Waleed Aly links terror attack to Muslims.

It's terrorism perpetrated on the perpetual pathetic hopeless Waleed Aly inspired victims, Muslims.

Of course.

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Call the Finsbury Park attack what it is: right-wing terrorism

Waleed Aly
  • Waleed Aly

They're revenge attacks, now? Perhaps this started with the leader of the South Wales National Front who, reacting to the latest London terrorist attack – this time targeting Muslims outside a mosque in Finsbury Park – declared confidently that "anyone with a right mind can see this is not a terrorist attack but a revenge attack". It was a theme more subtly picked up in reporting here, with The Australian's lead story speaking of an unattributed "fear" this was "a revenge attack for three Islamic State-inspired strikes in Britain over the past three months".

Funny, that's exactly how Osama bin Laden used to describe these things. "The United States and their allies are killing us in Palestine, Chechnya, Kashmir … and Iraq. That's why Muslims have the right to carry out revenge attacks on the US." That's bin Laden about two months after September 11, and it's not remotely an isolated theme. He said it constantly. "It is imperative to take revenge against the evil-doers and transgressors and criminals and terrorists who terrorise the true believers."

Addressing America: "Do not expect anything from us but jihad, resistance, and revenge." Just about every Islamist terrorist attacking the West since 2003 to have left a statement has described his violence as revenge for any number of Muslim civilian deaths, most commonly from the invasion of Iraq. Islamic State uses the same language, more often referencing air strikes on Syria. Hence its message on Telegram after Finsbury Park: "When your brothers took revenge on the crusader nations for the slaughter they are carrying out on the Muslims, they were shot on [sight] by the British police."

Honestly, it's hard to think of a recent terrorist attack that the terrorist hasn't considered to be revenge. And honestly, I can't imagine the outrage if September 11 – or any Islamist attack for that matter – had been described in newsprint as a revenge attack.

Here, the dominant narrative has been absolute: there are no root causes, this is pure evil, we are attacked merely for who we are, terrorism is a simple product of ideology with no social dimensions. And that leads inexorably to some absolute prescriptions: fight terrorism primarily with hard military power, identify hate preachers and ban or imprison them, regard associated communities (that is, Muslims) with a kind of collective suspicion and require them to prove their innocence at every turn.

Does this sort of approach still apply? Is the suspect in the Finsbury Park attack, if proven guilty, the embodiment of an ideology of hate that has nothing whatsoever to do with his social situation? Who are the hate preachers in this case?Are people publicly likening Islam to a cancer or calling for a "final solution" guilty in the same way as a Muslim likening infidels to vermin? Should they be banned or otherwise silenced? If not, is that some deadly capitulation to political correctness because we're too scared to name the evil in our midst?If you're serious, your explanation should broadly hold no matter the perpetrator. Sure, there will be shades of nuance – one is an attack on a minority, the other an attack on a society more broadly, for instance – but even these differences are less than they might immediately appear. Both attack members of society with whom they feel they do not belong. Similarly, you might argue the suspect - if found guilty of the crime - was responding to attacks on him, taking place in his very city. But it's more accurate to say he's reacting to attacks on people he identifies with – attacks he probably didn't witness except through a television or computer screen. Much as the Western Islamist watches videos and reads accounts of attacks on people he identifies with – which is why the theme of masses of Muslim civilian deaths is so central to radical Islamist discourse.

It's true the far right doesn't resemble anything quite like IS: a globally dispersed terrorist movement with a relatively slick propaganda machine. And it's also true that Islamist terrorism is significantly more deadly as a global phenomenon, and more likely to claim mass casualties. But Finsbury Park is not an isolated event, nor even just the long-awaited sequel to Anders Behring Breivik's massacre of 77 people in Norway in 2011. Right-wing terrorism has always been more active than news coverage makes it feel, and it's experiencing something of a surge right now.

This week we learnt that nearly one-third of the people being monitored under Britain's counter-terrorism Prevent scheme are far-right extremists – the number of these people having increased by 25 per cent in the past year.

A record number of white people were arrested on suspicion of terrorism last year, some 35 per cent of the total (although we don't have a breakdown of their political affiliations). And it's showing up in attacks: the white supremacist last month in Portland who stabbed two people to death on a train when they tried to intervene as he yelled abuse at two Muslim women; the shooting in January of six Muslims to death in a mosque in Quebec City; the Brexit-eve shooting and stabbing of pro-EU British politician Jo Cox. The list goes on. And that's to say nothing of left-wing attacks like the shooting of a Republican congressman and three of his colleagues in Virginia last week.

You either believe terrorism has something to do with grievances or you don't. You either believe social factors like alienation (and occasionally mental illness) are relevant or not. You either believe it begins and ends with ideology, or that radical ideologies become more or less attractive as social conditions vary. But you can spot the self-serving analyses by their double-think: the way they radically shift the assumptions they make to suit a predetermined politics; the way they treat terrorism as though it were a touchstone in a broader culture war; the way they seek not to grasp the phenomenon in front of them, but to weaponise it rhetorically. This is no moment for such weapons, and no moment for polemical revenge.

Waleed Aly is a Fairfax Media columnist and presenter on The Project.

For Yassmin - a message from Muhammad, The Perfect Man and his most feminist of religions.

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Sahih al-Bukhari Book 6 Hadith 301


Narrated Abu Said Al-Khudri:

Once Allah's Apostle went out to the Musalla (to offer the prayer) o 'Id-al-Adha or Al-Fitr prayer. Then he passed by the women and said, "O women! Give alms, as I have seen that the majority of the dwellers of Hell-fire were you (women)." They asked, "Why is it so, O Allah's Apostle ?" He replied, "You curse frequently and are ungrateful to your husbands. I have not seen anyone more deficient in intelligence and religion than you. A cautious sensible man could be led astray by some of you." The women asked, "O Allah's Apostle! What is deficient in our intelligence and religion?" He said, "Is not the evidence of two women equal to the witness of one man?" They replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her intelligence. Isn't it true that a woman can neither pray nor fast during her menses?" The women replied in the affirmative. He said, "This is the deficiency in her religion."


حَدَّثَنَا سَعِيدُ بْنُ أَبِي مَرْيَمَ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنَا مُحَمَّدُ بْنُ جَعْفَرٍ، قَالَ أَخْبَرَنِي زَيْدٌ ـ هُوَ ابْنُ أَسْلَمَ ـ عَنْ عِيَاضِ بْنِ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ، عَنْ أَبِي سَعِيدٍ الْخُدْرِيِّ، قَالَ خَرَجَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم فِي أَضْحًى ـ أَوْ فِطْرٍ ـ إِلَى الْمُصَلَّى، فَمَرَّ عَلَى النِّسَاءِ فَقَالَ ‏"‏ يَا مَعْشَرَ النِّسَاءِ تَصَدَّقْنَ، فَإِنِّي أُرِيتُكُنَّ أَكْثَرَ أَهْلِ النَّارِ ‏"‏‏.‏ فَقُلْنَ وَبِمَ يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ تُكْثِرْنَ اللَّعْنَ، وَتَكْفُرْنَ الْعَشِيرَ، مَا رَأَيْتُ مِنْ نَاقِصَاتِ عَقْلٍ وَدِينٍ أَذْهَبَ لِلُبِّ الرَّجُلِ الْحَازِمِ مِنْ إِحْدَاكُنَّ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ وَمَا نُقْصَانُ دِينِنَا وَعَقْلِنَا يَا رَسُولَ اللَّهِ قَالَ ‏"‏ أَلَيْسَ شَهَادَةُ الْمَرْأَةِ مِثْلَ نِصْفِ شَهَادَةِ الرَّجُلِ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ بَلَى‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَذَلِكَ مِنْ نُقْصَانِ عَقْلِهَا، أَلَيْسَ إِذَا حَاضَتْ لَمْ تُصَلِّ وَلَمْ تَصُمْ ‏"‏‏.‏ قُلْنَ بَلَى‏.‏ قَالَ ‏"‏ فَذَلِكَ مِنْ نُقْصَانِ دِينِهَا


    al-Bukhari Book of Menstrual Periods #301
    al-Bukhari 304
    Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book 6, Hadith 301
    Sahih al-Bukhari Vol. 1, Book of Menstrual Periods, Hadith 301

JM with the best commentary about TEN Network you'll read anywhere

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Reader JM dropped us this note earlier today.

What a sad thing to see in the newspaper today.

This is what happens when you treat your audience like half-wits.

The surge to the left started with George Negus, Hamish McDonald and smug comedians rolling their eyes at the values of their viewers.

Now it's Waleed the apologist and the righteous Blonde who dyed her hair to show how liberated she is.

And to think that only a decade ago, TEN was Australia's most profitable media company.

Magied Must Go! She says Australia's parliamentary democracy "doesn't represent anyone" and Australians are thieves.

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Enough is enough.

Senator Abetz has reopened the Abdel Magied fitness enquiry.

Julie Bishop has no judgement.  She must ask someone who has to help her get to the right decision.

Magied must go!

Here's The Australian today.

Muslim activist Yassmin Abdel-Magied has declared Australia’s system of parliamentary democracy “doesn’t represent anyone”, and delivered a lecture on our inability to acknowledge that we live on “stolen land”.

The writer and mechanical engineer — whose ABC show was dumped last month — appeared on a panel at an Australian National University leadership forum in Canberra on Wednesday night.

Ms Abdel-Magied took a swipe at the media for taking the “easy option” and painting her as an “other” who poses a “threat”.

She also had a heated exchange with ANU Chancellor and former Labor foreign minister Gareth Evans, over the future of parliamentary democracy. “If you just play the GetUp! game or the social media game and don’t do the serious parliamentary game as well, if you don’t do that as well you’re missing a very important vehicle for actually getting decent policy,” Professor Evans said.

Ms Abdel-Magied said change was inevitable. “The traditional parliamentary system, I mean look at the photo of the House of Representatives,” she said. “It does not represent anyone.”

When Evans challenged her to run for office, Ms Abdel-Magied replied sarcastically: “You know how to get to office, I have to go to preselection, which works really well, and I have to go through all these other systems which for women and for people of colour are actually biased.”

Opening her talk, Ms Abdel-Magied acknowledged the Ngunnawal people. “We don’t know how to have a conversation about the fact that we’re on contested land, on stolen land,” she said.

“We don’t like to have a conversation about nuance or about history or about context, and so the reason that I choose to acknowledge at the beginning of this and every opportunity is because for at least a moment we can remember that we don’t exist in a vacuum ... that history makes us who we are, and that when we ask these broad questions about whether we’re globalists or nationalists, about trust in democracy, we have to think about who that applies to and how that’s actually worked for some people.”

She was asked by an audience member how she responded to people who had “been ferocious” to her following an ABC TV Q&A ­appearance in which said Islam was the “most feminist religion”, and her Anzac Day Facebook post: “Lest We Forget (Manus, Nauru, Syria, Palestine)”.

“I spent all my life in this country building this narrative of this chick who’s like a Muslim revhead who works on rigs who digs with the boys and blah blah blah,” she said. “One social media post ruined that, and that’s out of my hands. That’s at the hands of ­people who owns our media, who runs our country and has those conversations in our parliamentary chambers.

“Those sorts of power, those institutions of power are geared against people like me because they see votes in it and because fear is so much easier to sell.”

Another audience member who identified himself as “Kevin” observed that there were alternatives to western democracies, such as theocracies in the Middle East and “relatively benign dictatorships” in Asia.

“Do you think that as western democracies falter and are unable to respond to policy challenges meaningfully, such as climate change, those alternative forms of governance and arranging society become even more popular and more attractive?” Kevin asked.

Ms Abdel-Magied said it was a great question because it the assumption that the “neoliberalist capitalist project” had worked for everyone.

“Being born in Sudan and having grown up in a family where the view that western democracy has been exported by countries who have decided that western democracy is the only way that you can govern in a good manner, and that being challenged now, I think there are lots of Arab leaders now who are quite happy that Trump’s in power because they’re like, ‘look America always said that democracy was the greatest, look where it got them now,’ and that’s actually been a way that they’ve talked to their people and said, ‘this is why we won’t have democracy, because this is where democracy gets you’,” Ms Abdel-Magied said.