Pell Conviction: Muslim Clerics Demand Australian Leaders Do More To Condemn Sexual Violence


Said no Muslim cleric, ever. Chris Graham explains.

An interesting post on Aboriginal comedian, writer, activist and performer Steven Oliver’s Facebook page this week, in which he sums up the breathtaking hypocrisy from some Australian leaders better than anyone we’ve seen so far.

Over to Oliver:

“Why is it when a Muslim Cleric is seen to be inciting racist ideologies, politicians ask Muslim leaders to publicly come out and furiously condemn them?

“Yet when a high-ranking priest molests children, we get politicians and former prime ministers coming out and voicing their support?

“That to me says, racism bad, molesting children not so bad. Can people not see how fucked up and hypocritical that is?”

Nicely said, and in the interests of expanding on the point, let’s take a look at a few examples.

Here’s perennial cloud-shouter Andrew Bolt defending George Pell, and here he is promoting the notion that Muslim leaders must speak out against extremism. And again. And here’s Bolt arguing that when rapists are brown and girls are white, it’s apparently not a news story.

Here’s Miranda Devine defending Pell, and here’s Devine tweeting that it is the job of Muslim leaders to prevent violent attacks in Australia.

Here’s Gerard Henderson throwing his support behind ‘judge only trials’ so that terrible mistakes like the conviction of Pell don’t happen again.

And here’s Henderson arguing that Muslim leaders in a “democratic society” had an obligation to speak up.

Here’s John Howard backing Pell, and complaining about some Muslims “raving about Jihad”.

Here’s Tony Abbott sorta kinda defending Pell. And here he is taking aim at Muslim leaders for ‘not doing enough to stamp out violence and extremism’.

Aboriginal writer and performer, Steven Oliver.

My personal favourite is Piers Akerman confidently stating that George Pell is not guilty of sexual abuse. And here he is demanding that Muslims leaders do more to speak out against violence.

It includes this particularly choice quote where he takes aim at Australia’s Grand Mufti:

“Dr Ibrahim Abu Mohamed, is almost a phantom. He makes occasional statements which demand explanation but then goes into hiding. He has a staff but they don’t return calls or respond to emails. He injects himself into Australian politics but refuses to engage with the public voices of the electorate. He is by no means a Pope. He has no temporal power, but also does himself few favours with selective interviews and refusal to engage with the broader media.”

Pell was by no means a Pope either, although he made it all the way to Cardinal, and reached the third highest post in the Vatican.

And finally, here’s Akerman wrapping up that tirade: “The Muslim leadership and the Muslim community must not retreat. They must strive to embrace the values Australia stands for.”

Presumably that now includes boosting convicted paedophiles.

Chris Graham is the publisher and editor of New Matilda. He is the former founding managing editor of the National Indigenous Times and Tracker magazine. In more than three decades of journalism he's had his home and office raided by the Australian Federal Police; he's been arrested and briefly jailed in Israel; he's reported from a swag in Outback Australia on and off for years. Chris has worked across multiple mediums including print, radio and film. His proudest achievement is serving as an Associate producer on John Pilger's 2013 film Utopia. He's also won a few journalism awards along the way in both the US and Australia, including a Walkley Award, a Walkley High Commendation and two Human Rights Awards. Since late 2021, Chris has been battling various serious heart and lung conditions. He's begun the process of quietly planning a "gentle exit" after "tying up a few loose ends" in 2024 and 2025. So watch this space.