Andrew Bolt Asks ‘Who Could Blame Anti-Muslim Vigilantes?’


Andrew Bolt has long had a problem with Muslims and Islam, but his latest column is inflammatory to the point that it seems dangerous.

Even by his standards, it is shocking. In it, he argues that Islam is a “warlike religion that licenses our destruction”, predicts a “Right-wing backlash” where vigilantes “defend themselves” by taking up arms, and innocent Muslims get hurt. But “Who could blame them”? As he predicts this “civil war”, he urges us to stop “demonising” those “with the courage to warn of the dangers, even of a Pauline Hanson.” Instead, “no more multiculturalism”, and “no more mass immigration from the Muslim world.”

Bolt begins by commenting on the attack in France, arguing that “We in the West cannot live like this”. Readers can guess who in the West is included in this we, and who is not. Bolt puts the blame for this and previous attacks by jihadi terrorists on Islam, writing that “we” can’t “keep letting in carriers of a faith whose most dogmatic believers wish to destroy us. What madness is this ‘tolerance’ of ours that we deem it rude to even discuss the warlike religion that licenses our destruction and demands an end to our most cherished liberties?”

Let me stress that. Islam is a “warlike religion”, which “licenses our destruction”, and “demands an end to our most cherished liberties”.

He then outlines what he thinks is a natural – and understandable – response: “civil war”.

“And if our politicians will not speak frankly and protect us from Islam, watch out for a civil war. A frightened public will not put up with this for much longer and will defend themselves. Here, yes, that ugly day has not dawned and let us pray it never does. But in France, God knows how soon non-Muslim vigilantes will themselves take up arms.

Who could blame them, after the murderous attacks by Islamists on a Jewish kindergarten, on a satirical magazine that mocked Islam, on a kosher supermarket, on a policeman and his wife at home and, last year, on Paris in a full-on military assault that killed 130 people. (Emphasis added).

Who could blame them? It’s just self-defence.

Bolt writes that the French chief of the Directorate General of Internal Security had said that before this attack, one more could lead to “a huge Right-wing backlash”. Is Bolt worried about the huge backlash? Should we do something to prevent it? Bolt explains that:

“It is easy to demonise — and reasonable to fear — the rise of Right-wing resistance to Islamism. Innocents, particularly Muslims, could get hurt. But innocent people, mostly Christians and other non-Muslims, are right now being murdered, and many citizens are wondering whether their politicians either have the wit to understand the threat or the guts to protect us from it.”

Who is the “Right-wing resistance” he is thinking of? He doesn’t say. He recognises innocent people, “particularly Muslims”, could get hurt. That might give you an idea of what that “Right-wing resistance” might look like. That “huge Right-wing backlash” means non-Muslim vigilantes taking up arms, because they “will not put up with this for much longer”. Innocent Muslims could get hurt. What kind of scenes does that make you envision?

Should we try to prevent that happening? Well, innocent non-Muslims “are right now being murdered”. “Who could blame them” if they did take up arms? After all, a certain warlike religion licenses our destruction.

Bolt’s conclusion is less extreme than the rest of his article. He urges “No more demonising of those who at least have the courage to warn of the dangers, even of a Pauline Hanson. No more toleration of hate preachers. No more multiculturalism, and no more mass immigration from the Muslim world.”

When Bolt says “No more demonising”, presumably he also has in mind others who “warn us of the dangers” of Islam and Muslims. Presumably, they are also to be spared criticism.

Meet The Right-Wing Resistance Who Might Take Up Arms

To get a sense of how insane and inflammatory Bolt’s article is, meet the kind of vigilante who might take up arms against Muslims. On Friday night, the Islamophobia Register posted the status of a man on Facebook. It was taken down, and the man’s page was briefly suspended, before his Facebook was reinstated with one status removed.

In two statuses, made 10 hours apart, the man from Western Australia threatened to murder Muslims, and urged others to murder them too. In the second one, he wrote “You see a Muslim You Fucking Kill the Vermin Were (sic) It Stands.” His status had 10 likes. The first one concluded “I don’t know about you but I’m happy to put a bullet in any Muslims (sic) Head.” It had 22 likes. It was taken down. The other was not.

Dorrington - Kill Muslims
His first status began “I’m Making This Public and Not just to Friends.” Presumably, current events had emboldened him to make his views public for the world to see.

What might those events have been? He wrote “Michael (sic) Bolt has received Death Threats and so has Pauline Hanson. Time to Put the Shoe On the Other Foot. Time We Put a Price On These Muslim Vermin’s Heads.” Why Bolt and Hanson? Well, he writes that “It’s come to my attention that it’s ok for Muslim Hate Preachers to have their say. But as soon as Australians Have Their Say About Muslims. They are labelled Racists.”

As we’ve seen, Bolt too uses the language of “hate preachers”. In his inflammatory and sympathetic interview with Pauline Hanson, Bolt made a similar point about “hate preachers” being tolerated, while people like Hanson were criticised as racist. In an editorial on his TV show, Bolt referred to people being sick and tired of people on the left using force to stop people from speaking their minds. The footage playing as he said this was of clashes between anti-fascists and the United Patriots Front in Coburg. The tacit sympathy was seemingly with the UPF protesters, supposedly the party who was attacked and silenced.

The “Kill the Vermin” Facebook man also shared on his Facebook a link from the UPF, a proNazi anti-Muslim group. He is a big fan of Pauline Hanson, saying “Onya Senator Pauline Hanson We Love You”, and “The Truth will come from Senator Pauline Hanson’s Mouth”.

Dorrington - likes Pauline

Let me underline that: he thinks the truth comes from Pauline Hanson. This is a man who for months has regularly posted updates saying things like “Fuck Islam. Kill Em All”. He has also referred to “Muzzrat hunting”, and talked about disposing of bodies in a wood chipper. Bolt thinks we should be less critical of Hanson.

In one discussion, the Facebook man said he sent a death threat to a Muslim. His friend advised him to be “careful with death threats”. He replies “Yeah I know. I’ve already been busted for one I did. I got a good behaviour bond for 2 years and a fine.” He then said “It’s been 7 years since I’ve been arrested. Not stupid to get caught”.

The fact that he got Bolt’s first name wrong suggests he is not Bolt’s most loyal reader. There are differences between them. Bolt doesn’t call for Muslims to be murdered, or call Muslims Muzzrats. They just both happen to think that people should stop trying to silence Hanson by calling her racist. The Facebook man wants to hunt Muslims, perhaps with his sharp blades. Bolt merely predicts something like that happening – a huge right wing backlash against Muslims, non-Muslim vigilantes taking up arms – which he identifies as “resistance”, the “frightened public” deciding to “defend themselves. And innocent people would get hurt, “particularly Muslims”. But who could blame them? After all, we keep letting in carriers of a warlike religion that licenses our destruction.

Perhaps the police will visit the man from Western Australia, and discuss his constant calls for the mass murder of Muslims. Certainly, if he was Muslim, he would be facing a very long stint in prison. Yet Bolt, with an estimated audience of over a million readers every week at the Herald Sun, will continue on his merry way. After all, he didn’t call for Muslims to murdered by right-wing vigilantes. He just thinks it would make sense if the frightened public defends itself from the warlike religion that licenses our destruction.

Michael Brull writes twice a week for New Matilda. He has written for a range of other publications, including Overland, Crikey, ABC's Drum, the Guardian and elsewhere. His writings can be followed at his public Facebook page (click on the icon below right).