…Why is restoring free speech to Australia by scrapping Section 18C so important? The most dismal moment of my own Aussie tour last year was a private dinner with a group of well-known conservative Members of Parliament – that’s to say, men and women reliably to the right of the current Prime Minister, a finger-in-the-windy jelly-spined squish on freedom of expression and so much else. Yet, even dining with supposed sturdier types, the most eminent among our number declared breezily that repealing 18C was “not a first-order priority”, not compared to what he regarded as the real first-order priority: Islamic terrorism in Australia and elsewhere.
I pointed out that one of the reasons why the former (free speech) most certainly is a first-order priority is because, without it, the latter (Islam and the West) cannot be honestly addressed. And so it has proved, yet again.
Malcolm Turnbull’s ministry ought to be ashamed that a woman like Ayaan Hirsi-Ali cannot speak in the country they purport to govern….
For those with short memories, the snapshot atop this post features our for-the-moment PM yucking it up with Ubiquitous Ali and wife Susan Carland, top-table guests at his recent Eid knees-up at Kirribilli. Ms Carland doesn’t think much of Hirsi-Ali, as she made clear in a recent Saturday Paper essay:
This is why so many across the political spectrum fall over themselves to embrace Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a woman who has called Islam “a destructive, nihilistic cult of death” and “the new fascism”, and has said the West is “at war with Islam”. Not terrorism or radical Islam – Islam, period. Ayaan is an avowed apostate. By her own declaration, she is not a Muslim. And yet she is probably the most popular “Muslim” to many in Australia. That an ex-Muslim who travels the world telling people how dreadful Islam is can be the only acceptable kind of Muslim reveals exactly why Yassmin [Abdel-Mageid] received the response she did.
What chance, do you reckon, Malcolm Turnbull would be caught dead breaking bread with Hirsi-Ali?
Read the Steyn column in its entirety, available via the link below.