Well it seems as if the new boogeyman of the 21st century is fully established. Instead of drumming up fear and paranoia at the idea of ‘Reds Under the Bed‘ as was done in the past our governments have now determined that all our fear focused hate should be turned in the direction of those who follow the Muslim faith. In short we should all fear the ‘Burqa Under the Bed‘ [courtesy of Yvette Scholtmeyer].
Regardless of the political tap dancing our world leaders use to present the idea that they are only interested in those who are extremist in their faith to the point of violence against others the facts are that they have stirred up a mighty brew of xenophobic fear and hatred. How easy it is to cast stones at those whose beliefs differ to ours especially when we do little to understand those beliefs.
People become so irate at the idea that there are those out there who think differently and worse have the temerity to believe in a different god but when did difference become something to fear and even worse something to fight. I’ll tell you when, when our governments decided it was a useful tool in the manipulation of the masses but even they may not have truly understood what can be unleashed when fear is fed with doctored images and carefully chosen catch phrases.
What is sad is that our governments are doing exactly what those in the extreme camps of religious fervor do, they are trying to whip up discontent and fear but it is usually the innocent who get caught in the crossfire. As this picture so clearly shows, we do not hold those whose beliefs are so racist to be representative of the Christian faith so then why are we so eager to believe that the images provided for us represent those who follow Islam.
We are seeing the effects here is Australia already, although much of what has occurred in the past two weeks has been a rather desperate attempt to divert attention for the failure of this government to pass the budget and the possibility of a double dissolution that could come from it. Abbott and his advisers have obviously gone with the concept of no country ousts a sitting PM in a time of war. Tiny problem for him is that most of us are aware we wouldn’t be involved in this travesty if not for him.
Out of nowhere we were informed of the rising level of the Terror Alert and the possibility of an attack on Australian soil. This statement was met by the general public with something less than belief despite the dramatization of the information and the serious faces along with very pro Australian props for the media conferences.
Then on Thursday 18 September [strangely coinciding with raids in the US] there were dawn raids around the country in a massive effort of military, ASIO and federal police. Eight hundred police detained 15 people, although all were released bar one who is due to face court. Two guns were found and one machete [of the gardening variety it turns out] and all of these weapons turned out to be legal. According to an interview with the Guardian the Prime Minister stated:
That’s the intelligence we received. The exhortations, quite direct exhortations, were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in Isil [Islamic State] to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country. So, this is not just suspicion, this is intent, and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.
Of course as the Guardian stated the PM did not submit this statement to the courts nor has any material of a similar nature been submitted as evidence of a plot to commit acts of terrorism on Australian soil.
That has not stopped him nor his government from moving ahead with security measures that will be trampling on the civil liberties of regular Australians. He and his government have made it clear that it is better to live in a more controlled country than one where the public has rights. The story covered in the Guardian shows a clear path toward gagging of the media and the suppression of the individual’s right to protest.
This picture to the right shows all to clearly the future for Australia at the hands of this man and his government. It saddens me that there are so many people out there who find it easier to hate and fear than reach out and offer understanding and friendship. What is worse is that I am more than aware this is a problem for all peoples, Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu etc, we are all guilty of hating or fearing blindly based on difference. Humanity has to grow up some time or we’re not going to last much longer and that is simply a fact, whether we like it or not.