Monday, 4 April 2011

Bear baiting and bible bashing.

Why is Terry Jones not behind bars? OK, so we agree that a demented mob killing UN workers and their guards in Afghanistan is so heinous a crime it overshadows that perpetrated by deluded egotist Terry Jones.

However, we can only deal with our own and hope their struggling justice system deals appropriately with theirs. It is all so tragic and unproductive but...

The more enduring tragedy is that moderate voices are lost in the hysteria. Surely it is realised that enduring change comes from within and Terry Jones, almost single handed, has gagged reformers within Afghanisan. Now, their mindless and excessive reaction is in danger of silencing moderates in the US too and so the insanity continues, polarising opinion and sucking us in.

Here, Terry Jones would have been arrested before he burnt a Koran. Incitement to violence has been a crime since 2005. Here is the opening statement of its introduction.

"Crimes Act Amendment (Incitement to Violence) Bill 2005. This Bill will criminalise threats of and incitements to racially or religiously motivated violence. Policy rationale. In order to maintain harmony in a multicultural and multi-religious society, Parliament must send a strong signal that threatening or inciting racial and religious violence is unacceptable. At the same time, law enforcement authorities should have the tools to target the purveyors of hateful, violent messages before, not simply after these messages are turned to action." (accentuation mine).

Note: The first person to come to attention under this act was a Muslim clerics. Mark Chipperfield's report (Sydney 27 Oct 2006) is instructive: 'Australia's most prominent Muslim cleric was threatened with deportation yesterday after he was reported to have said that women who "sway suggestively" and do not cover up can provoke sexual assault by men. In a sermon marking the end of Ramadan, Sheikh Taj el-Din Al Hilali told worshippers in Sydney that women who display their bodies were like "uncovered meat".'

What he still says behind closed doors in anybody's guess, but his public rantings have been curtailed by Incitement to Violence laws.

Here is an earlier post on the subject you might like.


  1. "This Bill will criminalise threats of and incitements to racially or religiously motivated violence."

    You're kidding! What DOESN'T incite violence on the part of religious fanatics?

  2. I so agree with you - my husband & I were talking about this last night. I wonder if he even knows or cares what his ridiculous action caused?

  3. Bug, do you really think that the murderers themselves were not responsible for their actions, but that some non-violent preacher in Florida was? And am I correct in extrapolating from this that you think that the cartoonist who was murdered (and rioters were killed) following publication of his cartoons about Mohammed was responsible for his own death and the deaths of others? And how about Theo van Gogh, the Dutch filmmaker who was murdered in reprisal for his documentary ''Submission,'' about the mistreatment of Muslim women. Was he too responsible for the actions of others? Then there's Salman Rushdie who wrote "Satanic Verses," and had to hide out from would be murderers for years. I could go on an on, but my question to you is this: how far should the rest of us go in order to avoid offending religious people especially in the case of Moslems, thousands of whom have shown a willingness to murder people over literally any criticism of their religion?

  4. Regardless of religion, respect for each other is wanting worldwide. Ideally, if we remember to respect, we need not worry about offending each other.

    Of course the world no longer remembers the ideal situation, it being in perpetual chaos.

  5. Here you go:
    "If we remember to respect, we need not worry about offending."

    Respect will not offend.

  6. Tell me, then, how Theo Van Gogh might have told the truth without having caused offense. Do you imagine that if only he had expressed himself differently that he would not have been killed?

  7. I'm on the other side of the fence here. How many times have our bibles and our flag been burned by other who don't agree with us while taking our assistance.

    I wanted to let you know that I've started posting my manuscript again, and I hope to continue until the entire book has been placed on my blog. This way, at least someone will get to read it.

  8. All too often, in the process of "defending ones position, one becomes no different than those we are trying to defend against. For example, a person who kills an abortionist is just as much a murderer as the one he killed. Two wrongs don't make a right. Unfortunately, the laws you cite are often construed to deny a person the freedom to disagree with some positions.

  9. it's all about freedom of speech....and he's a horrible person....but then so are all the people who look for an excuse to kill.

  10. Yes yes Kathe
    It is the simplest, most powerful premise.
    "I may not agree with what you say but I will defend with my life your right to say it" ( apparently written by Evelyn Beatrice Hall and not by Voltiare - but that is a different discussion)

    Ford, yes tolerance is the responsibility of the community as well as the individual but regulation regulation regulation never made a people pure.

    I blame Terry Jones's mother!

    Great conversation going on here.

  11. Welcome home Loani! I agree. 'Great conversation'. You were missed!

  12. It's good to hear a snowbrush voice in a wilderness of bleeding hearts.

    St Matthew a well known Christian said
    "Do unto others as you would have them do unto
    you" which simply means;if you attack, expect retaliation. Two wrongs don't make a right but it redresses the balance somewhat.

    The popular unjust confused ethical stance of
    'love thine enemies' encourages bullies and renders victims helpless.Besides be unhealthy and perverted,it is is a very convenient strategy for perpetrators who are cowards knowing there will be no effective reprisals and continue on this way.

    Another option is Alfred E Neuman's advice
    " Do unto others. Then split!"

  13. And while we're on the subject of Koran burnings, how about Koran deletions?

  14. The freedom of speech trumps the sensitivities of barbarians.


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