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Byron Shire
March 2, 2021

Western elitist intolerance

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Peter Noble, Byron Bay

Regarding Sue Arnold’s letter ‘Tolerance goes both ways’ (Echonetdaily July 19)

I believe the response to this letter must be about what is the nature of racism – and what is hate speech.

For every bad-news story about Muslim people, there are good ones. While negatives can be found in any culture – including our own, a western elitist viewpoint does nothing at all to create a better planet – it just enshrines negative entrenched positions.

I believe that any Muslim person reading Ms Arnold’s letter would find it appalling – and feel vilified. Is that the object of the letter?

I believe it can be appropriately defined as hate speech.

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  1. I agree with Peter Noble about the ‘racist’ and ‘elitist’ tone of Sue Arnold’s letter of July 19th on the asylum seeker tragedy unfolding on our shores. While some Muslim cultures do have a serious problem with women’s rights and emancipation, Sue’s letter serves to demonise all Muslims. She also glosses over the fact that Malala Yusufzai herself is a Sunni Muslim and some of her most ardent supporters come from Pakistan. Another gloss is that most of the people fleeing Afghanistan are Hazras, a minority persecuted by the Taliban, the same mob who were after Malala. Tarring all Muslims as raging misogynists is as useful as blaming all Christians for the paedophilia rampant in the Catholic Church. And when she talks about the issue of asylum seekers, she conveniently forgets to mention that our ‘amazingly tolerant’ people, via their governments, have been systematically messing with these cultures, be they in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan, thus creating the very crisis from which these desperate folks are fleeing.

    As to Menkit’s reply, a quick look at the website that Menkit supplies to bolster his racist views will disclose this canard: ‘There is no such thing as moderate Islam. Not all Muslims are terrorists, but nearly all terrorists are Muslims’.

    The question needs asking: who is the real terrorist; the Muslims – and others – fleeing persecution or the governments, mostly Western, bombing them?

    The whole sad business of asylum seekers needs a reasoned and heartfelt response from us as responsible members of the international community. See the comments of Julian Burnside, AO & QC, a voice of sanity in a sea of racist hysteria: http://www.smh.com.au/federal-politics/political-opinion/youve-been-misled-on-boat-people-here-are-the-facts-20130718-2q5rv.html


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