It is absolutely no concern of mine whether Muslims are traumatised, gay or straight.
This blogpost is about
Why has the ABC allowed the ABC’s religion department be hijacked like this?
ABC’s Muslim accused of protecting extremist
The ABC’s Religion division has already accused me of being “mad”, “lunatic”,“maniacal” and even “idolatrous” for pointing out that Waleed Aly diverts criticism of Muslim extremists into criticism of the West instead – or sometimes simply refuses to even acknowledge barbarities done in Islam’s name.
Then this same Religion division helped Muslim psychologist Hanan Dover to defend herself.
Dover had been criticised in The Australian for the kind of religious bigotry that the ABC would never tolerate in a Christian:
A gay Muslim student says they were left feeling traumatised after therapy with a psychologist who tried to “cure” their homosexuality…
Ms Dover has argued that being gay and Muslim was a contradiction…
In 2002, at a public forum held at the Western Sydney University’s Bankstown campus on the “Islamic, scientific and logical analysis” of homosexuality, Ms Dover — then a lecturer at the university — said Muslims questioned homosexual tendencies “because they know deep down inside it’s haram (forbidden)” .
She went on to say: “Changing sexual orientation happens as a result of a process which usually involves some hard personal work … like murderers who kill an innocent person, and keep hiding this fact until their conscience gets the better of them and they turn themselves in. They cannot escape it… Gay groups would probably want to call me a homophobe, you know like homophobia. But I am no more a homophobe than they are an Islamophobe…”
Ms Dover did not respond to repeated attempts to contact her for comment.
But then the the ABC’s Religion staff invited Dover to hit back on its (state-funded) web site. As she wrote:
I was invited by the editor of this website to offer a reply and I was compelled by conscience to write it because I believe in my industry’s professional codes of practice and the mainstream media is publicly poisoning it.
Not only do I not recall the content of my 2002 presentation, I strongly oppose what I am supposed to have said.
Don’t remember, no longer believe, I think she means. But later there is in fact this half-admission:
As for things I am supposed to have said in 2002 … Really? Is that what I said? Ouch. Even I cringed. How embarrassing to be young and ignorant if that is close to what was said. Fortunately I have moved on from such clear, simplistic and youthful worldview, and moved to the complex realities of the world. I have left those beliefs behind me.
As for the student’s more contemporary allegation:
I must stress in relation to last week’s article in The Australian, that confidentiality in respect of anyone I may have seen will not be violated and so I will not comment on details.
And then the usual just-picking-on-me-because-I’m-Muslim:
Racism, Islamophobia, homophobia and sexism are all forms of societal ills. But I am forced to name them publicly, despite it being well known in the spaces I occupy that I am opposed to all forms of violence and discrimination. It appears that this attempt on the part of mainstream journalists to demonize me, where positions are misattributed to me, further exposes hidden Islamophobic agendas under the guise of investigative journalism.
The ABC’s Religion department chose to run this victimology at length and without challenge (although it had allowed other Muslim women to question Dover’s teaching a week earlier).
A psychologist knew of plans by a group of extremists to leave the country and fight with Islamic State but said nothing, police allege.
Federal Police investigators say intercepted conversations reveal that Melbourne extremist preacher Robert “Musa” Cerantonio told psychologist Hanan Dover that his “teacher” was a senior Islamic State figure.
He also told Ms Dover, who provides court reports on terrorism suspects, that Filipino terrorists had asked for his help to find evidence to support the execution of an anti-extremism “spy”, officers claim in a statement to a court.
— Hanan Dover (@HananDover1) September 14, 2016
Cerantonio was arrested in May while towing to Cape York a boat the AFP alleges he planned to use to reach Southeast Asia, to join terrorist groups there or in the Middle East…
One coded conversation is said to reveal Ms Dover and Cerantonio speaking of his plan.
In a conversation detailed in an AFP statement of facts released by the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court, Ms Dover is alleged to have said: “The only advice I’ll give you — I thought about this last night — is, the future that you want, if you are successful, the people that you leave behind, they will be under surveillance, and just think about that.”
Cerantonio: “I’ll speak to you soon. My advice to you is to shh …
Ms Dover: “Yeah, I just thought about that now. I know. I’m an idiot.”…
Cerantonio is said to have told Ms Dover, in relation to a woman captured in the Philippines, that “they” were looking for people to come forward with evidence to support her execution.
AFP investigators allege Cerantonio — who lived in the Philippines for a year — was talking to “black flag” groups in the country with ties to IS terrorists.
Ms Dover has been known to provide her services to terrorism suspects pro bono, and has complained they are being criminalised for “teenage speak”…
For a number of days during the inquest on teenager Numan Haider, who was fatally shot in September 2014 when he stabbed two counter-terrorism police at Endeavour Hills, Ms Dover also sat with the Haider family…
Ms Dover has written opinion pieces for the ABC religion page slamming the federal government’s deradicalisation programs.
Dover seems to have been granted a privileged access to the ABC’s religion page to push her propaganda, so contrary to what I believe is healthy for our democracy and our freedoms.
I have found that, as a Muslim, any departure from the pre-existing script – in which I am expected to “condemn ISIS” and nothing else – becomes proof of some sort of complacency, proof that Muslim elders are not “doing enough” to challenge radicalisation… Despite being in an academic setting, last week I was confronted yet again with the fact that it has become incredibly hard to be a Muslim and a trusted member of society.
Then there are the other pieces the Religion page runs that advance the Islamic agenda. For instance:
Is There a Place for Shari’a Law in Australia? Zachariah Matthews ABC Religion and Ethics 20 Sep 2016
Dr Zachariah Matthews is the principal instructor with Deen Academy and executive director with
In a fact-check piece by SBS’s The Feed which assessed Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech to the Senate on Wednesday, my 2010 comments about shari’a (Muslim law) were again referenced to say that some Muslims are calling for the introduction of shari’a law in Australia… Even in the current climate of anti-Muslim hatred and vilification, it seems that when there is the prospect of financial gain, there is a capacity to accommodate and discuss shari’a in a mature and sensible manner. Yet the demonisation of shari’a more generally continues unabated, and I am just a useful scapegoat in this campaign.
Pauline Hanson on Islam: When Elected Representatives Think like Religious Fundamentalists Halim Rane ABC Religion and Ethics 15 Sep 2016
Halim Rane is an Associate Professor of Islam-West Relations and Security Studies in the School of Humanities, Languages and Social Science at Griffith University. He is the co-author of Media Framing of the Muslim World: Conflicts, Crises and Contexts.
It wasn’t a polished delivery, she sounded nervous and stumbled on many of her words. But Pauline Hanson’s maiden speech in the Senate had some appeal. There was a bit of humour and the bits about big corporations having an adverse influence on Australian politics resonated with me.
However, almost all of what Senator Hanson had to say about Islam and Muslims, I found disagreeable, ill-informed and disingenuous.
Why has the ABC allowed the ABC’s religion department be hijacked like this?