8 Sep 2011

Let's Not Tolerate The Haters

By Mark Fletcher
We're stuck with Cory Bernardi but all it will take is a 'visa refused' stamp to keep Geert Wilders out of the country. Mark Fletcher on why it's bogus to invoke free speech to defend visiting racists

I am, despite being a staunch conservative, not a fan of the Senate, the House of Party Hacks. Party officials and MP staffers are bequeathed plump spots on senate tickets in recognition for not stuffing up so hideously that the media noticed. I'm hard pressed to spot a single senator that I'd trust with sharp scissors.

But while most of them are merely mediocre in their quasi-harmless crankery and kookery, few cultivate their inner bonsai of malevolent mendaciloquence like South Australia's Cory Bernardi.

Here's a man who can segue seamlessly from Cadel Evans winning the Tour de France to hedging bets about Anders Breivik's political and religious beliefs.

Juxtaposing two irreconcilable emotions appears to be Bernardi's rhetorical modus operandi. He lulls us into a false sense of security before turning the tables and shocking our senses. In another post, he tells a heart-warming tale about how his friends asked him to become their child's godparent. As you drift gently along, Bernardi bamboozles you with this:

"Whatever ones [sic] personal belief in matters of faith, one cannot separate the life of Christ and its importance to western culture. Our society is built on the Judeo-Christian tradition that serves as the bedrock of our civilisation.

"However there are concerted forces that work to undermine these enduring values by constantly seeking ways to reduce their importance in the public eye. Through insisting upon an equivalence of culture, decrying the Christian faith as a force for good and promoting moral relativity, the anti-Christian forces pursue their agenda in the public sphere.

"In doing so, they have weakened the essential bonds that bind us together as a society. It is evidenced by an increasing array of anti-social behaviour which can be linked to the gradual abandonment of our traditional values."

Whoa! Where did that come from? Fortunately, there's no need for you to sit on your roof with a shotgun and six pack of beers: Bernardi happily exposes some of these "concerted forces" in another post.

"Outside of the threat of radicalised violence, we are also wise to be concerned about the long-term price of the 'Sharia by stealth' movement.

"This is the process by which community concessions are demanded to allow the less confronting aspects of Sharia or fundamentalist interpretations of Islam to operate within our neighbourhoods."

According to the senator, there is "the very real threat of Islamic extremism [...] already at work within our communities, intent on destabilising our nation and undermining our values" and we should fight this threat by "learning from the mistakes of other nations".

Thus this week's announcement that Bernardi had offered his support to Islamophobic Dutch politician, Geert Wilders, should he wish to visit Australia. It's the next logical step in Bernardi's fanatical War Against Islam: import guns for hire.

Bernardi has been on a long crusade against Islam. Earlier this year, he tried to reassure us all that he wasn't against Muslims, just their religion and cultural identity. Wilders spins a similar line cranked to eleven, declaring Islam to be "the ideology of a retarded culture".

So as a straight, white, conservative male, may I have the honour and distinction of being one of the first to declare that Wilders should be denied a visa to Australia? The Government should protect Australian citizens from the molestation of visiting hate-mongers, and Bernardi proves that we have enough home grown ones already. Sure, the hippies and bleeding hearts like Senator Bernardi might point to Wilders' right to the freedom of speech, but I don't care.

In many places around the world, dastardly governments use censorship as part of a concerted campaign to oppress their citizens. For those who dare to struggle back, reclaiming a freedom to expression of thought and belief is a noble and dignified cause.

Australia is not one of those places. Australia is nothing like any of those places. Australia is not even a military coup away from being one of those places. The Government can barely communicate its own views, let alone suppress ours. And yet we hear so frequently about our freedom of speech and how it is the most important right of all. As I wrote back in April, journalists shriek hysteria when there's the remotest restriction on their right to write rubbish because it strikes at the heart of their business model, not because they're overcome with philosophical quandaries about the nature of democracy.

Bernardi and Wilders are stereotypical of our modern Right to Free Speech Worrier. They're male. They're in positions of power. And they're paid an exorbitant amount for doing not terribly much.

But the defining characteristic is their self indulgence: their rights are more important than your rights. You don't have a right to have your religion respected, because Cory Bernardi has the right to free speech. You don't have a right to enjoy our great country unmolested, because Cory Bernardi has the right to free speech. And you certainly don't have the right to feel welcome or even invited to celebrate your rich cultural heritage in Australia, because Cory Bernardi has the right to express whatever half-baked, pig-ignorant, and mendacious idea comes into his overtaxed mind.

But we're stuck with him. We're not stuck with Wilders. We are merely a tap of the "visa refused" button away from excising a threat to our social cohesion.

I wouldn't be departing from conservative precedent. Back in the early 2000s, conservative Howard minister, Philip Ruddock, frustrated the plans of crackpot Holocaust denier, David Irving, from coming to Australia. And rightly so. Why should Jewish Australians have to tolerate the ignorant bleating of an attention-seeking goon? Further, how am I better off in a society which happily grants visas to buffoons who seek to target a section of our community for derision? David Irving threatened the "essential bonds that bind us together as a society", and now Wilders — at the invitation of one of our own senators — is coming to threaten them as well.

It is frankly indecent and obscene that Senator Bernardi would collude with a foreign politician in an attack on hardworking Australian families. The Liberal Party should question whether this is the sort of person it believes should be parachuted into safe Senate seats. The Coalition, as the custodian of the conservative tradition in Australia, should call on the Government to deny Wilders a visa on the grounds that he is coming here to incite hatred against Australian families and their way of life.

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David Grayling
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 15:11

Wow, what a trashing Cory got! What a rocket Geert Wilderbeast received!

The ironic thing is that neither of these men seriously threaten Australia or its sonambulistic, self-interested, indulgent lifestyle.

<b>The dangerous visitors who we should be targeting come from America.</b>

Yes, I'm talking here about the country with the biggest army in the world, the most military bases and nukes, the country that is the world's biggest warmonger, one that tortures and renders and massacres millions.

Despite being bankrupt, it is currently is trying to grab control most of the world's scarce resources and, with a handful of ex-colonialist allies, dominate the world for its own benefit.

Dignitaries from America are given carte blanche in this country. They address Parliament, they sell Australia overpriced weapons, they put their troops all over our land (thanks to a succession of American-grovelling politicians and Prime Ministers), they have listening bases here and who knows what else...

I would urge every Australian to visit http://informationclearinghouse.org/ to get some idea of how other writers and thinkers, most of them Americans, see America. You will get a huge shock, I'm sure!

Forget Geert and Cory! Worry about America gaining control of Australia and the world!


Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 15:23

Let's not tolerate haters. Agree!
I do not classify myself as belonging to ...... (in other words, neither tagged nor labelled)
I do not believe in 'invisible friends'. I prefer the real one's!
My friends come in all shades and colours!
And yes, let's not tolerate haters, wherever they are!

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 17:07

@David Grayling
Did you mean "somnambulistic"?

David Grayling
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 17:20

I was just checking that you were awake, GocomSys!

No, all joking aside, you were awake but I thought that you would find other things in my comment that were more important to discuss than a typo!

Surprise me!


Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 18:05

The UK Home Office tried to keep him out of the UK back in 2009 under EU law, which allows a member state to bar individuals if they constitute a threat to public policy, security or health. They told him his visit would “threaten community harmony and therefore public security".

It was such a shame that the ban was later overturned by the UK's Immigration Tribunal - the drawn out media coverage of the saga just ended giving the cretin a whole lot more attention than desired.

I wholeheartedly applaud your stance, and your views regarding free speech. I just fear that unless refusal of a visa can be completely effective and discreet we would just end up with it all over the news, giving voice to racist pinheads here and abroad, and advancing the career of Senator Bernardi.

Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 19:14

Somnambulistic? I had to look it up actually... :)<br>

That was the best critique of the right to free speech blah blah that I've read for some time Mark Fletcher - good article!

Perfidious Rex
Posted Thursday, September 8, 2011 - 21:48

No-one has a "right to have their religion respected".

They have a right to practice whichever religion they so choose and a right do so without interference. However to suggest that there is an obligation on members of society to respect all religions is downright silly.

Cory Bernardi is perfectly entitled to hold the view that Christian values are fundamental to our society just as the author is perfectly entitled to hold the view that his views are whacko. He is also entitled to have no respect for Islam, just as the author is entitled to have no respect for him.

Whilst it is the favorite past-time of the political left to pick the nastiest word they can find to describe those who disagree with them I also find the use of the word "racist" in this context quite odd.

One is no more a racist by being against a particular religion than they are by being against a particular political affiliation (although in the case of Islam it is not 100% clear which category this falls into at times).

One might be of the view for instance that the Greens are a danger to our society - how is one supposed to fight this danger other than by making people aware of it through speech and discourage people from taking part in their religion?

It is very dangerous territory if we were to start denying visas to people because of the opinions they hold.....


Black Pepper
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 02:02

Well said PR - pretty much what I wanted to say but you beat me to it!

I think one of your points could be expanded somewhat - people only have a right to practice their religion (culture) as long as it does not violate our laws. Islam's sharia law, and many Islamic customs, would violate our laws. Homosexuals in particular must shudder at the thought of sharia law. And, does anyone want to see female sexual mutilation practiced in Oz (or anywhere else)?

Unfortunately the differences in culture between what we know, and what Islam prescibes, are many. And those differences are often extreme. (Anyone enjoyed a beer or other alcoholic beverage lately?)

Even more unfortunate is the fact that fundamentalist muslims have stated quite clearly that their aim is to overthrow the western world and to introduce muslim law and culture. So, is it any wonder that the likes of Geert Wilders have appeared to oppose the religion of Islam and its associated culture?

This comes down to a battle of ideas and culture, and it is difficult to see the extremes of both cultures living harmoniously side by side. It is not a racial issue as some mistakenly (or maliciously) make out.

While most of us have come to consider apartheid as evil, it may well be the most practical solution to this problem. I for one do not want to see full scale battle on our streets. (Funny isn't it, that muslims want to come in the millions to live in western nations, but by and large there is no exodus of westerners to live in muslim nations!)

I think it is ridiculous that Mark Fletcher equates the "crackpot" Irving with Geert Wilders. Crikey, that's drawing a very long bow! Irving is rightly desribed - history is history, the haulocaust happened. Wilders is not attempting to deceive on a gigantic scale like Irving, he's simply stating his view. Bad luck if you don't agree with that view Mark, but in the battle of ideas you have to allow those ideas to be aired.

Finally, I suspect that if Pauline Hanson had the intellectual capacity and communicative powers of Geert Wilders, she would be in parliament today, together with a host of other One Nation menbers.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 07:40

@Black Pepper - Your point about Islamic fundamentalists wanting to overthrow 'all that is good and decent' applies to lots of other groups as well - fundamentalist Christians for example.
I encourage you to travel to Turkey, a predominately Muslim country and as nice and friendly a place as I've ever been. And they brew a good beer, make excellent wine, and have great places to sit for a drink and a chat too. I'm sure your understanding of Muslims would improve if you met some.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 08:03

No-one has a “right to have their religion respected”, yes, indeed PR. 'Respect' far too often means accommodation to the demands of religious bigots.

Well, Mark Fletcher has certainly exercised his right to write rubbish. His article contains all the multi-culti group think terms,'social cohesion', the implicit and expicit conflation of 'race' and religious ideology and of course, 'Islamophobia'.

I've seen videos of Wilders speeches and he was always careful to point out that his criticism is directed against the Islamic ideology iself. Islam is a backward, primitive anti-democratic superstition, is Wilders 'Islamophobic' to say so and what is 'Islamohobia' anyway, is it a 'thought crime' of some kind?

What does Mark fletcher propose to do about those Moslems who preach hate here in Australia?

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 09:07

I agree also that it's dangerous to prevent the airing of opinions, and yet that's what we do and selectively.
Geert Wilders' opinions HAVE ALREADY been aired by Radio TV and Press, including our ABC....and continue to be.

Let me remind you all what happened to Max Gilles' <u>The Gilles Report</u> on ABC TV after he portrayed Kerry Packer as a Goanna.
The code name for a then unknown underworld king pin crime figure.
It's the last we saw of Australia's finest political satirist.

David Irving (right or wrong with his historical views), unlike Wilders and Bernardi, has not called for expulsions, or restrictions on immigration, or provoked violence or hatred against race or creed.

In WA Brendon O'Connel was jailed 3 yrs for saying against Talmud observing Jews, critiques similar to those made by Bernardi and Wilders against Muslims.

Wilders is not only an inspiration to Cory Bernardi, he was an inspiration to Norwegian nut case Anders Behring Breivik, the bomber and shooter.
In Breivik’s over 1500 page manifesto, he pays homage to Geert Wilders 30 times.
And lays a case in point of our media's selective airing of opinions.

Breivik was a 'friend of Israel'
Although we were told by our Main Stream Media that the 60-80 youths Breivik killed were on a political camp, we weren’t told that they were protesting against Israel for a boycott in favour of Palestine..
And neither were we told that he mentioned the word “Jews” 324 times, “Israel” 359 times.
So as you can see the line of thought with this man, as evidenced by his victim choice, was primarily against those who support Israel, and although he despised all “multiculturalists: the media did also conceal from us his words “So let us fighttogether with Israel, with our Zionist brothers against all anti-Zionists”

Cory Bernardi sees Islamists everywhere, and he’s very concerned for the West.
He’s not complaining about Christians in Politics, and he’s certainly not complaining about Jews, and he doesn’t seem concerned for any other non-Christian centric countries or Muslims countries, but he is concerned for Israel.
He’s concerned that Islam in politics “should strike fear into the hearts of the west, supporters of Israel and all lovers of freedom.”
Although Wilders refuses to publicly discuss his family roots, an Anthropologist by the name of Lizzy van Leeuwen, in a recent Dutch publication
revealed some insights following her research trip to Indonesia, which Wilder has not corroborated or rejected.
Although Wilders is Dutch born, his family came to Holland some time after 1949 from Indonesia the former Dutch Colony. “Van Leeuwen reveals that Wilders’s maternal grandmother, Johanna Meijer, was a member of a prominent Jewish-Indonesian family. Her husband, Johan Ording, was a regional financial administrator in the Dutch colony. According to van Leeuwen, the latter was fired while on leave in the Netherlands and reduced to poverty when the government refused to give him a pension.”
So consistent with Jewish tradition, that would make Wilders' mother Jewish and himself, and as such eligible for the Jewish “Right of Return” to Israel.
This would also explain why Wilders felt the need to, and how he was able to, move too Israel in his late teens and live there for several years doing volunteer work for the self proclaimed Jewish State while also earning money. He somehow acquired knowledge of counter-terrorism, which would suggest that he partook in the compulsory military duty as is required of all young Jews living in Israel. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Geert_Wilders
He volunteered in a Moshav or Kibbutz style establishment which likely means it was a “settlement” on Palestinian land outside of Israel proper. But Wilder takes no issue with usurping of land when it’s done by Jews.
It also explains how he’s a staunch friend of Israel when he says “I am not ashamed to fight for Israel.”
But Geert Wilders has so far refused to publicly confirm or refute van Leeuwen's research exposing Wilder's roots.
Just like Wilders' blond died hair, his roots eventually come out showing their true colours.

Even though Wilders and co like to equate the Quran to <u>Mein Kampf</u>; the tradition image of neo-Nazis as Jew and Black hating and lynching Germans, is quite different in reality. Today’s real Nazis are Muslim hating Friends of Israel and often Jewish too.
Why even some of the most vigorous Nazi sites are pro Israel.

What unites all these people, apart from their hatred of Islam; is one strong nationalistic identification with their common Nation of Interest, and it’s not a nation they commonly inhabit. The Nation which bonds them all is Israel.
So next time you hear “your” political “representative” declare a loyalty for Israel, if nothing else, remember that.

So again, I'll repeat myself, "I agree also that it's dangerous to prevent the airing of opinions, and yet that's what we do and selectively." And that gives us a distorted understanding of reality.

Perfidious Rex
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 10:11


If the entire Islamic world sat to the moderate side of Turkey I don't think we would be having this discussion.

There is no doubt that the practice of Islam in certain situations is incompatible with notions such as freedom and equality. To suggest otherwise requires the suspension of conscious thought.

Now the extent to which this is caused by the Islamic religion itself is a much more complicated question. It is certainly far beyond answering by reference to the beer drinking habits of the Turks and it is something which people are entitled to express a view on....


David Skidmore
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 10:47

The weird thing is Bernardi is vehemently opposed to same-sex marriage putting him firmly in the same (ahem) camp as the Islamic fundamentalist hoards he aims to protect us from. Not only that, he may be surprised to find that anti-Islamic Dutch conservatives have no problem with same-sex marriage - due to the fact that they're consistent whereas Bernardi is an untrustworthy ignorant buffoon and reeking of hypocrisy.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 10:48

@PR - I was directing my comments to Black Pepper who, in my view, conflates Islam with fundamentalist Islam. This conflation leads him to a false dichotomy between (liberal) Christians and (fundamentalist) Muslims. I made no claims about entry visas or freedom of expression.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:00

Before posting on this topic you may consider the following:

One: Sweeping generalisations almost always are one-sided and/or contain errors of fact!
Two: Dogmatism inherently contains divisive elements and very often proves to be destructive! This in my mind applies to "religions" as well.

In other words: If at all possible best to avoid it!

David Grayling posted Thursday, 08 September 11 at 3:11PM

You said: "Forget Geert and Cory! Worry about America gaining control of Australia and the world"!

My say:
DO NOT forget about the types of Geert, Corey, Abbott, Alan Jones, Murdoch and many others whose actions are patently not in the national interest.
DO NOT forget about other countries (including the US, China and others) asserting a disproportionate influence on Australia and our economy.

Be aware of these ever present threats to our functioning democracy, keep the the wider public informed and take appropriate action to prevent it
Have a good weekend.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:11

Excellent point PE. "Now the extent to which this is caused by the Islamic religion itself is a much more complicated question."

We should look into this question deeply.

How is it that the current lynching of Blacks in Libya is being overseen and facilitated by the 1st US President in a long time.

How is it that Iran was a secular democracy until 1953 when the Mosadeq Gov nationalised the Oil Industry to be overthrown by USA & UK with their Operation AJAX and installing of the Shah prompting the rise of the religious Right.

Why is it that USA backed the rise of the Religious Right Taliban in Afghanistan from the late 70's.

Why USA and UK sabotaged and continue to sabotage Religious Moderates in Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya etc.

WE, yes WE, even printed and distributed so called "Jihad" books to manipulate the minds of their children.

The evidence suggests that for certain elements in the West, a secular, democratic, self determining state for certain regions is the last thing in their mind. They like to point the finger at their nurtured Religious Right and attribute their flaws to Islam.


Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:28

I've often wondered where all those 'moderate/liberal' Moslems are, given the intolerant natures of all majority Moslem nations,including Turkey. So,Black pepper's dichotomy might not be so false after all.

There were no really 'moderate' Communist regimes,just varying intensities of oppression. Turkey and Indonesia are often cited as examples of 'moderate' Moslem nations--religious minorities are pesecuted in both countries,as Wilders says it's the nature of the ideology.

David Skidmore
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:39

There are actually no moderate regimes of any religious persuasion to use Rocky's reasoning. Any country with a semblance of democracy is secular - not religious. All religions are naturally totalitarian and so need to be kept in their place. This includes Christianity, Judaism and Islam to name a few. If religions are not kept at a distance from centres of government, we'll be in a situation like Saudi Arabia or 16th Century Spain and the Netherlands.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:39

No need to "wonder" Rocky, read up on some of the things I've mentioned.
May I also remind you that the greatest attacks on say Jews, over the last 500 years have been perpetrated by us. And I'm not including the Palestine/Israel conflict which is clearly a land dispute between invaders and the indigenous.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 11:50

David Skidmore; FYI C16th Spain was ruled by the Habsburg dynasty and later the Bourbons.

"I trust God Speaks Through Me" G W Bush

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 14:33

Religion is what causes all these problems because they think that their beliefs are the only one. People that come to this country for a better life and want to carry on with forcing their beleifs as better than ours are not welcomed. Just try going to visit their homeland and to push your religious beliefs, you would either get locked up, tortured or executed so why should they carry on with their radical ideas here.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 16:16

I was born in the Netherlands. When my family moved back there in 1956 (from Argentina), a quarter of a million people had just been expelled by Sukarno. They were more or less welcomed and were in the process of settling or moving on (to Brazil, Canada etc.). Some of the paler ones were allowed into White Australia. Apart from overcrowding and relatively high unemployment, social disruption was minimal. Dutch society was regarded as one of the most tolerant in the world. By the time my family had settled in Australia (where in two decades almost a quarter of a million Dutch immigrants settled) the "European Miracle" got on the way. Countless Turks, Morrocans and others were invited by the Dutch to come and clean their dunnies and sweep their streets. Half a century later I visited my country of birth. Gone the tolerance. They want the children and grandchildren of the dunny cleaners to bugger off back to where they came from (which is actually where they are!). So what was once one of the most tolerant societies in the world has spawned the likes of Wilders.
Give the creep a visa by all means.
Reminds me of the lyrics of a song "the only way to hurt the pusher, don't buy!". Geert who?

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 16:31

That's ridiculous Grumpy293, Afghanistan's problems, Iraq's problems, Libya's problems, do not have religion as the cause of all the problems,.
Imperialist intervention caused it.
And the outpouring of migrants in turn is caused by all the problems.

You want to fix things, you want a target for your ridicule? target the AngloSphere or other imperialists, France, Belgium.

You live in a democracy, you have a say, people under totalitarian regimes that we have installed have no say and hence no culpability for their nation's actions.
We have a say here, hence we are culpable when our leaders stray. But we'd rather watch x-factor, footy, tv cheffs, coz as our nations kill, we don't give a toss, we just moan about immigrants.

The world is full of bloggs, alternate media etc, much more informative than NM, naivety to our nation's actions is a thin veil.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 16:42

In a democratic society that cherishes its free speech, everyone's opinion should be heard, analysed, debated, refuted, accepted.
What should be avoided are personal attacks and 'foul' language; there are laws in place that counter these (defamation laws).

Wilders is far from the only one expressing these views. Thilo Sarrazin in Germany is a crusader against muslimization, and backs it up by a vast amount of statistics.
Europe appears to be waking up to the fact that multiculturalism does not work, not in all instances, not where people refuse to integrate.
We should also be listenting to people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who speaks/writes from experience. She too has a counterpart in Germany, a Turkish woman.

It would be much better if writers, like Mark Fletcher, would sit down and list the pro's and con's of Islam and for that matter all other religions, as well as no religion at all. After all, Islam is only the third of the trilogy of desert religions. It's just that the other two were more or less forced to secularize, separate church and state. Islam still lives in the Dark Ages in this respect, as well as culturally.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 16:43

In a democratic society that cherishes its free speech, everyone's opinion should be heard, analysed, debated, refuted, accepted.
What should be avoided are personal attacks and 'foul' language; there are laws in place that counter these (defamation laws).

Wilders is far from the only one expressing these views. Thilo Sarrazin in Germany is a crusader against muslimization, and backs it up by a vast amount of statistics.
Europe appears to be waking up to the fact that multiculturalism does not work, not in all instances, not where people refuse to integrate.
We should also be listenting to people like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who speaks/writes from experience. She too has a counterpart in Germany, a Turkish woman.

It would be much better if writers, like Mark Fletcher, would sit down and list the pro's and con's of Islam and for that matter all other religions, as well as no religion at all. After all, Islam is only the third of the trilogy of desert religions. It's just that the other two were more or less forced to secularize, separate church and state. Islam still lives in the Dark Ages in this respect, as well as culturally.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 16:55

phoneyid: The world is full of bloggs, alternate media etc, much more informative than NM, naivety to our nation’s actions is a thin veil.

The only trouble is, they would not put Mark's article out there because it does not agree with Alan Jones. They mostly do not provide a balance of information for the ill-informed populace who are drawn in by the constant repetition of one-sided viewpoints. Example: Big New Tax - now the Yahoo commenters honestly believe this will mean the end of the world as we know it, completing forgetting that the GST was going to achieve this.

NM will do me.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 17:30

As long as our children aren't taught that our Queen Liz's granny and great gramps were a smack dealers which brought about the opium wars and that our wars are typically directed at wealth, resources & access to, then we'll keep growing up to be ignorant and blame it all on Islam.

I was born here and raised called a "wog", I know how "you people" think.
Much of the world speaks multiple languages, but not many among the Anglos. If you go to Greece and can't speak Greek...you're a tourist... If here and you can't speak English, you're branded an idiot or arrogant.
If you go to Greece speaking poor Greek, they are flattered, if you're in an Eng speaking country and speak poor English... they become indignant.

No people are more arrogant than the Anglosphere.

Talk about forcing one's ways on others.... what exactly do you think we're doing "bringing democracy to the middle East".... The arrogance and ignorance is unsurpassed.
I wish you'd leave my country.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 18:00

short and sharp

Functioning democracy???? I must have taken a wrong turn and landed on the wrong planet.

Seriously, whatever happened to attacking the issue and not the individual? Maybe if contributors showed a little more respect for differences of opinion, it would be reflected in a more intelligent debate.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 18:26

Let´s not tolerate the haters, indeed. Having read the list of people that you, Mr Fletcher, have found reason to hate: the entire Senate, the Media, people who work in the media, even ¨Hippies¨, I would like to help you in your plans to ¨not tolerate the haters¨, such as you have shown yourself to be, by offering you a free one way lift to the airport. When do you plan on departing Mr Fletcher?

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 19:19

Fair Go TheWomp!
There is robust criticism, and strong opinions (right or wrong), and then there is hate and incitement.
There is vigorous debate and discussion, and then there is lies and propaganda.
And yes we stray into the personal (playing the man rather than the ball), but to tar Mark Fletcher with the same brush as Geert Who? ?
I for one would like Mr Fletcher to stay in my adopted country, and continue to write thought provoking articles.
As for letting Geert Who? into the country... wasn't it that supreme dogwhistler that was our Prime Minister that said "we will determine who comes to this country and how they arrive" or something like that?
I can think of many people I would much prefer to be invited to come here than Geert Who?

Mad Hatter
Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 20:14

@Black Pepper
Your comment:
"Finally, I suspect that if Pauline Hanson had the intellectual capacity and communicative powers of Geert Wilders, she would be in parliament today, together with a host of other One Nation menbers."

You hit BULLSEYE with this one! This is the very reason Geert Wilders
should not be allowed into Australia! Can you imagine the Glorification of Geert Wilders in the current HATRED driven political climate Australia finds itself in?????

I believe Pauline Hanson's 'Ideology' which she adapted from Switzerland is well alive today within many Liberal Party members/supporters.

Remember the 'BORN AGAIN' type of 'follow the guru'fanaticism Kevin Rudd stirred up with his SUMMIT?

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 21:42

No, sorry, I don't agree Gert should be denied a visa. He may express himself pooly (English is his second language), but some of what he says is undeniably true. Some of what he says is over the top and should be ignored. That is our choice.

Who says we can't decide which is which? Do you have so little faith in Australians? I could see how that you could, but you're ultimately wrong. We have to work with what we have and take the people with us.

Ideas are not evil, people can be.

The Captn.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 21:45

Ultimately this article amouts to an ad hominum attack. Talk about the issues. Don't use out of context quotes. Get real.

The Captn.

Posted Friday, September 9, 2011 - 21:46

I like new matilda, but if I am going to support it fininacially, i want to see more rational articles than this one.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. Grego
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 00:24

Hey Mark Fletcher. Nice writing, and good article. You've also provoked lots of good thought in the responses.
"The Liberal Party should question whether [Corey Bernardi] is the sort of person it believes should be parachuted into safe Senate seats."
Now that they've actively and intentionally mainstreamed the ratbag right, its unlikely. And now that Labor is chasing them, I expect no principles there, either.

Black Pepper
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 01:06

@ Mad Hatter,
No, we are not, as you assert, in a hatred driven political climate. That's going way over the top. Look back to Nazi Germany in the thirties to see what a hate driven political climate is. What's happening here has no comparison to "kristallnacht" and the host of other anti-semitic pogroms.

People are understandably very worried by murderous Islamic attacks in London, Spain, Bali, Jakarta, The Netherlands etc, oh, and let's not forget the 3000 odd souls lost in the World Trade Centre. Considering these actions by Islamists, it's perhaps rather surprising to see how little animosity is actually being displayed towards muslims in our country.

Whatever anyone may think about Geert Wilders, the fact is that he is fighting for what he believes in with words, not bombs!

Let the man visit us to have his say. No-one is asking you, MH, to accept his views. As the Captn points out, it's up to each of us to weigh the evidence and come to our own conclusions. That's democracy and free speech in action. Now you wouldn't really want to deny us that, or would you?

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 08:53

Hey Black Pepper;
It's very cavalier of you to profess to know who was responsible for 911 and London Bombings, when there are many in intelligence circles and even within the ranks of 911 Commissioners who assert that the books were cooked.

The above link is not offered as any sort of definitive answer but as a lead for you to discover that it's not as clear as you assert.
The well informed people listed in the link do not claim that "holographic images" of planes went into the WTC occasionally listed by much of the media as a claim of all dismissively named "conspiracy theorists".

Just as others insist that a well functioning democracy requires separation of church and state, our courts require a separation too.

If people believe that conspiracies or genocide are the reserve of WWII Germans or Muslims; that line of thinking is not only racist but ignorant too.

What if much of what we were told was a lie?
New evidence in ship's logs suggests that the Germans were telling the truth about the sinking of the Lusitania which brought USA into WWI.
We know (or should know) that the "Gulf of Tonkin Incident" was a lie resulting in the killing of 3Million Vietnamese, as were the lies from "Incubator babies" to WMD leading to the killings of 1.5Million Iraqis.... Open your eyes..... conspiracies are a historical reality.

Are all the facts I've pointed out throughout the comments standing in the way of a bigoted one eyed rejection of Muslims as humane??

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 09:47

We in the Anglosphere think ourselves so intellectually vigorous in discussing the "evils" of Islam, but when it comes to acknowledging our our own crimes we are as intellectual pygmies in indignant denial of evidence.
It's astounding, the level of naivety required to believe that we are "bringing democracy" to resource rich lands, while we commit horrors which should repulse any decent human being.
Such is the level of intellectual vigour in our enlightened Christian World, that millions of morons would actually believe that they have no reason to hate us other than "they hate us for our freedom".

This blogger offers some of his own opinions, but in this blogg he also offers a long string of MSM clips, showing what cold and heartless, calculating parasitism leads our people.

<b>U.S. Congressman Witnessed French and Danish forces of NATO, Beheading Libyans</b>


This user is a New Matilda supporter. O. Puhleez
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 10:09

At its base, Mark Fletcher's argument above is that those he objects to for whatever reason should be denied an entry visa to Australia.

Australian law covers issues such as hate speech, incitement to violence and riot, and racial vilification. Those who gain an entry visa and proceed to break Australian law get no special treatment above that meted out to a citizen. Those who seek to enter the country legally can be dealt with at their point of entry if carrying arms, hate propaganda et cetera, but such refusals are appealable at law if the would-be entrant has the money and local support for it.

But lest we get confused on this:

1. Whatever his background and shortcomings as perceived by Fletcher (and yours truly), Bernardi is an elected member of Parliament, and entitled to sponsor whoever he chooses to.
2. Islam is not a race, and it is not racist to criiticise or oppose Islam.
3. 'Islamophobia' is 'irrational fear of or hostility towards Islam'. (Google it if you doubt me here.) But this does not exclude rationally based objections to Islam, nor rational fear of it. How you separate the two is a mystery, and so the term 'Islamophobia' unsurprisingly is used by Muslims and politically correct non-Muslims to scare off critics and stifle discussion. It is a boo-word.
4. So far in the comments on Fletcher's article, I have not seen a single one giving a rational, cogent case for banning Wilders. Nor can I envisage any such which could not be used by others to support a ban on somebody Fletcher would himself conceivably support on a speaking tour.
5. The test of one's liberalism is one's tolerance of the rights of others one finds disagreeable. (I disagree with Cori Bernardi on most issues, but not all of them. Likewise Wilders.)
6. 'Islam' means 'submission'. Anyone who believes that it is inherently peaceful and/or benign should visit Tehran on a Friday, when they have the public executions of 'homosexuals', 'adulterous' women and others whose submission has been deemed by the clerics to be lacking in sufficient enthusiasm. Failing that, read the news any day coming out of the Middle East.

Black Pepper
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 11:13

Dear Phoney,
The world thinks that it was the Japanese who raped Nanking in 1937, but you and I know that it never really happened. Likewise the world thinks that it was the Japanese who bombed Pearl Harbour in 1941, but you and I know that it was really the British. We also know that the holocaust never happened, man has not walked on the moon, and the earth is flat. And of course muslims have had zero input into the London bombings, the destruction of the World Trade Centre etc etc. It's a jolly good job that some of us can see through the conspiracy mists!

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 11:54

Black Pepper; I think you've lost the plot.
The Whole world knows that HRH Liz's Granny and Great Gramps made money out of selling smack.
The whole World knows that Lt Col Oliver North (aka The Drug Store Marine of Iran Contra affair) was recently appointed as a Foreign Affairs advisor for the Republicans to Advise on Opium Crop Rich Afghanistan under our watch.

The whole world knows that Australian Democracy, Australian Uranium and Australian Complicity in the Axis of The Willing dumping thousands of tonns of 'Depleted' Uranium Munitions on Iraq has resulted in catastrophic levels of miscarriages and deformities and cancers and not a change in the parsley they're using to make tabooli salad.
The whole world knows of the faux intellectual vigour and integrity in our media lead by Rupert Murdoch.

"is our children learning?" G Dumbya Bush (leader of the free world)

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 12:07

While we're exercising intellectual vigour, free of PC with a goal of keeping our society pure; can we discuss the acceptability of the practice of Metzitzah in our culture?? Or is that still Verboten?

Rather than speculate on risks would Wilders and Bernardi etal including all here and NM be willing to address actualities.
I bet not.

So the truth is that free thought and analysis is not the agenda at all.
Some topics are considered thought crimes.

Mad Hatter
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 12:26

It appears New Matilda's Blogg has been infiltrated by malevolent bacteria. Wake Up.

What a shame!

I have heard the stories of Nazi Germany first hand! I have lived in the jungle of the Belgian Congo for many years before migrating to

I just can't stand the patronizing attitude of some bloggers anymore.


@Mark Fletcher keep up the good work!

Joe Politico
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 12:42

Excellent article Mark.

Weighing up the right to free speech against the rights of those affected by it is a very tough call.

What troubles me most is that the political debate amongst the major parties has been toxic for so long that entrenched racism hasn't been challenged in the minds of many Australians in the way it should have been.

People like Wilders find a ready audience amongst people who already agree with them, by and large.

Both parties are equally well to blame for this though for different reasons. It's the core Labor support which turns to nationalism when jobs and welfare funding seem scarce and migrants are seen as competition. The Hanson element of the right is appeased because the Libs need their vote too.

Geert Wilders capacity to stir up radicalism is a symptom of a much deeper problem which mainstream politicians bear substantial responsibility for. It's easy for them to turn in horror towards Wilders because it safely puts the problem out of their own backyard.

The idea of denying Wilders appeals to me greatly, but I'm not in favour of it. Censorship has a very nasty habit of stiffling progressives and dissidents far more than anyone else.

I'd rather see something a bit more radical - like public standards in news reporting. If that happened, people wouldn't be so ignorant, and the ground for Wilders ideas - not so fertile.

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 14:47

Excellent comment Joe.
It isn't just the noxiuos weeds that are cause for concern. Those that prepare the ground either deliberately or by ommission, bear much of the responsibility for their growth.

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 15:08


"May I also remind you that the greatest attacks on say Jews, over the last 500 years have been perpetrated by us." So what? We could (1)review the barbarous histories of Islam and Christianity and (2) I agree that, in modern times, the Arabs, as a people, have been oppressed by Western imperialism and Zionism however, that's irrelevant to the discussion here.

I'm not sure what point you're making.

We're not discussing war crimes and unjust wars but the nature of Islamic ideology, its threat to Western civilisation and Wilders right to free speech. You're too busy creating straw men and using tu quoque arguments to really focus on the discussion.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. raismail
Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 17:03

As another straight, white, conservative male who happens to be an Aussie Muslim, I'm tempted to second your motion Mark. I remain in two minds about it because Wilders' entry to Australia could lead to him and his sponsor being condemned by the poison that comes out of his own mouth.

Anything appearing in the media about Muslims brings out the usual lynch mob and a few of them have come out in response to this article. They should try to understand that the vast majority of the Muslims in Australia (and in Europe for that matter) just want to get on with their lives in peace with their neighbours. I don't care whether Cory Bernardi respects my religion or not but I expect him to respect my right to practise it as I respect his right to practise his. That said, I did enjoy a field trip I did once with a practising Christian from my office. In our motel room in the evenings I read my Qurán and he read his Bible and we both came back liking and respecting each other a lot more than when we started. As for the nonsense the fearmongers spread about Sharia: My prayers are part of Sharia. The dietary restrictions I observe are part of Sharia. The charity I give to the poor every year (two and a half percent of savings) is part of Sharia. The interest I withdraw from my bank account and pay to a non Muslim charity is part of Sharia. Even trying to be a considerate neighbour to my (non Muslim) neighbours of is part of Sharia. Don't quote other countries to me in rebuttal, we're in Australia not in other countries. For every unpleasantness quoted from Muslim countries equally irrelevant unpleasantness present or past can be quoted from the countries the decriers admire. I don't know any Muslims in Australia who think they could or should impose Sharia based laws on the country. You can't even get Aussies to obey traffic laws!

Posted Saturday, September 10, 2011 - 17:27

Suggest you Google Egon Kisch. Attempts to keep him out of Australia to prevent him from speaking out against fascism (yes that's right), included the infamous and bizarre 'dictation test'.

As for Geert Who?: Let him in and then apply the full force of the law to him, should he break any.
The rest of us can go to venues he speaks at and turn our backs on him like Aboriginal Australians did to John Howard.
Or better still ignore him and don't listen to him. Don't give him oxygen. Let him sprout his poison into a vacuum.

This user is a New Matilda supporter. O. Puhleez
Posted Sunday, September 11, 2011 - 06:32


As far as I can see, nobody here wants to lynch Muslims. Far from it. As you indicate, through his own words Wilders may condemn himself in the eyes of many. The issue is, should he be allowed to visit and speak freely? And unless we want to head down the road leading to censorship, tests of political correctness and Orwellian institutions to supervise the whole population, the answer to that can only be yes.

It is also good that you and a Christian can share a motel room and read your separate infallible texts. Of course and for the sake of harmony, it is always necessary to quietly ignore the fact that according to each of those texts, the other is seriously, if not hopelessly, in error. Also that the long-term and stated perspective of each of those religions is the conversion of the whole world to itself, and the consignment of the other to oblivion.

Sorry mate, but by their separate logics Christianity and Islam can't both be right. At least one of them has to be wrong.

Some of course would say that they both are.

Posted Sunday, September 11, 2011 - 08:43

O. Puhleez
"And unless we want to head down the road leading to censorship, tests of political correctness and Orwellian institutions to supervise the whole population, the answer to that can only be yes."

Unfortunately we are already on that "road".
I and the majority seem to concur that censorship is not what we want, but if you look at the list of facts I've cited, you'd have to agree that many are concealed from the public by the MSM or the gov, or if ever mention it's only by way of a single flighting mention, and even then as a dismissively attributed "conspiracy theory" or worse as an opinion in the realm of those associated radicals or terrorists or as statements giving support to extremists and therefore implying that those harbouring such thoughts are "against us" and that they must be placed on "no fly lists" or terrorist sympathiser lists.
This is "Orwellian" type censorship.
If this isn't some type of Owellian world we are in, then how on earth do Obama and Tony Blair get Peace Prizes?
“Peace Through War” Was also a mantra of Orwell's 1984.

Someone here earlier used the term "female genital mutilation". A term which, if you ask around you'll find, typically demonstrates an ignorance or indifference to the distinction between (the rare)clitorectomy and labiectomy. This is the level of intellectual vigour in our community which swallows such catch-phrases as insightful and abhors even the mulesing of sheep for 'hygienic reasons' as "inhumane" while at the same time accepting/permitting the circumcision (mutilation) of infant boys without so much as aspirin on questionable hygienic grounds.

This may all be seen as "off topic", but my intention here is to demonstrate that as long as we censor or suppress one view and permit or promote others, it can only lead to a overall "one eyed" understanding.
On that basis I say, kick out this Anti-Islamist-Zionist Geert or let him in along with David Irving , and Ahmadinejad, and make Australia's politicians attend the upcoming UN Durban III conference against Racism instead of blocking it because some people don't like the equating of Zionism with Racism.