This self-loathing insults Australian values
June 26, 2014
THE Sydney Opera House is Australia’s most iconic building. And on its stage in August was to be a taxpayer-funded talk: “Honour killings are morally justified.”
Be clear: the title is not a question but a statement. Yes, in the heart of Australia we are now to rationalise the strangling, stoning, burning, beating or shooting of daughters and wives for supposedly shaming their men. . . .
In this case, Uthman Badar was invited by Sydney Opera House and the St James Ethics Centre for their Festival of Dangerous Ideas, and planned to attack critics of honour killings as the usual “secular (white) Westerner”, wickedly using these murders as a symbol of “everything that is allegedly wrong with the other culture”. Note: honour killings are only “allegedly wrong”.
The Opera House has now cancelled Badar’s speech, but only on the grounds that his critics misunderstood the poor man. (Depressingly, not one critic was a prominent Muslim.) As the Opera House put it, “a line has been crossed” by giving the lecture its “provocative” title, because “it is clear from the public reaction that the title has given the wrong impression of what Mr Badar intended to discuss”.
We are now asked to believe a talk entitled “Honour killings are morally justified” would say something different, although the organisers and Badar haven’t said what. The Opera House merely asserts neither Badar nor the organisers “in any way advocate honour killings” — and it cancels the talk it claims would have said the same.
In fact, this blaming of the critics is terribly familiar. Our cultural elite doesn’t condone Islamic extremists; it just attacks those who condemn them. Example: when Dutch political leader Geert Wilders toured Australia last year to warn against the Islamist threat to our freedoms and safety, he was vilified even by the Executive Council of Australian Jewry for allegedly “inciting hatred and animosity”. Example: when I criticised our leading Islamic apologist, ABC presenter Waleed Aly, for refusing to identify Nigeria’s Boko Haram as Islamist or blame it for kidnapping schoolgirls, I was damned by the ABC’s religious affairs editor as “mad”, “lunatic”, “maniacal” and “idolatrous”.
Or take Ann Mossop, co-curator of the festival that invited Badar. She has repeatedly tweeted support for an activist who defaced posters protesting against jihadist attacks on Israel with the slogan: “In any war between the civilised and the savage, support the civilised man.”
Indeed, in this cultural war, the support too often is for the savage and our will to resist is white-anted by a self-loathing of one of the richest, safest and most free societies the world has seen.
“We have a reputation at the moment as being one of the nastiest countries in the world,” feminist Eva Cox declared on the ABC’s Q&A this week. Australia has a “racist” Constitution and a “very dark past, a brutal history of dispossession, theft and slaughter”, claims Australian of the Year Adam Goodes.
Our Anzac dead were just “killed or wounded while their country engaged them in the business of killing”, Tasmanian Governor Peter Underwood reproached Dawn Service mourners this year.
Yes, we have such rotten values that we should be more open to imported ones.
Honour killings, anyone? For a cultural elite with a death wish, it almost makes sense.