A few days ago, a terrorist attack took place in Melbourne. Three people were stabbed; two people died (including the perpetrator). One death is one too many, and in no way do I intend to diminish what took place, but this event has been capitalised on heavily by the media and our Prime Minister. Morrison has shown how shallow his apparent sympathy is for those in pain before, and if governments (of all sorts) are good at anything, it’s exaggerating minor things and downplaying the major ones.
In the age of instant global news, we are informed of every breaking news event moments after it occurs, no matter where in the world it took place. Tragedies, especially, bottleneck our news sites and social media feeds with endless commentary. Natural disasters, terrorist attacks, conflicts in war torn regions – we are bombarded with it. Even if it happened on the other side of the world, it feels close; we feel attached to the victims, feel sorry for what they have endured. But for all of this apparent intimacy, one has to ask: how close to it are we really?
10 people in as many years (including perpetrators killed at the scene) have been killed in terrorist related incidents. Again, 10 too many, but when you compare that to stats from the US, Europe, or the Middle East, we can hardly consider ourselves at the mercy of unpredictable terror attacks. Almost seven times as many women have died this year alone due to domestic violence, and, while it gets token mention in the media, the current government have consistently kept programs to aid victims underfunded, and have attempted cuts to the small budget. Contrast this to the coverage terror attacks here have received, and the response from the government, and you find a very different approach.
Scott Morrison responded to the recent attack by making accusatory remarks to Muslim leaders, telling them to call out the attack for ‘what it is’. He was not hesitant to call ‘extremist Islam’ one of the greatest threats to our country, saying that while he ‘support[ed] religious freedom’ he had to call out ‘religious extremism’. And he’s right on both counts: religious freedoms should be protected, and religious extremism should be condemned. But Muslims have and do condemn it when such an attack happens. Not only do they condemn it, but they have to defend themselves from the mass of hatred sent to them by people who don’t care to listen.
Morrison is one such person, and a massive hypocrite on the issue of religious ‘extremism’. Let’s list some ways his Party and government have let it slide:
- The US’ campaign of terror (it’s never called that, oddly enough) across the globe is carried out by ‘Christians’; I doubt Trump considers himself a ‘religious extremist’. This imperialist power is our greatest ally on the world stage, and the increasingly erratic behaviour of the US doesn’t seem to bother Morrison – at least not publically.
- In defiance of international norms, the Coalition have thrown their support behind Israel’s continued terror against the Palestinians. The methods and motives of Zionist ideology are arguably ‘extremist’ in nature; they are made up of Jews and Christians (the latter believing the reinstalment of Israel will bring the Biblical End Times). Netanyahu has avoided the ‘extremist’ label.
- As an extension of our alliance with the US, we are on friendly terms with Saudi Arabia. The origin of the most fundamental and extreme form of Islam (Wahhabism), that which Morrison so opposes, is Saudi Arabia. Broadly demonising all Muslims in Australia while maintaining diplomatic relations with the second largest sponsor of terrorism in the world is outrageous, and too few seem to pick up on this.
- The Royal Commission into sex abuse towards children has delivered a massive blow to the Catholic Church in Australia. Indeed, the Church as a whole has faced international condemnation, as cases spanning decades have surfaced globally. The fact that the Church kept this hidden for so long is disgusting. Their responses (and the weak apology from Morrison) are equally disgusting. When it comes to other religion’s failings, its indisputable evidence that said religion is awful and incompatible with our values. When it comes to their own, excuses are made, victims are blamed, and the perpetrators are forgiven. The institutionalised abuse of children, covering it up, and downplaying the fallout is no fucking value of mine.
So the next time our government and our scumbag Prime Minister vilifies a mere 3% of our population, the majority of whom have integrated to our society, take it as it is – shallow statements intended to cause division, and one of the greatest hypocrisies of our nation.
One death is one too many. Let’s not take advantage of a tragedy to pursue an agenda built on lies and manufactured fear.