The Federal Government has acknowledged the upcoming month of fasting, in the way that only an Australian government could. Michael Brull explains.
Once Tony Abbott was ousted, the new Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull seemed to promise a new era of treating Muslims respectfully. Instead of constantly insulting them and demanding they prove they were loyal members of Team Australia who would finally condemn terrorism and mean it, Turnbull would usher in a new era.
It didn’t come with any promise of different foreign policy, changing draconian laws targeting Muslims, or ending heavy-handed police raids with hundreds of cops.
Yet at least Turnbull wouldn’t address Muslims so disrespectfully with his language.
He met with the Islamic Council of Victoria and said “the glue that holds us together, the bonding agent, is mutual respect – and mutual respect means exactly what it says. It’s a two-way street, it means you respect others, and they respect you. It means you seek to understand others and they understand you. It means that you and each and every one of us is enriched by the cultures and faiths of our neighbours.”
His speech continued that way. He used the phrase “mutual respect” eight times. Like, “You are an integral part of an Australian family that’s bound together by the shared values of freedom, democracy and the rule of law, and the foundation of all of that is mutual respect. That mutual respect is the key.”
Turnbull wanted to “emphasise to each and every one of you that the Australian Muslim community is respected and valued. And we do not consider or talk about or contemplate the Muslim community solely through the prism of security.”
I suppose that wouldn’t be very respectful.
In that light, consider this email, sent from the Attorney General’s office, brought to light by Hamzah Qureshi, posted on Hanan Dover’s Facebook. It’s a generic email which wishes Muslims ‘Ramadan Mubarak’ – season’s greetings for the upcoming month of fasting.
At the bottom, it is signed by Jamie Lowe, Catherine Jones and Elizabeth Brayshaw.
From the Countering Violent Extremism Centre.
Remember what Turnbull said about not talking about Muslims “solely through the prism of security”?
This is an example of that from the Attorney-General’s department. It is rather as though a Merry Christmas message was sent to Catholics from the countering paedophilia department of the police.
Or Happy Channukah to the Jews on behalf of the anti-usury department.
Apparently, the Attorney-General’s Department is only willing to send season’s greetings as some sort of anti-terrorism initiative. They might as well have written “Dear Terrorists and not-yet-radicalised Muslims. Ramadan Mubarak. We are watching you.”
I’m not a Christian, but I can manage saying “Happy Easter” to Christians without fucking it up.
It’s really not that hard.
Yet somehow even this modicum of respect is apparently too much to ask for from the Federal Government.
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