang rapes compared to all
                                                > the other gang rapes that have occurred in Australia over the last
                                                > 200 years, been a quintessential part of sexist and violent
                                                > Australian male life, heroised in pubs and prisons, and which have
                                                > often ended in massacre. It was alleged that by engaging in the
                                                > practice of gang rape, that these particular groups of Australians
                                                > were not reflecting the fact that they grew up in Australia, where
                                                > such acts are common, but were reflecting something about
                                                > their "Middle eastern" or "Muslim" backgrounds. You see, over there,
                                                > where they come from, they don't respect women, whereas we in
                                                > Australia do. Never mind that there were also a number of gang rapes
                                                > by footballers around the same time, which of course got an entirely
                                                > different treatment (was the woman really telling the truth? what?
                                                > our footballers? they wouldn't do such things!).
                                                >
                                                > And so, in that racist, anti-Middle eastern, anti-Muslim atmosphere
                                                > that built up, it was demanded of the courts, by the media and scum
                                                > politicans, that such "scumbags" would need to be taught a lesson
                                                > in 'Australian values", that we do not do such things here, and so
                                                > they should be given extraordinarily long sentences to teach them
                                                > that lesson, despite the potentially murderous consequences of this
                                                > dirty game.
                                                >
                                                > We even now have a book out by Paul Sheehan, that inveterate racist
                                                > and Islamophobe, who writes for the trendy-liberal SMH, specifically
                                                > on Muslim rapes in Australia! He may be dismissed as a crank, but SMH
                                                > is one of Australia's leading dailies, and a "serious" one at that.
                                                > All part of this mythical, non-existent Islamphobia.
                                                >
                                                > And of course, now the outrage that not enough of the Middle eastern
                                                > revenge attackers the day after the racist Cronullla white riot have
                                                > been brought to the courts. So they just had to go out of their way
                                                > to make the numbers of arrests even, about 50 each for the white
                                                > racist attackers and the M-E revenge-attackers. We are so nice and
                                                > fair, aren't we? Never mind that there were 5000 at the white riot,
                                                > and only 200 revenge attackers. Work out the stats yourself.
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                >
                                                > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                                >
                                                >
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