I have seen a fair bit of hoopla around the statement released by Senator Fraser Anning and thought I would do a dissection as a friend wanted to know if I supported his statement (spoiler, some things I think are acceptable, some things I don’t).
So this section of the statement seems pretty cut and dry, he condemns the actions of the gunman.
This section of the statement clearly indicates that what the gunman did can never be justified, which implies that he is not justifying what the person did. He then goes on to explain that he thinks this is a result of growing fear in the community about more people immigrating from countries that are unlike our own, with wildly differing views on the how a culture should be run and the things that are permissible. This is an undisputed fact, majority Muslim countries are in no way similar or compatible with western society (yes, even our allied countries still treat women and gays as second class citizens).
This is an accurate, true fact which I have to deal with on a daily basis.
This is the first section of the statement that I think is either patently false, or needs citation as there is no real basis for this claim, other than his “word”. Honestly I think he should be focusing on things he knows for sure rather than spouting off about other countries with no citations at all.
This is overwhelmingly the case lately and it seems that every time there is an attack by an Islamic extremist it’s always passed off in the media as a “lone wolf” or “no connection with Islam” even though there are clear indicators of an Islamic extremist intent. This is also something that is swept under the rug over in Muslim majority countries because we don’t have the same level of scrutiny we do here in the west.
This section is clearly opinion and it is true in his eyes, and being an Atheist myself I personally think all religions are exactly the same, and people who use their religion to justify being a terrorist deserves nothing but jail time or death. The last part of the paragraph though seems to be correct from a modern Islam teaching from what I have read, leaving Islam seems to be one of the hardest things to do due to the punishments the Quran calls for. I haven’t read it myself, but from all the limited reading I have done the Prophet Muhammad did some pretty messed up stuff, however that doesn’t negate all of the messed up stuff that other religions have done in the same timeline *cough* Catholics *cough*. Personally I think religion is just fiction and anyone using it to justify violence is just a shithead, no matter who they kill.
While I think much of this paragraph is really just his opinion, what I have read suggests that this is definitely the case with Islam, HOWEVER the last part is also absolutely incorrect and this is the only section in the entire statement that I think could constitute victim blaming, and I think the Senator should not have said it. That being said I don’t think the outrage is warranted to try to bring the man down because he is an xyz over one single comment alone. Was it wrong? Yes of course it is, the victims of this horrific crime are in no way, shape or form to blame for this terrorists actions at all.
I find it amusing ending a statement about the state of a religion, while also quoting a religious text. With the actual content of the text it looks as though he is trying to draw parallels with Muslim extremism being fought with reactionary extremism and I think while I can understand where he is coming from (wouldn’t you want to act if you felt people weren’t listening to your concerns?) I don’t agree that this is a response to the Islamic extremism that has been happening for the last 20 years, personally I think this is a mentally ill individual managed to deceive others to not be detected so that he could carry out a deranged attack on innocent people who have done nothing wrong. Unfortunately while it is extremely sad, history is fraught with humans doing this exact same thing, it just seems like it’s happening less and less than it used to in centuries gone past as science and society progresses (thankfully).
Now this section I really struggled to come to terms with the extreme bigotry displayed by the senator.
Throughout this press release all I could think of is that the senator is guilty of spreading some falsehoods and does have a victim blaming mentality in one the paragraphs, I hardly think that identifying the growing discontent among some portions of the population is something we should be drawing attention to as this is the reason that people are becoming radicalized, if you keep calling them bigots, racists and homophobes you’ll eventually alienate them beyond all redemption, and just because they have concerns that you don’t share doesn’t make their concerns any less valid.
Personally I think some of what he said was kind of stupid, but I also think the reaction was very far over the top and is a clear indication why more people are radicalizing, however I don’t think this statement warranted violence against him which so many on the left are calling for. Regarding kicking him out of parliament, well vote him out next election if you don’t like his policies, but regardless of if he got 19 votes or 19 million votes, he was elected based on our own electoral system to serve the constituents that he represents, and if he doesn’t represent those individuals then they can feel free to democratically vote him out.