Tony Jones has to go. This is is nothing short of enemy propaganda.
One of his panelists is the odious Anne Aly, a Muslim “counter-terrorism expert”at Curtin University who leaves a taqiyya trail like a snail.
Has there ever been a more dangerous and despicable Q&A?
Has any Q&A panel been more frightening and threatening?
The claim that terrorists have “legitimate concerns”, although, of course, the killing is bad.
The unchallenged vilification of Israel and its “war crimes”.
The describing of Israel as a “root cause” of Muslim terrorism.
The insistence that we will keep getting extremism unless we end our support for evil Israel.
The steering of this discussion away from Islamist threats to Australians and onto alleged Australian meanness to Muslims.
The dismissal of terrorism as “theatre”.
The repeated attacks on the government for allegedly arranging the police raids for political purposes.
The repeated claims that white racists aren’t policed as Muslims are.
The repeated complaints – by people in the audience, too – that Muslims are picked on.
The attacks on the expectation that Muslims follow “the Australian way”.
The heckling of Justice Minister Michael Keenan, with claims the timing of the raids was convenient for the Government.
The barrage of tweets attacking the Government and Islamophobia, and suggesting the police raids were a stunt.
The West created this threat by invading Iraq.
The pack attack on politicians opposing the burqa, a shroud of oppression of women.
Naturally, host Tony Jones has stacked the panel: two Muslim activists (who do most of the talking), plus one MP each from Labor, the Liberals and Greens. Jones reserves most of his hard questions for the Justice Minister, and none for the two Muslim apologists.
Muslim extremists watching would feel more justified than ever in their rage at the alleged crimes Australia and Israel commit against Muslims. They would feel that Australia must change to accommodate them … or else.
The ABC is out of control. And this kind of stuff actually puts us in more danger.
Why did the Labor MP, shadow Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus, not protest at the gross vilification of Israel? I would have, and I’m not even Jewish.
ABC balance: a Left-wing host has a panel of four from the Left and one conservative to discuss how the terrorism raids seemed a stunt, we’re just picking on Muslims and Israel is one of the “root causes” of the rage of jihadists.
How can the ABC board possibly justify this? This is not just biased, but dangerously inflammatory.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH [Curtin University academic]: … The timing of the raids, you know, the fact that it is happening one week before – it happened one week before, conveniently, the most draconian legislation is about to be announced… It should not be the case that you are guilty until proven innocent when it comes to Muslims. You cannot help but feel cynical about the timing of these raids, the fact that it is whipping people up into a frenzy of hysteria of war fever… I’m very cynical about the Government’s use of these raids to politicise the Muslim problem of terrorism (indistinct)…
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: …No one is saying that there isn’t a credible risk that we face in Australia. What we are saying is the approach, the way that this is being handled is being used to feed a wider narrative that simply serves the purpose of whipping people up into a more of an Islamophobic environment…
ANNE-AZZA ALY [writer, former Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic Council of Victoria]: … All terrorism is theatre and all counter-terrorism is theatre. So, yes, it was a manufactured spectacle but that’s what counter-terrorism is…
SCOTT LUDLAM [Greens Senator]: …To me that feels like the element of theatre, not the raids per se, but the extraordinary media circus that goes on around it. I don’t understand what that is for if not to increase tension…
MICHAEL KEENAN [Justice Minister]: … Now, the idea that this is some conspiracy from the Government because we’re putting through some foreign fighter legislation through Parliament this week is just not – just not measurable by the facts. The timing of these things is an operational decision for the police…
ANNE-AZZA ALY: But you have to admit that the time uncanny.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Yeah, what a coincidence.
SCOTT LUDLAM: Amazing coincidence.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Going into Iraq and terror laws.
MICHAEL KEENAN: No, you know what – you know what, I – I really don’t. The timing…
ANNE-AZZA ALY: You really don’t think it’s uncanny at all?
MICHAEL KEENAN: Look, the whole point is they acted because there was information that they had that a senior operative in the Middle East had instructed his followers in Australia to go about and commit random and barbaric acts of violence on Australian citizens and it was going to happen within days. What would you expect the police to do in those circumstances? They don’t respond to our political agenda.
ANNE-AZZA ALY: There are people in the Middle East instructing them every day on social media. We have no idea what influence means.
MICHAEL KEENAN: I’m sorry, this was a specific instruction for their followers to go and carry this out.
ANNE-AZZA ALY: We have no idea. We are making arrests based on somebody tweeting something, somebody saying something.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Chatter.
ANNE-AZZA ALY: Some chatter.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Chatter…
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: We make it a Muslim problem … and the one thing that we never address is the role of Western foreign policy and the grievances – the legitimate grievances – that causes people. That doesn’t mean that everybody who is aggrieved by the way that the West intervenes in the Middle East is going to become radicalised. But why is it that we choose to ignore that elephant in the room? The role of Western foreign policy and its role in creating such an unjust world and particularly its role in creating the mess in the Middle East that we see. You know, the fact that we had the decimation of Gaza by Israel two months ago and the conspiracy of silence – in fact, I’ll go even further, the legitimating and justification giving Israel a licence to kill, does that not fuel anger? Does that not plant the seeds? We go around in the West trying to cut down the trees of terrorism even as we plant seeds of terrorism and we do that – we we do that when we allow Israel to get away with its war crimes. We do that when we support the US blindly. We say – the US says, jump, we say how high? Even though the US takes the moral high ground, even as it rains down drones and cruise missiles on civilian populations, engages in torture, extraordinary rendition, it takes the moral high ground. We plant the seeds of terrorism when we turn our backs on 200,000 Syrians dead, Iraqis killed and suddenly we are moved to humanitarian action because of some YouTube videos because Westerners are threatened and killed? These are legitimate concerns. These are not excuses for the barbarity that we’re seeing but it is completely insane for us to ignore that these are really serious issues and that there are some people who are going to take these legitimate concerns and go down a radical path. But until we address those root causes, and I don’t just say that just as a Muslim, there are many non-Muslim analysts who would say the same thing – until we address those root causes and stop thinking this is a Muslim pathology, we are never going to be able to address radicalisation…
TONY JONES: Can I just pick up on that point, though? I mean the Australian Defence League has evidently or allegedly threatened to bomb mosques, it has threatened the lives of people, it has threatened women, photographs women, in fact, wearing the burqa or so on and does behave in threatening ways. Is it time the federal police treated them as seriously or in some way as seriously?
MICHAEL KEENAN: You are assuming that they don’t police these groups in the same way as they would police any other group in the community.
TONY JONES: But not in a public way…
AUDIENCE MEMBER: ADL make threats to myself and my family, telling them that they want to behead me. So everything you’re saying right now is very insulting.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, if that is the case, then you need to alert the authorities.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I have reported it to police numerous times, thank you.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, let me assure you, we don’t police in a way in this country that targets one group over another.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, you do.
MICHAEL KEENAN: I can assure you that that is the case.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes, you do.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well…
SCOTT LUDLAM: I’m not sure the message is getting through, whether you sense the reaction of the room when you said that for the first time…
TONY JONES: Michael Keenan, can I just interrupt for a second, because that was a pretty extraordinary allegation. I’d just like you to – are you saying that an official of the security forces did this?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I reported it to Bankstown Police Station on numerous occasions. They’ve called to slit my – the – my – my children’s throats and rape my dead ‘caucus’ on the side of the road.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well…
TONY JONES: So are you’re saying – sorry, you’re saying this is coming from racist groups?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Yes.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, I mean, I can assure you that threats of that nature would be followed up.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: I am trolled 24 hours a day on Facebook and social media because of these right-wing Nazis, okay. My life is not pleasant right now living in this country and no-one seems to care because I am Muslim and they’re not. It’s all right for the non-Muslims to give me a hard time.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, it’s not.
AUDIENCE MEMBER: But when I complain about it, it’s not the same…
TONY JONES: I’m just confirming you’re not saying that was security officials. You’re saying that was a racist group that’s made these threats against you?
AUDIENCE MEMBER: Well, it – look, it’s the ADL, yes.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, I can assure you that will be followed up.
TONY JONES: Right, I beg your pardon. You said ADL. I thought you said ASIO. Okay, no, I thank you – thank you so much…
ASME FAHMI: A couple of years ago, as I was on my way to work, I was physically attacked by a man who called me an f’ing terrorist. Now, with the recent onslaught of negative media attention towards the Muslim community, many visible Muslims, many of whom are Muslim women who wear the hijab have been subject to verbal abuse and, at times, physical attacks. Now, language has been key in inflaming tensions. So what does the panel think of Tony Abbott’s use of the divisive term “Team Australia” and just the language used by politicians in order to, you know, keep the Muslim community as the chosen bogeyman?…
MARK DREYFUS: … Michael is right, of course, that we don’t set out to have unevenness in policing… I fear, from what you’ve said and what you’ve also said, Asme, is that there’s a gap. Clearly, there is a gap. There’s a whole lot more work to be done and it fits together, as it happens, with countering violence extremism…
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Well, you know, there’s been a huge backlash since the terror raids and we’re seeing, you know, the invective and obscenity online on social media. We’re seeing Muslim women at the frontline, because they’re obviously visibly identifiable in their hijabs as Muslims and people pin their anxieties and fears and hatreds onto those women and they have to suffer the most horrible verbal and physical abuse…. [T]he language of Team Australia… It’s almost as though they are emboldening Islamophobia and we’ve seen a direct correlation. The terror raids occurred and a huge increase in Islamophobic incidents and the Team Australia example, it’s the language of division. It’s the language of inclusion and exclusion… This is – this is the message that is being sent, whether unwittingly or not, by leadership and it emboldens Islamophobia – Islamophobes when that message of division and deviance is coming from the highest leaders of the country and that is why people feel empowered by those sorts of messages to attack Muslim women who wear the hijab as the incarnation of everything that we see as evil in Australia and it’s not fair for Muslim women to have to undergo that…
MONA EL BABA: As a Muslim lawyer practising criminal law in Western Sydney, I experience first-hand the distrust between my community and the law enforcement agencies, especially the intimidation and harassment tactics used by these agencies under the existing legislation. Are the new anti-terror laws that are currently being tabled before Parliament really necessary to prevent terrorism or are they a political wedge aimed at drumming up fear and xenophobia towards Islam and Muslims to score cheap political points?…
SCOTT LUDLAM: … seeing Prime Minister Howard on TV saying he was embarrassed. 600,000 people died as a result of that occupation [in Iraq] and the sectarian carnage that we helped unleash, you know, embarrassed just doesn’t cut it for me… I think we are at grave risk of simply repeating and pouring fuel on a fire that we helped start….
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, I mean, thank God that we have countries in the world that are actually prepared to take some responsibility for things that happen around the globe. I mean we saw a situation where…
SCOTT LUDLAM: Do you mean the invasion in 2003?
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Like Gaza?
ANNE-AZZA ALY: Oh, maybe he means Rwanda.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: Yeah.
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, I’m sorry, but, well, if anyone in this – well, I mean, if anyone believes that it’s a bad thing that the Australian Government has joined with our allies to protect the Yazidi people, who were going to be massacred by this barbaric organisation, literally tens of thousands of people, I mean, if anyone believes that that’s a bad thing, that Australia shouldn’t be taking those sorts of humanitarian actions or that our allies shouldn’t be, then I would be very surprised.
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: I shouldn’t have to support a war…
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, it’s…
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: …in order to say that I’m against ISIS. There should be other solutions….
MICHAEL KEENAN: … I think it is absolutely right and proper that Australia, as a responsible world citizen, doesn’t just think it’s somebody else’s responsibility, that we do take some ownership over the fact that, you know, we need to make sure that this – that we – that…
TONY JONES: Do you mean take ownership over the mess that was created by the previous intervention?
MICHAEL KEENAN: Well, look, I reject that, Tony, and I don’t think that is a fair analysis at all…
RANDA ABDEL-FATTAH: That’s the problem of the West’s failure to acknowledge the connection between their imperial interests in the Middle East and the threat that comes to our soil. There is a connection there and it’s about time the West acknowledges the mess that it creates and the fact is that we are – we are at risk now on our soil because of our involvement and we’re not going to be seduced by this circular logic that we have to go back into Iraq because the threat has increased when renewing our involvement increases the threat. We’re not fools. We know what’s been happening in the last 13 years…
ANNE-AZZA ALY: Very briefly. Going back to the question by Marty, yes, our invasion of Iraq has played a huge role in what’s – what’s happening at the moment. The fact is that ISIS is barbaric and I think that a large part of it is the Western intervention and what’s happened….
Liberal MP Alex Hawke attacked last night’s Q&A program for providing a forum for the opinions without seeking to balance them with views from moderate Muslims.
Mr Hawke said the program had “inflamed” the debate about national security at a time when all sides, including politicians and the media, should avoid voicing extreme views.
The ABC defended the program, saying last night’s panellists had offered a range of views.
Mr Hawke said he was concerned Q&A had aired theories from some panellists that the ASIO raids on terror suspects last week were manufactured to build support for tougher security laws.
Accusing the ABC of breaching its charter by failing to provide balance, Mr Hawke told the full meeting of Coalition MPs this morning that he was “appalled” at the way the program had aired the views without offering a more moderate response…. [O]ne minister was heard to describe the criticism as the “speech of the day” in the Coalition meeting.
Speaking afterwards, Mr Hawke told The Australian … “My concern about Q&A is they were not being balanced or moderate or sticking to the ABC’s charter obligations to be balanced …
“For ordinary Australians watching, they would have felt there was a majority Islamic view that the police raids were a conspiracy and that is not a mainstream Islamic view.
“So that was inflaming a situation that does not need inflaming.
“And given that it’s the ABC and it’s taxpayer funded, I think people would be right to be concerned about the program.”