Christchurch in New
Zealand has just suffered one of the worst massacres in recent times. Two
mosques were attacked apparently by one man with semi-automatic rifles. The
latest reports are that 49 worshippers have been killed. 48 people have been
treated for gunshot wounds and 20 are in a serious or critical condition in hospital.
The perpetrator was apparently a white supremacist, who was an Australian
Today on the ludicrously
misnamed Sky News, David Speers and Peter Gleeson were talking about the
Christchurch massacre and, believe it or not, Speers asked Gleeson: ‘Where does
this anti-Muslim sentiment come from?’2. As it is a Murdoch media
outlet, Sky News is not really familiar with reality and it not as concerned
with facts as most other media outlets seem to be, but to actually ask such a ridiculous
question seems to demonstrate how inept Speers is. Maybe I could assist him
with a few suggestions.
sentiment could have come from people like Senator Pauline Hanson who believes
we are “in danger of being swamped by Muslims”3 and has called for Muslim immigration to be
banned4. Maybe it could be from someone like Senator Fraser Anning
who, bizarrely, has obliquely blamed Muslims for the massacre, by tweeting “Does
anyone still dispute the link between Muslim immigration and violence”5.
Maybe it could be from Senator Cory Bernardi who sent around a graphic of the
shahada (Islamic proclamation of faith) with a large cross through it6.
Maybe it was from someone like former Prime Minister Tony Abbott who, in
response to an Islamic extremist attack in London, stated that “We’ve got to
avoid any spirit of surrender, any spirit of defeatism, and all too often in
officialdom’s ranks there is this notion that Islamophobia is almost as big a
problem as Islamic terrorism. Well, Islamophobia hasn’t killed anyone”7
(it has now, Tony). Maybe it could be from some person like then Opposition immigration
spokesman, Scott Morrison, who urged the shadow cabinet to capitalise on the
electorate’s growing concerns about ‘Muslim immigration’, ‘Muslims in Australia’
and the ‘inability’ of Muslim to integrate8. I wonder, if David
Speer could actually remember these, would he think it may be one of them that
had engendered this anti-Muslim sentiment?