Tim Blair and the Right's Adventures in Muslimland

You almost have to admire the mental gymnastics of the right. The twists and flips of logic required to lead them to their positions on the major issues are quite astonishing. Saw again today on a News Ltd blog a common refrain from the right on Islamists - "the loony left and the loony extremist Muslims are comrades in arms!". Yep, lefties love Islamic fundamentalism. Our vision for society - marriage equality, divestment from fossil fuels, sharia law. As a feminist, I want to see harsher penalties for violence against women, reproductive freedom, equal pay, and to be locked away in purdah unable to work or go to university. Do right wingers ever actually think about how absurd they sound?

Then of course they're defending their "need" to watch videos of the beheading of James Foley. "We must be fully aware of the evil posed by these Islamic terrorists", they harrumph between handfuls of popcorn. See no, most of us can ascertain that cutting someone's head off is evil just by reading about it, without having to see the thing happening, despite the victim's grieving family begging the world not to watch. I assume those who would watch the video because they need to also feel a need to watch child pornography - only, you must understand, because they need to see for themselves just how ghastly it all is?

But the right's bizarre attitude to Islam was perhaps best illustrated this week by The Superfun Adventures of Tim Blair in Lakemba. Blair, one of Murdoch's favourite house pets, set off to Sydney's Islamic heartland for a gander and reported back to his loyal audience just how ghastly it all is. Oh, the food is great, Blair assures us. (Bringing to mind echoes of, "but their kids are so darn cute"). But the rest...well, a few angry young men yelled some things, and an Islamic bookshop had some offensive books. The horror! Blair is particularly offended by the fact Lakemba is "monocultural", as if it isn't entirely natural that a group constantly demonised by the mainstream media would want to stick together.

If Tim Blair wanted to be outraged by what he finds in a Sydney suburb, there's another place he could go where he would speak the language. A place that has seen racist riots. A place with stores selling items depicting sexual exploitation of women. A place with regular outbreaks of violence. A place with bookstores selling tracts saying women are subservient and gay sex is an abomination. A place where foreign culture is imposed on Australians. A place where a few years ago I was called a fat pig by some Aussie surfer dudes. And guess who supports all this by having his office smack bang in the middle of it all?

But I'm sure Mr Blair would feel more comfortable there. It may be a haven of drunken racist sexist violence, but it's his kind of drunken racist sexist violence. So go spend the day in Manly Mr Blair, drop in and see your friend Tony, and leave the residents of Lakemba alone.

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